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Adult Brazilian Black specimen
Brazilian Black adult

Samwise on arrival
7 cm diameter container
Samwise on arrival

Samwise after 4 moults
12x9x8 cm container
Samwise after 4 moults

Samwise handling on 5/7/04
Sam handling on 5/7/04

Pre moult 16/1/05
Pre moult 16/1/05

Measuring up post moult
Measuring up post moult

Pet Name

Scientific Name

Common Name



Date of arrival

Size on arrival

Latest moult

Latest moult size

Adult Size

Setup Required




Grammostola pulchra

Brazilian Black

75 - 80 F

70 - 75 %


2.5 cm


13.5 cm

17-20 cm (7-8 ")




Samwise is so named because Brazilian Black tarantulas are a bit bigger than average and are tough but friendly.  These spiders are one of the most common tarantulas kept as pets as they are docile and hardy, ideal for beginner keepers like me.  They have urticating hairs but hardly ever use them - hopefully!  They reach a fair old size and are long lived so I am hoping Samwise is with me for many years.  Brazilian Blacks are burrowers but will adopt a provided shelter to get some privacy.  Spiderlings can drink moisture straight from the substrate which should be wetted regularly but when they are larger a jar lid or flower pot base can be used as a water dish.

Sam is growing steadily and is the hairiest and sturdiest looking of the fellowship but is in constant competition with Merry for greatest leg span.  He has now regained the lead with is latest moult.  He is also the most inquisitive and most likely to climb out of his container for a look-see when the lid is lifted for cleaning.  Samwise is quite an outdoor type and very rarely goes inside his retreat at all.  In fact I can't remember ever seeing him go in there - maybe he doesn't like the decor.  I will take further piccies of him as he grows and develops, which should take quite a few years as Brazilian Blacks are very slow growing.


19/11/03.  Samwise arrived by post in a 35mm film container padded with cotton wool inside a jiffy bag.  Measured at 2.5 cm he was easily the biggest hobbit and keen to stay that way by never refusing food.  He didn't burrow until about 2 weeks later.

20/12/03.  Moulted to 3.5 cm.

17/01/04.  Moulted to 4.3 cm.

25/03/04.  Moulted to 5.5 cm.

25/04/04.  Along with the others Sam moved into a bigger enclosure and now has the 35 mm film container he arrived in as his hidey hole and the lid as a water dish.  He came out on my hand during the transfer and just sat there seemingly not interested in going any further.  No signs of panic when nudged into his new home.

27/04/04. Moulted to 7.0 cm.

05/07/04.  Encouraged by handling Pippin I thought I'd let Sam out.  Remembering his calm demeanor when I handled him before I was rather surprised when he took off across the lounge like a scalded cat with his hairy bum up in the air and ran under the sofa!  He started up the wall but didn't get far before I managed to steer him safely back into his pot.  He came out again though and this time went on my hand OK.  He then had a little jog across the floor before running out of breath and climbing back on my hand for a rest (see picture.)  The little critter seemed quite relieved to get back in his pot again.

17/01/05.  Moulted to 8.3 cm and changed colour from brown to black.

25/01/05.  The cricket I had fed him had escaped death by hiding under his house and wouldn't come out (can't say I blame it.)  Getting it out meant disrupting Sam's enclosure so I took the opportunity to let him out for a walk.  He calmly climbed out of his pot and onto the lid which I placed on the kitchen floor.  There he stayed while I did his housekeeping then he went onto my hand when encouraged.   He explored slowly and carefully around my left hand with a few rest stops then calmly re-entered his pot. I got some pictures (see above.)

08/02/06.  Moulted to 9.5 cm.

16/07/06.  Moulted to 11 cm

10/09/06.  As Frodo had matured into a male I attempted to determine the sex of the others using their last moult skins. Very small 'leaf' structures seen so I think Sam is an immature female but not sure. Luckily Sam can be a male or female name!

28/03/07.  Moulted to 12.5 cm.

06/05/08. Moulted to 13.5 cm.

24/07/10. Moulted.