IT'S A lot cheaper than feeding a dog and it won't jump on your lap and demand to be fussed over like a cat - so if you're in the market for a low-maintenance pet, a Queensland bird-eating spider may be just what you're looking for.
Boylans Garden and Pet Centre has stocked one of Australia's largest spiders for about four months now and, this month, it featured as the shop's pet of the month.
Boylans reptile and arachnid specialist Ty Hutchinson said the spiders, which cost $160, were starting to gain more interest from those in the market for an exotic or unique pet.
"If you're into spiders then I would recommend them, but they are definitely not for everyone," he said.
"People have been coming in and having a look, even people who are scared of spiders are still intrigued.
They can grow anywhere from the size of a bread and butter plate up to the size of a dinner plate."
- While the spiders have been known to eat birds in the wild, pets are fed a diet of 1-2 crickets a week
- Native to north Queensland, they need to be kept at 20-25C
- While not fatal, their bite is nasty and can cause nausea
- Their body can be 60mm long while their leg span can grow to 160mm