• Itsy-bitsy spiders confiscated, find new home at Brevard Zoo

    By: Sarah Wilson


    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Eight itsy-bitsy spiders are making their home at the Brevard Zoo after being illegally imported and confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    The zoo said the small spiders, each about the size of a quarter, were likely bred from illegally wild-caught adults because Brazil does not permit the export of fully-grown tarantulas.

    The spiders include four Brazilian whiteknee tarantulas and four Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantulas. Both breeds won’t be so itsy-bitsy when they’re full grown.

    READ: FWC: Age limit, barrier to be installed before Brevard Zoo rhino encounters reopens

    Brazilian whiteknee tarantulas can grow to a leg span of eight and a half inches, while Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantulas are among the largest in the world, reaching a leg-span of 11 inches.

    “We hope to use these arachnids to help zoo guests learn more about the importance of spiders and the impacts of wildlife trafficking,” said Michelle Smurl, the zoo’s director of animal programs.

    Smurl said the spiders will be featured in the new Rainforest Revealed when it opens later this year. The exhibit will feature Latin American wildlife.

    Until then, Smurl said the spiderlings will be housed in a behind-the-scenes area.

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