There are more than 850 types of tarantula discovered by researchers. While we often see usual black and brown insects that are kept in zoos and personal collections, there are many other interesting species around the world. This article describes most widespread and most interesting species.
General information about species
The biggest spider in the world, tarantula is a bug that is hard to mistake for any other arachnid. It has hairy body and stout legs, and its fangs remind of vampire’s teeth.
What do tarantulas eat? Although they are called bird eaters, most species feed with other spiders, insects and arthropods, and bigger species may hunt snakes, frogs, mice, lizards and tiny birds. After catching a prey and poisoning it, a bug injects digestive juices into it, and sucks it after some time. After such a rich lunch, it may live without nutrition for about a month.
How long do tarantulas live? Females live up to 30 years, while male’s lifespan is far shorter – 7 years. It is partially connected with the fact that females may eat their partners after mating.
This is one of the most interesting insects on the Earth. You can be surprised to learn that:
- Although these arachnids have few enemies in nature, tarantula hawk wasp is one of the most dangerous creatures for them. When it stings a spider, it lays eggs inside the wound. Newly hatched larvae eat the host from the inside.
- This species is widely used as an exotic pet, and is also considered to be a gourmet item in many Asian countries.
- Tarantula spider may throw its hairs off when being attacked. It is considered that hairs irritate eyes considerably.
Chilean Rose Tarantulas
Native to Chili, Argentina and Bolivia, this spider is most common in pet stores due to its high population and low price on pet market. A female lives up to 15-20 years, and even more (there is lack of studies dedicated to their lifespan).
In nature, they eat moths, crickets, small lizards, cockroaches and beetles. Pet owners usually feed them with crickets whose abdomens are full of plants and vegetables.
These insects venomous, but are not very dangerous for humans. Single tarantula bite may cause slight discomfort, not more. Multiple attacks may result into muscle cramps and severe pain. In any case, a person should seek medical treatment. Allergic reaction caused by proteins contained in venom may appear to be life-threatening.
Pink Toe Tarantula
This bug has dark-colored body and, as its name suggests, pink toes. This is a species living in Caribbean, Brazil and Costa Rica. Thus, it likes living in humid and warm areas and needs plenty of habitats and enough space for making webs and having ample ventilation. This creature reaches six inches long, with females being a bit bigger than males.
Goliath Birdeater Tarantula
This is the biggest spider on Earth: its leg span may reach 11 inches. This bug was found in the northern part of South America, and it mostly lives in tropical areas (Brazil, Venezuela, Amazon rainforests). This is a terrestrial creature that lives underground in burrows, and prefers swampy zones. This nocturnal species primarily feeds on toads, earthworms, lizards, frogs and rodents.
Cobalt Blue Tarantula
As you can guess by its name, this insect has dark blue metallic body, and beautiful white and black coloring. This is a relatively rare species. It lives in warm and humid conditions (African and South American countries), and is not likely to survive in cold and dry climate. Like many other species, it lives on ground in burrows made by other animals, or created on their own. These insects do not usually leave their nests, going out only to search for water and food. In general, they consume insects and other small animals.
The arachnide is quite aggressive, and should not be touched. Its venom is not dangerous, can be and a bite can compared with a wasp sting (causes a lot of pain). In case of an attack a person should ask for medical help to prevent allergic reactions.
Brazilian Black Tarantula
This species is native to Uruguay and Brazil. Its entire body is black, and stout together with lengths. Despite looking dreadful, this is one of the most wished-for bugs for pet owners due to its friendly and gentle temperament and deep coloration. It is said not to release urticating hairs when handled and just going around the house, which adds to its value. Females have quite long lifespan, and the insects repopulate slowly. A grown-up creature may reach up to 18 cm in length. They feed on small insects (beetles, crickets, mealworms, roaches, etc).
When provoked, an arachnid is more likely to run, and even it if bites, that won’t cause much inconvenience. Their venom is harmless, and may only cause light irritation.
Haitian Brown Tarantulas
The species is a real find for lovers of exotic pets: such a spider may live in a terrarium that is only 4 times bigger than it is. But such a pet requires a place for feeding and drinking water, and some place to hide. Otherwise, it may start digging burrows. Comfortable temperature is 22-28 °C, and at night it should be decreased to 20 °C. It diets should mostly consist of crickets.
Despite their dreadful look, tarantulas are relatively harmless for people: their venom can be compared with bee’s or wasp’s poison. Luckily, these insects live in nature and usually do not infest human dwellings, and due to their calm temperament some species may even become nice pets. Do not provoke such a guy, and it will never do any harm for you!