Tarantulas eat arthropods such as insects and other spiders, and larger species even prey upon small rodents and reptiles. Contrary to its name, the Goliath bird-eating tarantula very rarely consumes birds.Know More
Tarantulas are some of the largest spiders in the world and are capable of consuming large prey. Grasshoppers, large crickets and beetles are common arthropod prey for tarantulas. Female tarantulas sometimes kill and consume a male after mating. Larger species of tarantula hunt vertebrate prey like mice or small lizards. Goliath bird-eating tarantulas actually consume very few birds. These large, burrowing spiders most often prey upon earthworms, as well as invertebrates and rodents. Bird-eating tarantulas prey upon birds only on rare occasions, such as when a young animal falls from a nest.
Tarantulas do not entrap prey with a web like some spiders, but they do produce silk. Tarantulas have poor eyesight; they mainly detect light, dark and movement. To assist in locating prey, tarantulas use their silk to create trip wires. When a prey animal steps on the silk the tarantula discerns its location and grabs the prey with its legs and fangs. Like other spiders, tarantulas inject venom that incapacitates prey through paralysis and also begins predigesting the soft parts of the animal.
Tarantula venom is relatively weak to humans, producing pain similar to or less than a bee sting. However, as with other invertebrate venom, some people exhibit allergic reactions to tarantula venom that are more severe than normal.Learn more about Spiders
Garden spiders eat flying insects like gnats, flies, mosquitoes and bees. These spiders are known for making sticky, orb-like webs that catch their prey as it flies into them.Full Answer >
Tarantulas spin webs, but they don't use them to trap their prey like many other spiders do. Instead, they live in them and use them for mating and molting purposes.Full Answer >
Tarantulas live in subtropical, tropical and arid regions across southern North America, South America, Africa, southern Asia and coastal Australia. Most of the hundreds of species found worldwide are burrowers.Full Answer >
Tarantulas can and do bite people. However, they only bite when they feel threatened, and only as a last resort. Most tarantulas in the Americas have barbed hairs that they use defensively before biting. Species from other parts of the world lack these hairs and are more aggressive.Full Answer >