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Tarantula Baby

Tarantula Habits

Tarantulas have adhesive brushlike hairs on the tips of their legs which allow them to walk on the slick surface of leaves. Of the 40 types of tarantula that are found in the United States, most occur in the warm deserts of the Southwest, where they live on the ground. Some species of tarantula live in burrows. The females of these species often spend their entire life inside the burrow. They feed by seizing insects that come near the entrance.
Tarantulas have a wide range of defenses. Some species ward off their attackers by leaning back on their haunches, raising their heads and legs, and exposing their fangs. Other species turn their back on their attacker and squirt an unpleasant substance into the adversary's face. Or, the spider may use its legs to scrape the very fine hairs from the top of its abdomen into the air. Each hair is covered with sharp pints and, if they come into contact with either eyes or skin, they cause pain and even temporary blindness. These defenses are used by the tarantulas in defending themselves from predators such as coatimundis, raccoons, and skunks, which dig tarantulas out of their burrows. The tarantula's most deadly enemy, however, is the pepsis, or spider-hunting wasp, also known as the tarantula hawk. The wasp is much smaller than the tarantula. It enters the spider's burrow and paralyzes it with its sting. It then drags the tarantula back to its nest and feeds it to its larvae.

Tarantula Communication

Arachnids cannot make any noise because they do not have a voice. They usually communicate through actions. This is why mating rituals can be quite complex. They communicate with pheremones and vibratory communication. Vibratory communication happens mostly on the web where the little hairs on the spiders legs can sense the vibrations more. Some scientists also believe that the spiders can sense the vibrations in the air even when they are not on the web.

Tarantula Breeding

Mating among tarantulas takes place at various times according to species. After a rainstorm in the southwestern deserts of the United States and in Mexico, vast numbers of males may be seen wandering in search of females.
After mating, the eggs develop inside the female's body. After they are born, the young do not mature for some time. American desert species can take up to 10 years to fully mature; tropical forest species take only 3-4 years. As in all spiders, the tarantula's growth proceeds through a series of molts whereby it sheds its skin. Only after the final molt has occured can the spider's sex be determined.

Tarantula Food & Feeding

Tarantula's feed on small lizards, young snakes and amphibians, tree frogs, and small mammals such as rodents. The smaller of the forest-dwelling tarantulas and most of the desert species prey mainly on grasshoppers and beetles, as well as on other types of spiders. The tarantula's spears its prey with its long fangs and kills it with its poison. The spider then crushes its prey with its powerful mouthparts. The tarantula produces a special fluid which reduces the prey to a pulpy liquid which the spider can absorb.

Tarantula Key Facts

              Height: Length: 3 inches. Leg Span: Up to 10 inches
              Weight: Average 3 oz
             Sexual maturity: 3-10 years
             Mating: Varies according to species
             Gestation: Hatching time: 2-3 weeks
             Number of young: No. of eggs: Up to 3000
            Habit: Solitary
            Diet: Grasshoppers, beetles, moths, woodlice, millipedes, spiders, and even lizards, snakes, frogs, toads, mice, and birds
            Lifespan: 30 years or more



  • Despite their reputation for being aggressive toward humans, tarantulas are fairly placid and will only attack if provoked.
  • Tarantulas eat young poisonous snakes.
  • The largest tarantula, Theraphosa leblondi, has a body length of 3 inches and a leg span of 10 inches.
  • There are over 300 different species of tarantulas worldwide.
  • Tarantulas can sense vibration through the hair on their body.

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