Tarantula Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a tarantula?
A tarantula is a group of large, colorful, and hairy spiders. All the spiders who belong to the Theraphosidae family, are known as tarantulas. There are more than 1000 different species identified by biologists.
What class of animal does a tarantula belong to?
Tarantula group belongs to the Arachnida class of the Animalia kingdom. And if you are thinking about how vast their family is, there are 148 genera and 1236 species of tarantulas crawling over Earth's surface.
How many tarantulas are there in the world?
There are more than 1000 species documented. The total number of tarantulas from different species is perhaps uncountable!
Where does a tarantula live?
You can spot a tarantula in any continent of this world except Antarctica. With the majority found in South America, Mexico, Australia, the Ryukyu islands of Japan, and European countries like Italy, Spain, and Portugal. As you can already guess, they can live almost anywhere. However, different species have their different choice of habitats including deserts, grass plains, caves, jungles, trees, bushes, and semi-urban areas.
What is a tarantula's habitat?
Most of the tarantulas prefer dry soils of desserts. Others can live in bushes, trees, caves, and near semi-urban areas. Some of the tarantulas can camouflage. These hairy creatures can blend with tree branches or leaves and prey on their targets with ease. Few species can dwell on crops like bananas and pineapple as well.
Who do tarantulas live with?
Most of the tarantulas tend to live a solitary life and even aggressive towards others of the species of their group. However, some species live in harmony with each other and establishes a colony.
How long does a tarantula live?
A tarantula can live up to 40 years, varying in different species. The average lifespan of a Goliath bird-eating tarantula is 15-30 years. Even in critical conditions like in captivity they eat only once or twice a week and can live for 20 years!
How do they reproduce?
The mating process of tarantula species is quite different than mammals. When a male gains sexual maturity and desires to mate, they weave a web mat on a flat surface. Then they rub their abdomen on it. Then preserve it until they find their mate. When they meet a female of their species, they exchange signals. The signal exchange can also bring a female to a receptive state. Then the male and female mate.
The gestation period is around six to eight weeks. The female spiders become the most aggressive when they are guarding their egg. The eggs are wrapped in a silken sac. Varying from species to species, a female can lay 50-2000 eggs.
What is their conservation status?
Tarantula species is mostly considered a Non Extinct group. However, it may differ from species to species. For example, goliath bird-eating tarantulas are considered an Endangered species.
Tarantula Fun Facts
What do tarantulas look like?
There are more than 1000 different species of tarantulas in this world, each with its distinctive appearance features. The majority of them are covered in black or brown hair. Many species of tarantula group have a variety of colored patterns on their body.
How cute are they?
It is a never-ending debate as some find these hairy creatures cute and there are others as well who find it gross and creepy. However, it is an undeniable fact that some tarantulas with a unique pattern in their body look attractive!
How do they communicate?
Not just tarantulas but all the spiders are considered anti-social beings. Due to cannibalism they just simply avoid each other. They have poor eyesight, therefore they rely on vibration and sound as means to intercept signals. When facing stronger opponents they send sound waves to the ground by thumping their lower body to the ground to present themselves as stronger beings, it is a bluffing technique used by most of the spiders. However, when a male wants to mate with a female, they apply the 'plucking' technique. Before a female enters their web, they pluck a unique pattern and wait for her response.
How big is a tarantula?
They can be of the size of a butter dish to a dinner plate when their legs are spread. The goliath bird-eating tarantula is the biggest of all of them! With a leg span of up to 11 in (28cm).
How fast can tarantulas move?
They can reach speeds of 3.41 mph (5.5 kph). They can cover 1.6 yds (1.5 m) in just one second. The Togo starburst tarantula is known for being the fastest of all.
How much does a tarantula weigh?
Tarantulas can weigh 0.061-0.187lb (28-85g), depending on their species. The Theraphosa blondi is the heaviest of all of them. They can weigh up to 0.386lb (175g).
What are their male and female names of the species?
There is no particular name given to males, however, sometimes the females are called epigynum.
What would you call a baby tarantula?
The baby spiders are called spiderlings. You can give any cute name to your tarantula pet though!
What do they eat?
Tarantula spider diet includes various insects like grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, small lizards, toads, snakes, and even small mammals and birds as well. In short, they can eat anything of the right size. Not only that, but the practice of cannibalism is quite common. They are known as nocturnal hunters. They often leave silk trails outside of the web to sense the presence of their prey. When the prey is within their range, they pounce on them and paralyze them by injecting venom. After that, they use their fangs to kill it and inject digestive enzymes to turn the prey into a liquid state as tarantulas can't eat solid food.
Are they venomous?
The venom of most tarantulas is weak and usually not strong enough to kill humans. However, there are tarantulas like the Sydney funnel-web spider and Brazilian wandering spider, considered as most venomous tarantulas. Their venom can be lethal and life-threatening! Though with treatment and injecting anti-venom in time, death can be avoided.
Would they make a good pet?
A tarantula can be your first pet if you are not terrified by them. With proper care, they can be good pets. However, you should keep this point noted that they are pretty fast and it is hard to handle them.
Did you know...
A spider wasp preys on tarantulas. Even a strong tarantula considers wasp as his worst enemy!
The Rose hair tarantula or Chilean rose tarantula is a species native to the desserts of chilly and considered as one of the most beautiful spiders.
The Mexican red knee tarantula is known for the red bands located at the joints of their legs.
Brazilian black tarantula is of such nature that they would rather like to flee than engage in a conflict.
There is a very advanced 3d printer, named Tevo tarantula.
Pumpkin patch tarantula is a dwarf tarantula
The Baboon tarantula or orange baboon tarantula got its name from the resemblance of its legs to the fingers of a baboon.
A gooty sapphire tarantula can cost you more than $500!
The Antilles Pinktoe tarantula can be a great choice for a pet due to its docile character.
When scared, a green bottle blue tarantula can injure itself by running too fast.
A zebra tarantula can move at darting speed.
How many eyes does a tarantula have?
Tarantulas have eight eyes, with two larger ones in the center, and three in pairs on each side. The larger ones are used for getting clear and colored images and distance mapping. The other six are used to detect movements.
Having a pet tarantula
You will have mixed feelings for sure, after adopting a cute tarantula. They are fascinating to watch and on the other hand very difficult to handle! Curly-haired tarantula can be the best choice as they tend to move really slowly and are not bothered if you hold them. You can buy your pet tarantula online, or from your nearest pet shop. Their price starts from as low as $30.
You should provide a warm atmosphere to them, as most of the tarantulas come from tropical areas and can't withstand extreme cold.
Provide them with a healthy diet including grasshoppers, worms, beetles and if they are big enough, you can feed them small mice as well.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including the six-eyed sand spider and the orb-weaver spider.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our tarantula coloring pages.