The tarantula is known for its urticating hair and long-turned legs. It’s safe to say that many people are scared of these spiders.
They are not harmful to humans, but their bites can be a little painful.
Tarantulas can be found all over the world, but they’re most common in South America, Africa, and Asia.
Are tarantulas poisonous
Tarantula bites are not poisonous to humans, but they do have very prickly hair and injecting venom or fluids into the human body.
While it is less painful than a bee or wasp sting, the effects may last longer.
Some people can have an allergic reaction to venom, such as swelling or shortness of breath.
If you have been bitten or stung by a Tarantula, seek medical assistance immediately.
How many different types of tarantulas are there?
The United States is home to five genera and 30 species of tarantula.
The number of documented species in the world is over 800. They range in size from about 5 to 11 cm.
They come in different colors and patterns, but the most usual is reddish-brown with light hairs all over the body. They also come in blue, purple, green, and red colors.
Tarantulas hunt at nighttime
Tarantulas like to hunt at nighttime. They will eat insect-like crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, and similar small creatures. As they are large spiders, their size is an advantage, they will also hunt larger prey like lizards, toads, small birds, snakes, and other rodents.
A significant distinction between a spider and a tarantula doesn’t catch its prey in a web but actually haunts them down instead.
They are excellent hunters and extremely good at hiding and waiting patiently for their prey in places like trees or dark corners.
As they hunt at nighttime, they use their ability to feel the vibrations of prey moving. They are able to use the hairs on their body and legs to feel these vibrations.
When prey is nearby, they can quickly pounce onto the prey and grab it with their front legs. Once it bites the prey, it injects its venom, and it is paralyzed.
Usual Habitats and Dispersal
Tarantulas are found all around the world. They are most commonly found in central and South America, south and west Africa, Southern Europe, Asia, and Australia.
They particularly like living in places like Latin America, Australia, and Southern Europe. They tend to be common to the low-lying areas and deserts of certain parts of the world.
Tarantulas aren’t just found in the dry desert. They are also found in more humid areas like China and Indonesia.
However, it is quite common to find them in rainforests and jungles as they will take refuge in the holes of trees.
They are most commonly found in places where had its nutrition is abundant, and there’s a good amount of places to hide.
The habitat can vary from the desert, tropical rainforest, and alpine forests.
Types of Tarantulas
Mexican Redknee Tarantulas (Brachypelma smithi)
Mexican Redknee Tarantulas are mostly found in the tropical scrub forest, dry forests, and deserts of Mexico in Central America.
The Redknee tarantulas have hairs in their whole body with red bands along their legs. They have Brown, red, black, and white hairs with beautiful structures. They have eight eyes and can see their front and back sides with poor vision.
These tarantulas are smaller in size and are often kept as pets. Their bites can be hurtful, but they don’t bite often and are very calm in behavior.
The males live a little shorter than the female tarantulas. Most of them live for 30 years of age or sometimes more than that. The male ones live for 10-15 years, and the females live for 25-30 years.
The Males are calmer and composed in nature, and the female tarantulas are quite the opposite with very aggressive and fierce temperaments.
In the daytime, they hide in their Burrows and go out to hunt in the dark. They mostly eat insects, birds, frogs, lizards, mice, and smaller mammals.
They hide in perfect camouflage and sense their prey through vibrations. First, they bite the prey with their venom that injects the toxins and paralyzes the prey. Then they suck it up with its mouthparts. Often birds and other small mammals prey on them as they are the natural enemies.
These tarantulas mate during the summer months on rainy days. The females lay up to
Four hundred eggs in their silk sac. After three months of care, these eggs get ready to hatch, but the tiny spiderlings don’t leave the eggs until three weeks. They then grow by themselves, and after 4-7 years, they become mature.
Chilean Rose Tarantulas (Grammostola rosea)
The Chilean Rose Tarantulas are the most common species in America. These spiders are widely popular for the reddish-pink and orange hairs. These are mostly found in waterless grasslands and deserts across Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
These tarantulas are common in the North American pet trade. This species is a calm and low maintenance pet. They can be dark or brown, covered with a reddish link or orange hairs.
These tarantula species are small in size with a 5” leg span. The mature males are fuzzy and have longer legs. The female tarantulas are bulky and heavy.
Mature males have a variety of colors and bright colors than females. Their life span is average, males lifespan is up to 6 years and females life span is up to 20 years.
They eat small insects like grasshoppers, crickets, locusts. They can eat them live. This predator is mostly active in the evening and night. They chase their prey and inject their venom that breaks down the prey in an ingestible liquid.
These tarantulas can be very defensive. They fight their similar species and kill each other.
The males get mature enough to produce, and they create a sperm web. After that, they approach the female tarantula and lure them out of their burrow by tapping and vibrating their legs. The male injects their fertilizing fluids with their pedipalp in the female’s epigyne.
After the successful fertilizing, the males die. The females create a large egg sac and lay up to 500 eggs.
Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas (Aphonoplema seemani)
The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas are mostly found in Honduras, Nicaragua, west of Costa Rica, and also in some areas of Guatemala. They live in dry forest areas and rainforests.
The Costa Rican zebra name came from its look. These are usually black or brown coats with white stripes on legs, just like a zebra. These extraordinary beautiful spiders have four to eight eyes and eight legs that can be found in the pet trade as this can be a beginner’s pet for a spider pet lover.
These eight-legged species of spider have a lifespan of 5-10 years for a male spider and 15-20 years for a female spider. Their growth is quite slow, and the males mature in 3-5 years.
The male’s lives are shorter, and they can only live a year of mature life. The females are a little bigger than males. Their legs can be 10cm long.
These types of tarantula also eat small insects like crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, small lizards, and many others they can catch. They like to live deep in underground burrows and only come to the surface when they are hungry.
They are generally calm by themselves. If they feel threatened can be extremely defensive. In defense, they can heave their two legs in the air and release urticating hairs. They are protective and choose to stay deep into the mud. Their venom can be dangerous to humans and any other creature.
The male species make a web and rub themselves on to release their semen. After that, they use their front pincers to get the semen on it. The male waits for the mutual signal then they inject the semen into the female spider’s abdomen.
The female lays their eggs up to 50 to 2000. The baby tarantula comes out of their eggs after almost 8weeks and consumes the remaining eggs.
Mexican Redleg Tarantulas (Brachypelma emilia)
These Tarantulas can be found on the west side of Mexico. This species of tarantula is just like the Mexican Redknee tarantulas. They make a great pet and have a lengthy lifespan.
These new world species have a black abdomen with a red color joint in the leg. They can be 20cm in length. The males live for 6-8 years and the females for 25-30 years. These spiders are easy-going and docile. They are largely popular in the pet trade.
They rarely bite, but if bitten, it can be painful. Their venom is harmful to humans and can cause serious pain and swelling. These have urticating hairs that are sharp and bristle that can cause injury.
They prey on smaller insects like worms, cockroaches, and other insects. They like to chase them and then catch and eat them. Mostly active on the night or evening as other spider species.
Their mating and egg-laying are so similar to the Mexican Redknee tarantulas. They lay several hundred eggs, and almost after one month, they hatch.
Honduran Curly Hair Tarantulas (Brachypelma albopilosum)
This hairy spider can be largely found in Nicaragua or Honduras, and Costa Rica. They like rainforest areas, riverside, and tropical scrub locations to live in.
This type of tarantulas has a round structure coated with bristles that tends to curl. The coated bristles are black, dark brown, or golden. The males are lighter colored than the female.
They can grow to 8cm in size. They take time to grow and can be fully grown after five years of age. Males’ life span is 5-7 years, and females’ life span is 20-25 years.
These tarantulas are docile and don’t bite much. They are good for pet lovers if you can handle them carefully.
Just like other spider species, they also eat roaches, worms, crickets, etc.
The males produce the sperm and inject the sperm into the female with their legs or pedipalps. The female can be aggressive and try to eat the male tarantula. The females lay eggs up to 300-500 in their sac after weeks.
After 2-3 weeks, they hatch but stay in the borrow for a few more weeks.
Pink Zebra Beauty Tarantulas (Eupaleastrus campestratus)
The beautiful rose-colored zebra-striped tarantulas are found in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and also in the central part of South America. These spiders can live in harsh weather like heavy rain forests and dry Savannahs.
This tarantula can be great as a pet as they are docile and very patient most of the time. They have brown hairs with pinkish hue hair and zebra-like stripes on their legs. They can be 11-12cm as full adults.
The males live for 5-6years, and the females live for 16-20 years. These tarantulas like to stay on the ground most of their time.
They like to eat live insects such as worms, crickets, moths, small mouses.
The males attract the female spider by drumming their legs or vibrating their bodies. Once the female attracts the male, then injects the sperm into the female. The female then creates a sac to lay eggs that can take several weeks.
Later the eggs hatch, and small spiderlings get out of the sac. Sometimes the female can attack and eat the spider when it comes to mate. The strange thing is that they can also be cannibals and eat each other.
Pink Toe Tarantulas (Avicularia avicularia)
These are mostly found in Brazil, Costa Rica, and the southern Caribbean. They mostly like to stay on the plants and trees in the rainforests.
They are very beautiful with black and brown color and hairy dark bodies with pink toes. Their naming came from their look, and the feature makes them very captivating.
They are popular in the pet trade as they are docile and do not cause harm. In defense, they can jump defense with their bristles.
They can grow to about 5-6 inches in length. Their life span is not quite as many other tarantulas. The male lifespan is five years, and the females live up to 10-12 years.
This predator spends their time on trees hanging and waiting for their prey. They lure their prey with their stabilization tactic in which they act as if numb and attack the prey unexpectedly. They prey on rats, frogs, mice, lizards, also small birds. Most active at night.
The males create their sperm web and are ready to inject their sperm into the female. Once the female is fertilized, they lay eggs up to 59-200.
After 6-8weeks, the eggs get to hatch. The spiderlings survive on small insects until they grow a little.
Brazilian Black Tarantulas (Grammostola pulchra)
These are mostly found in Brazil and Uruguay. They live in grasslands or tree logs.
This spider venom is not harmful to humans.
They have a beautiful appearance with black coat hairs. Its full black body makes it appealing for pet owners as these spider spices are available in the pet trade.
These spiders can be 7 inches in length. The males have a shorter life span like most of the tarantula species. They live for 4-5 years, and the females outlive them by a lifespan of 15-20years.
These spider species hunt in the night and wait in their borrow for prey. They sense the prey from their vibration and attack them with their legs to inject the venom.
They usually eat lizards, mice, crickets, and mealworms.
They mate during the summer months, the male approaches the female, and if the female show’s interest, the male injects the sperm into the female abdomen.
Within 2-3 weeks, the female spider lays over 600 eggs. The sac gets protection from the female spider, and then soon, it gets hatch.
Mexican Red Rump Tarantulas (Brachypelma vagans)
These are mostly found in Mexico, Florida, and Central America. They live in soils and don’t need many plants with huge Burrows dug by them; they usually do that to protect themselves from outer threats from other creatures.
These have a total black body with red hairs on their abdomen area. These spiders are extremely beautiful with their contrasting color. They can be 17 inches large in size. Males live up to 5-7years, and females live for 15 years.
They can be a little moody. Sometimes they act aggressively but most of the time calm. They prey on grasshoppers, crickets, mice, lizards.
The males mate with females, and with that, the female lays around 200-300 eggs. The female creates silk cocoons to lay eggs. Once the eggs get hatched, the spiderlings start to roam on their own. So the female spider has to follow them around.
Desert Blonde Tarantulas (Aphonopelma chalcodes)
It can mostly be found in California, Arizona, and Mexico. They tend to live in dry deserted places and scrublands. In desert soil, they stay in their burrows for many years.
These tarantula spiders have beautiful blonde color hair with black hairs and brown abdomen hairs. They are small in size and can be 5-6 inches in length. The females have blonde hairs and more hairs on their legs than the males.
The female lives for almost 30 years, but the males only live for 10-15 years. Their growth rate is very slow compared to other Tarantulas.
Their venom is non-lethal and mild. If provoked, they urticate the hairs, and it can be painful.
Just like other tarantula species, They also feed mostly on super worms, crickets, locusts and cockroaches, cicadas, caterpillars. They catch their prey with their pedipalps which are located in their front.
These spiders mostly die before they mature. They mostly make silk webbing in the desert that prevents the borrow from sinking in.
The mature male and female mate to reproduce then lay eggs in their egg sacs that are up to 100-400 eggs. Almost all of them die, with maybe 30 spiders surviving.