Wellington Zoo's baby Goliath bird-eating tarantulas have reached the size of a $2 coin, a staff member says.
The fuzzy spiderlings have shed their exoskeletons and are now beginning to look "like little mini, furry tarantulas" - depending on your definition of "mini".
"They're about five months old now, we've got eight of them," said animal care and sciences general manager Daniel Warsaw.
"They're looking like proper tarantulas, just very small. They're about the $2 coin size," he said.
The zoo is the first in 20 years to successfully breed Goliath bird-eating tarantulas, and it is also the first time they have been bred in Australasia.
Team leader of reptiles and invertebrates, David Laux, said Goliath birdeaters are the largest arachnid in the world by mass, and can have a leg span of 30cm - about the size of a dinner plate.
"Despite their name, there have only been a few observations of this species eating birds. They most commonly feed on invertebrates, small rodents and occasionally snakes, including the highly venomous fer-de-lance."
Warsaw said the zoo would keep some of the tarantulas, while others would go off to other zoos to be displayed and bred.
"They are very sought-after in terms of other zoos in our region. We've had a few people that are interested in taking some and then hopefully seeing if they can have some breeding luck."
The zoo has previously reassured worried locals there's no risk of giant spiders getting on the loose in Wellington.
"We have very secure habitats at the zoo and just to put your mind at ease, this species wouldn't be able to survive in our climate, it's far too cold for them," a zoo spokesperson said on Facebook.
The spiderlings aren't the only babies at the zoo - with baby nyala born recently.
Two nyala - a type of antelope - were born during lockdown and named Jacinda and Dr Ashley. More nyala have since been born.