You can read an interesting account of the care of one of our tarantulas in the blog post titled: Off with His Leeeeg!

To predators and other kinds of enemies, these hairs can range from being lethal to simply being a deterrent. With humans, they can cause irritation to eyes, nose, and skin, and more dangerously, the lungs and airways, if inhaled. The symptoms range from species to species, from person to person, from a burning itch to a minor rash. In some cases, tarantula hairs have caused permanent damage to human eyes.[14]

Pet Tarantula Facts & Information Care Sheet Information covering everything you need to care for a pet tarantula.

Some tarantula species exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism. Males tend to be smaller (especially their abdomens, which can appear quite narrow) and may be dull in color when compared to their female counterparts, as in the species Haplopelma lividum. Mature male tarantulas also may have tibial hooks on their front legs, which are used to restrain the female's fangs during copulation. Males typically have longer legs than the females.

The greatest concentration of tarantulas can be found in South America and they have a variety of habitats. There are tarantulas that burrow and build silk lined tunnels in the ground. Others live in trees and make aerial nests out of silk.

There are hundreds of tarantula species found in most of the world's tropical, subtropical, and arid regions. They vary in color and behavior according to their specific environments. Generally, however, tarantulas are burrowers that live in the ground.

Some tarantulas live on the ground under rocks, logs, or the shed bark of trees, and others live in webbed burrows in trees. These large spiders are solitary creatures, so there is only one spider per "house." A tarantula's enemy

One other predator that the Tarantula must fear is … people.  Not only are they caught as pets; in some countries they are eaten, as well.  They are said to have a nutty taste kind of like peanut butter!  Maybe I’ll stop by a ‘fried spider’ diner sometime – NOT!

Like all arthropods, the tarantula is an invertebrate that relies on an exoskeleton for muscular support. Like other Arachnida a tarantula’s body comprises two main parts, the prosoma (or cephalothorax) and the opisthosoma (or abdomen). The prosoma and opisthosoma are connected by the pedicel, or pregenital somite. This waist-like connecting piece is actually part of the prosoma and allows the opisthosoma to move in a wide range of motion relative to the prosoma.

Tarantulas as pets Pet tarantulas have gotten more and more popular. They are a noiseless creature and many are quite docile.

For Sale A guide of where to find pet tarantulas for sale.

Ready for the lowdown on one of nature’s most beautiful insects?

Once mature, a male tarantula abandons his burrow to seek a female by following the scent she leaves. The pair performs a courtship dance and then, if the male is deemed suitable, they mate. Males of many tarantula species have spurs on their first pair of legs to hold back the fangs of their chosen partner while they mate—just in case! Lucky males usually die a few months after mating, but females may live and produce eggs for 25 years or more.

The eyes are located above the chelicerae on the forward part of the prosoma. They are small and usually set in two rows of four. Most tarantulas are not able to see much more than light, darkness, and motion. Arboreal tarantulas generally have better vision compared with terrestrial tarantulas.

San Diego Zoo Animals (formerly Animal Bytes) is the source for facts, articles, photos, videos, sounds, and more about the wildlife that you can find at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, as well as animals and habitats that San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is working to help through conservation and research projects. 

Molting Information about the molting process of tarantulas as they grow.

Dragonflies the size of modern birds ruled 300 million years ago because smaller larvae were at risk of oxygen toxicity, a new study hints.

Tarantulas are slow and deliberate movers, but accomplished nocturnal predators. Insects are their main prey, but they also target bigger game, including frogs, toads, and mice. The South American bird-eating spider, as it name suggests, is even able to prey upon small birds.

Females seal both eggs and sperm in a cocoon and guard it for six to nine weeks, when some 500 to 1,000 tarantulas hatch.

Although there are fossils of mygalomorph spiders going back to the Triassic, only two specimens have been found so far which can be convincingly assigned to Theraphosidae. One is from Dominican Republic amber, the other from Chiapas (Mexican) amber. Both these ambers are quite young, being Miocene in age or about 16 million years old.

Tarantulas are part of the family of spiders called Hairy Mygalomorphs.  These are the spiders that, scientists believe, have been around for millions of years and have not changed much in that time! There are around 700 kinds, or species, of Tarantulas.

Tarantulas are arachnids that are found in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Africa, and southern Asia. There are over 800 species of these spiders found in almost all continents of the world.

Some setae are used to stridulate, which makes a hissing sound. These hairs are usually found on the chelicerae. Stridulation seems to be more common in old-world species.

Tarantulas have few natural enemies, but parasitic pepsis wasps are a formidable exception. Such a wasp will paralyze a tarantula with its sting and lay its eggs on the spider's body. When the eggs hatch, wasp larvae gorge themselves on the still living tarantula.

As of February 2016[update], the World Spider Catalog accepted the following genera:[23]

Tiny spiders have such huge brains for their body sizes that the organs can spill into the animals' body cavities, a new study shows.

Tarantulas are found in the rainforests and jungles of South and Central America, in Africa and in the southern part of North America.  Many Tarantulas live in burrows underground.  They will either use their fangs to dig them or else take someone else’s burrow-home.  Even though they do not spin webs, Tarantulas use their silk to make doors or soft walls for their burrow or, in the case of tree-living tarantulas, tunnel-shaped homes in trees.


Learn about the actions of all these bees who make the delicious raspberries happen in Kenya.

Although spiders are fearsome predators, others often eat them. Tarantulas have many natural enemies, including lizards, snakes, spider-eating birds, and even wasps. A female tarantula hawk (a large, solitary wasp) can find a tarantula, sting it, and then drag its stunned body to a special burrow that she has prepared. Once inside the burrow, she lays a single egg on the body of the living spider. When the larva hatches, it eats the tarantula! Preparing dinner with just one bite

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Humans can also be considered predators of tarantulas. In addition to more mundane cuisine, tarantulas are considered a delicacy in certain cultures (e.g. Venezuela[11] and Cambodia). They are usually roasted over an open fire to remove the hairs (described further below) and then eaten.

Tarantulas are becoming increasingly popular as pets and some species are readily available in captivity.

Tarantulas may live for years; most species take two to five years to reach adulthood, but some species may take up to ten years to reach full maturity. Upon reaching adulthood, males typically have but a 1- to 1.5-year period left to live and will immediately go in search of a female with which to mate. Male tarantulas rarely molt again once they reach adulthood.

Many tarantula species have been over-collected in the wild for the pet trade and are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The Zoo is a refuge for a large group of tarantulas confiscated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2010 from an illegal smuggling sting.

Tarantulas are nighttime hunters who will pounce on their prey.  They eat insects, beetles and grasshoppers.  The Goliath Bird-eating Tarantula species will eat larger prey, such as, lizards, snakes, frogs, bats and small birds.

Acanthopelminae Aviculariinae Eumenophorinae Harpactirinae Ischnocolinae Ornithoctoninae Poecilotheriinae Selenocosmiinae Selenogyrinae Spelopelminae Stromatopelminae Theraphosinae Thrigmopoeinae

Cage & Habitat A guide to the cage, habitat, substrate, heating, and lighting for your pet spider.

Tarantulas live in warm areas around the world, but most are found in South America. Like other spiders, tarantulas make a silken web, but not for snaring prey. The web is used to make a home, a molting “mat,” or to aid in handling food items. Some tarantulas live in underground burrows in well-drained soil. If the soil is suitable, the spider digs a deep burrow and lines it with silk webbing; this helps keep sand and dirt from trickling in.

You can find tarantulas widely available at pet stores, reptile shows, and online breeders and dealers. If you want a unique and interesting pet, a tarantula would be a fine choice.

Old-world tarantulas (from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia) have no urticating bristles and are more likely to attack when disturbed. Old-world tarantulas often have more potent, medically significant venom.