Profile

Profile & Consulting

Rick West is one of the leading authorities on tarantulas (Theraphosidae) in the world and has traveled to over 27 countries to document and study them in their environment.
Rick West in Gavilan, Amazonas, Venezuela

Rick West in Gavilan, Amazonas, Venezuela

Rick West is one of the leading authorities on tarantulas (Theraphosidae) in the world and has traveled to over 27 countries to document and study them in their environment. These mygalomorph spiders are also known as ‘baboon’, ‘bird-eating’, ‘cat-leg’, ‘horse’, ‘leopard, ‘monkey’ and ‘tiger’ spiders. His knowledge of these giant hairy spiders is encyclopedic and includes their uses and myths by indigenous people throughout the world. Rick is author of countless articles and many scientific papers and owns the largest pictorial library of tarantula species in the world.

Rick West searching for new Tarantula species in Venezuela

Rick West searching for new
Tarantula species in Venezuela

For the past twenty five years, Rick has acted as a freelance scientific consultant and film presenter for researchers, scientific institutions, International wildlife and conservation organizations, International wildlife enforcement agencies, natural history books and wildlife film companies.

Rick West offers 'fee for service' assistance in the identification and sexing of tarantulas to private enthusiasts or anyone in the commercial pet trade.

Rick West has been a 'fixer', presenter and co-producer in such tarantula documentaries as; 'The Real Lost World', 'Spidermania', 'Spiders', 'Tarantulas – Champions of the Wild', 'Tarantulas - King of the Spiders', 'Giants – Spiders' and 'Giant Tarantula'.

Rick West began his fascination for tarantula spiders at a very early age and, with the encouragement of his University professor, furthered his interest in a more scientific way over the past 35 years. Rick was an honorary Research Associate with the Royal B.C. Museum, in the field of arachnology, for nearly ten years.

Rick West is happily married with children and grandchildren and lives in a rural setting outside of Victoria, British Columbia. Rick continues to travel to foreign countries and search rainforests, deserts and deep cave systems for new tarantula species. Having been a Special Constable for 28 years, Rick now enjoys the less stressful career of being a biological technician for a local Integrated Pest Management Company.