digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Chinese bird spider
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Mygalomorphae
Family: Theraphosidae
Subfamily: Ornithoctoninae
Genus: Haplopelma
Simon, 1892

H. hainanum
H. schmidti

3 species

Chinese bird spider is an English name given to several species of old-world tarantulas which are found in the China and Vietnam. The spider, also known in English as the earth tiger, is currently classified in the genus Haplopelma. Previously, different species have been variously classified as Ornithoctonus huwena, (虎紋捕鳥蛛 hǔ wén bǔ nǐao zhū, tiger striped bird capturing spider), Selenocosmia huwena and Haplopelma hainanum ("Hai nan" refers to Hainan Island). The binomial name Haplopelma schmidti may turn out to have precedence; the latter name is used for a spider found in Vietnam that may belong to the same species. This article treats H. schmidti as a separate species.

The Chinese bird spider is a large species, with a typical legspan of up to 20 cm (8 inches). It lives in the tropical rain forests of southern China and Vietnam, where it builds and lives in burrows up to nearly 1 metre deep, emerging to capture food. The bird spider preys on numerous small insects and other creatures, such as cockroaches, crickets and mice.

The Chinese bird spider is a rather aggressive species, and can bite humans if disturbed. Its venom is the subject of much toxicology research, and while the effects of this spider's bite on man are not well documented it is frequently lethal in small doses to laboratory animals such as mice and rats. As a result, it is generally regarded as a highly venomous species. The venom is a complex neurotoxin, containing numerous compounds capable of blocking neurotransmitters. (See also: Spiders having medically significant venom.)[1]

There are several different species:

  • "H. huwenum", the golden earth tiger, is primarily found in mainland China (in Guangxi and Yunnan provincs). This spider is golden-brown in colour with transverse black stripes. It was synonymized with H. schmidti in 2008.
  • H. hainanum, the black earth tiger, is primarily found on Hainan Island, off the southeastern coast of China. As the name suggests, this spider's colouration ranges from dark brown to black.
  • H. schmidti is found in Vietnam. Haplopelma schmidti has transverse black and red stripes, i.e., "tiger stripes."

All three spiders (like tarantulas in general) are frequently kept by collectors and as pets; though the Chinese bird spiders have a reputation in the pet trade for being difficult to care for.


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_bird_spider — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
20436 videos foundNext > 

Deadly 60 - Goliath Bird Eating Spider

A clip from Steve Backshall's Deadly 60 programme where he handles the worlds biggest spider.

Giant Centipede & Goliath bird-eating spider


Worlds Largest spider eats Two Birds

1st time ever on film, see an Orb with not one but two birds (Finches) caught while having sex in her trap she lays her eggs in the birds then after having h...

Top 10 most venomous spiders

To watch this video in Spanish, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYwcoa_Aj5Y Whether crawling on eight legs along their webs or scurrying from thei...

Haplopelma schmidti - feeding

Haplopelma schmidti - feeding.

The Top 10 Most Venomous Spiders

10. Yellow Sac Spider These spiders are usually pale in color with an abdomen that varies from yellow to beige. The size of these spiders ranges from 5-10 mm...

10 Most Poisonous Spiders on Earth

Many spiders are venomous, of course, and some can even kill people; they can certainly kill their dinner many times over! Here we take a look at the ten mos...

Deadly New Spider Species Swarm Town

Sadiya, India - A swarm of giant deadly spiders invaded the town and started attacking & biting villagers. These highly aggressive spiders have no yet been i...

Haplopelma schmidti DCF sling feeding


The Top Ten Of The Most Venomous Spiders

List of spider species mentioned in this video : 1. Yellow sac spider: Cheiracanthium mildei. 2. Fringed ornamental tarantula: Poecilotheria ornata. 3. Chine...

20436 videos foundNext > 

1 news items

Gaston Gazette

Gaston Gazette
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:33:45 -0700

Reptile Passions will also carry a range of spiders, McMillan said, everything from the docile Chilean rose tarantula to the more aggressive Chinese bird spider or Vietnamese Tiger tarantula. “There is nothing dangerous here,” McMillan said. “We've got ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Chinese bird spider

You can talk about Chinese bird spider with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!