Ever considered getting a Tarantulas as a pet? Check out our article that will let you know about everything you need to know about them.
Photo by Elena Taranenko
Due to the hype spiders get in pop culture, most people around you are probably afraid of spiders – especially when the spider in question is a tarantula.
These little creatures may look scary, but they are not as dangerous as you may think. Many species in the Tarantula family are docile and friendly. Their unique features and personality often make them great exotic pets.
Whether you plan on avoiding them or having them as a pet, you should know the basic facts about avoiding accidents or falling for misconceptions.
But getting the correct facts can be a challenge with so many popular misconceptions and myths amongst the general public. And so we have put together all the essential facts that you need to know about Tarantulas.
Let’s get started.
Basic Facts About Tarantulas
Now there are way too many things about tarantulas on the web. Honestly, it’s a little overwhelming. Yet, we’ve pointed out the major facts you should keep in mind.
Without any further ado, let’s check them out one by one.
Adult tarantulas are hairy and big. Their size can range from 7 to 10 cm and can go to the length of the largest spider – the Goliath Bird Eater that is 30 cm long!
Most of them are brown or black-haired. But this differs from species to species. Many have colorful stripes patterns on their bodies and legs.
A few of the prominent tarantula species include the Grammostola Pulchra, Red-Knee tarantula, Red-Rump tarantula, found in Mexico, and the Cobalt Blue tarantula from Myanmar. Their diversified size and colors make them a popular choice for an exotic pet.
Tarantula spiderlings are pretty similar to adults – except for their size. They may have stripes of dark colors when they hatch. Over time, they molt and soon have hair growth, colorful patterns, and markings like adults.
When it comes to geographical location, tarantulas live in warmer parts of the world. They are widely seen in parts of Central and South America and some Asian countries as well. For example, Cobalt Blue tarantula is a native of Myanmar.
As per their living environment, it differs from species to species. But a large majority of species live in burrows that they dig themselves or abandoned burrows.
However, few tarantula species live in funnel-shaped webs in trees, which can be somewhat unappealing. So a professional tree service might be able to clean that up for you.
Just like any other spiders, tarantulas have eight legs that they use to move forward. They feature tiny claws at the end of their legs that help them cling and climb on walls and ceilings. But most tarantulas stay on the grounds and even reside in burrows under the ground.
Tarantulas mostly saunter in a plodding type of way. They are not known to have good eyesight, so they depend on sensing the world through vibrations that they pick up using their legs and hairs on their body.
They move slowly as it lets them sense the world around them quickly. This is why they can easily adjust to aquariums when they are kept as pets.
However, if they want, they can certainly pick up their pace. They tend to move quickly during warmer months and when they feel threatened.
But studies show that tarantulas lose their coordination when they move faster. They might stumble or appear to move drunkenly as they dash to move away. This should come as reassuring news to those who are terrified of spiders.
Like most species of spiders, tarantulas like to eat insects. They prefer to prey on insects that are smaller than their size. Tarantulas prey on a wide range of insects and animals; these include caterpillars, roaches, beetles, cicadas, grasshoppers, sow bugs, etc.
But some tarantula species are so large, like the Goliath Birdeater, they can prey on animals outside the insect world. Like bats, snakes, lizards, birds, rodents, toads, and frogs, etc.
So if you’ve got a rodent infestation, a large tarantula might help.
Since tarantulas don’t spin webs to trap prey, they have to leave their burrows to hunt.
They carry out their hunt by being sneaky. However, some species leave a tiny, thin line of spider silk outside their burrow that acts like a tripwire to alert them when prey is near.
Tarantulas hunt during the night. They are very careful, slow, and rely on their ability to sense the prey’s vibrations through their feet and hairs on their body. When they detect the prey, they move fast and pounce on them.
Tarantulas then grab the targeted prey with their front legs and then bite it to inject venom into the prey to paralyze it. With the help of their fangs, Tarantulas kill the prey and inject a digestive enzyme that liquefies large prey so that they can devour the prey.
Some tarantulas are so strong that their jaws are enough to kill prey without even paralyzing them.
Dangers Related to Tarantulas
Most of us who are afraid of spiders fear getting a poisonous bite from them – especially if it’s as big as a tarantula. Tarantulas do bite. But they bite to hunt on their prey. They bite to inject venom into their prey that paralyzes them and turns it into liquid so that they are consumable by the spider.
But when it comes to humans, tarantulas may bite depending on the situation. Since humans are bigger than tarantulas, we are recognized as a threat to them. So when you come across tarantulas, they will most likely run away and flick their hairs at you rather than biting you.
However, if they feel cornered with no other way out, they may bite you as a last resort. Since they have large fangs, the bite might hurt. But it won’t be poisonous or harmful.
Now that you know all about tarantulas, you won’t be scared or fall for all the popular culture misconceptions about spiders.
We hope you found this article helpful. We tried to provide you with all relevant information that might help you understand the majestic creatures known as tarantulas.