How big do tarantulas grow

Tarantula: The spider in the animal lexicon

Many people are terribly disgusted when a spider crawls over their path. Spiders, like the tarantula, are quite useful, smart - and usually completely harmless to us.

General information about the tarantula

The tarantulas (lat. Theraphosidae) have been populating the earth for more than 350 million years. There are nearly a thousand different species of the tarantula family. Like all other spiders, tarantulas are not insects, but rather belong to the class of arachnids.

How old do tarantulas get?

How old tarantulas get in the wild is not known. However, tarantulas living in captivity, i.e. in the terrarium, can live up to twenty years. The females are usually much older than the males.

height and weight

Most tarantulas grow to be around five to nine centimeters tall. The spider males are significantly smaller than the females. Although most species of tarantula have eight eyes, they do not see well.

The largest species of tarantula is "Theraphosa blondi". The spiders can grow up to twelve centimeters! If you add the length of the hairy legs, then this species of spider comes to a length of up to 30 centimeters, which makes it the largest, still living species of spider in the world. But don't worry: This species lives far away in Venezuela, South America ...

How many eyes does the tarantula have?

Tarantulas, like most spider species, have eight Eyes - main eyes and secondary eyes. However, they cannot see very well with it - the spiders can only perceive shapes and light and dark.

Why is the tarantula called the tarantula?

No, the tarantula does not hunt birds. Instead, the tarantula owes its old name "Aranae avicularia" ("bird-like spider") an engraving from 1705. On it the artist Maria Sibylla Merian recorded what she had seen on a trip to Surinam: Spider crawls over dead hummingbird. Carl von Linné later coined the misunderstood name.

Are tarantulas poisonous?

The tarantula's poison is harmless to humans. The bite of a tarantula is harmless and its effect is comparable to a wasp sting. If a tarantula bites a person, it only serves as a defense and usually does not release any poison.

Distribution and habitat: where do tarantulas live?

Tarantulas live in all tropical and subtropical regions of the world. These include Asia, Africa, America, Australia and also Europe. In Europe, tarantulas are common in Portugal and Spain, as well as on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Depending on the species, tarantulas live in trees and smoke or on the ground and in the earth, where they hide in caves.

Food: what does the tarantula eat?

Tarantulas don't build nets. Instead, they are lurking - they ambush their prey and then grab it with their jaw claws, the Chelicerae. When they bite the captured prey, they inject poison into the victim, which decomposes the animal's body. So the tarantula can suck up its slowly liquefying prey.

Depending on the species, tarantulas eat different insects, but also mice, reptiles and small birds.

Reproduction and offspring

The different species of tarantulas can reproduce all year round - so there is no special mating period. Once the male has fertilized the eggs in the female's body, it leaves the female again. The mother lays the eggs, stretches a protective cocoon around them and guards the eggs until the larvae hatch.

Wanted poster: tarantula

  • Surname: Tarantula
  • Latin name: Theraphosidae
  • class: Arachnids
  • size: 2 to 12 centimeters (varies depending on the species)
  • Weight: up to 150 grams
  • Age: 5 to 20 years (in captivity)
  • Look: eight-legged, mostly brown stinging hair, body part colored darker
  • food: Insects, small mammals, amphibians
  • distribution: Tropics and subtropics
  • habitat: Rainforests and semi-deserts, tree or ground dwellers (different depending on the species)
  • Enemies: Ants, scorpions, mongooses
  • Mating season: all year round

Tarantula species

There are around a thousand different species of tarantulas around the world. The most common species of tarantulas include:

  • Acanthoscurria geniculata (White knee tarantula)
  • Avicularia versicolor (Martinique tree tarantula)
  • Brachypelma albopilosum (Curly haired tarantula)
  • Brachypelma boehmei (Mexican red-legged tarantula)
  • Brachypelma Emilia (Orange-legged tarantula)
  • Brachypelma klaasi (Orange-legged tarantula)
  • Brachypelma smithi (Mexican red knee tarantula)
  • Brachypelma vagans (Black and red tarantula)
  • Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens (Venezuela cyan tarantula)
  • Grammostola porteri (Gray Chile tarantula)
  • Grammostola rosea (Red chile tarantula)
  • Haplopelma lividum (Blue Thai, Blue Burma tarantula)
  • Poecilotheria metallica (Blue ornament tarantula)
  • Poecilotheria regalis (Tiger tarantula)
  • Psalmopoeus irminia (Venezuela ornament tarantula)
  • Pterinochilus murinus (Red Usambara tarantula / Mombasa tarantula)
  • Theraphosa blondi (Giant tarantula)