Iridopelma zorodes

Iridopelma zorodes

Iridopelma zorodes (Mello-Leitão/1926), also known as “Bahia Purple Red” or “Brazilian purple pinktoe” is a very beautiful small to medium-sized bird spider from Brazil. Typhoclaena zorodes Mello-Leitão/1926, as she was first called, was described from a male from the state of Bahia, Brazil, and distinguished from other species by the uniform abdominal coloration, cephalothorax as wide as long and anterior eyes of equal size. Very remarkable about the genus is the fact mature males possess tibial hooks on leg pair I and II. Together with Iridopelma hirsutum and Iridopelma katiae, the color pattern changes dramatically from juvenile to adult stages. Iridopelma zorodes is abundant, but known only from patches of the Atlantic forest, which is limited to app. 7,91% of its originial distribution (source). Iridopelma zorodes depends on forest protection as a whole. The species makes retreats with 2 or more leaves connected with silk threads.


Scientific name: Iridopelma zorodes.

Also known as: Bahia Purple Red. Brazilian Purple Pinktoe.

Previous name: Typhochlaena zorodes Mello-Leitão/1926, Avicularia zorodes Petrunkevich/1939, Iridopelma zorodes Smith/1993.

World spider catalog

Type: Arboreal bird spider.

Category: New world tarantula.

Urticating setae: Yes, type II (abdomen).

Venom: Probably mild. No valuable scientific research has been done yet.

Origin: In the remnants of the Atlantic rainforests, states of Sergipe and Northern Bahia (Brazil).

Body length: ≤ 3/4cm.

Span width: ≤ 12/13cm.

Growth rate: Medium.

Life expectancy: Females become 10-12 years old. Males are given a shorter lifetime of 3-4 years.

Behavior: However she shares her beauty with the similar species from the Avicularia-genus, she is by far as docile. Feeding your Iridopelma zorodes, she’ll often give you a threat posture.

Accessibility (1/beginner, 10/expert): 4.


>>> First aid

Iridopelma zorodes lives in tropical warm area, with a 5 month monsoon period. Temperatures almost daily reach levels up to 28°C. Please be informed of the fact the spider will protect itself against the burning sun, especially in between leaves. Do not overheat the terrarium. Rainfalls in Brazil can be short and intense. Very moist substrate from time to time is good for spiders of the Iridopelma-genus, but make sure no moldproblems occur.

Environmental factors

Temperature: 25-28°C (day), 18-22°C (night).

Humidity: A fairly constant 75%.

* Spray slightly once each day in stead of a lot once a week.

* Humidity may rise 4-6 consecutive months until 80-90%.


Adult: LxWxH: 20x20x35. 2,5-3x span width in height.

Smaller than adult: 2,5-3x span width in height.

* Do not overdecorate the terrarium, especially when they’re younger. You might reduce the chances spider and prey meet.

* Provide enough shelter by adding cork bark and (big) leaves in the terrarium.

* A good air circulation is necessary. In order to ensure an excellent habitat, make sure there are ventilation holes in top and bottom of the terrarium. Lacking a good ventilation can have serious consequences for the spider.


Adult: 1-1,5x body length.

Smaller than adult: Min. 1-1,5x body length.

* The spider lives in humid area. Note that cages with high humidity levels are very sensitive for mites. Please take your precautions.


Wet season: April, may, june, july, august.

Dry season: October, november, december, january, february.

Warmest months: November, december, january, february. Avarage temperature around 27°C.

Coldest months: July, august. Avarage temperature around 22°C.

For more information about the local climate (Itabaiana, Sergipe): Click here.

* You might like to consider an adjustment of these data with your local climate. Do not exceed minima or maxima and, if necessary, organize the year making your bird spider experience different seasons. This is very important form the moment you’d like to start breeding.

Iridopelma spp. in Brazil ©

Iridopelma habitat


Iridopelma spp. are very often bred successfully in captivity. Male and female are sometimes kept together for several weeks. Cannibalism, however, may occur in these circumstances.

• Only start breeding 4-6 weeks (or later) after the spider molted. If the female molts between pairing and cocoon, the eggs will remain unfertilized.

• Make sure the female is well-fed (not obese) before you introduce the male.

• Plan mating in autumn.

• Provide multiple hiding places in the terrarium for the male. Breeders often leave the couple together for 1-2 weeks.

• The female will start making the cocoon 1-3 months after mating. Deprive the cocoon, when desired, 4 weeks later. Store the eggs at a humidity of 80-90% and a temperature of 26-29°C. You might expect 100-200 spinderlings to come out.


• Parts of Northeastern Brazil, such as Reconcavo Bahiano, has one of the richest aviculariine fauna in the world, with records for Avicularia diversipes, Avicularia gamba, Iridopelma zorodes, Pachistopelma bromelicola sp. n., and possibly at least one Typhochlaena species?

• Members of the genera Avicularia and Iridopelma are covered in both short and long setae with a profusion of longer setae on the legs (primarily on legs III and IV) and around the anterior and lateral dorsal surfaces of the abdomen?

• Arachnologists suspect the Iridopelma-genus is better moved to the Avicularia-genus (source)?


Revision, cladistic analysis and biogeography of Typhochlaena C. L. Koch, 1850, Pachistopelma Pocock, 1901 and Iridopelma Pocock, 1901 (Araneae,  Theraphosidae, Aviculariinae).


• Text: Dennis Van Vlierberghe (facebookgroup and –page)

• Photography: Julian Kamzol (website, flickr)