Big, hairy spiders of the Theraphosidae family fall under the category of tarantulas that consist of approximately 1000 species and about 113 genera at present. Their impressive appearance makes them a highly sought-after species in the pet trade, especially among arachnids.
Size: Their sizes differ as some of them could be extremely small like a fingernail, while a few could even replicate a dinner plate. Their body length may vary between 2.5 and 10cm (1 and 4 inches), while their leg span will be from 8 to 30 cm (3 to 12 inches).
Color: They may be brown or black, while certain species could display stripes or markings of yellow or blue on their legs.
Other Characteristics: Their jaw and fangs are strong, with the latter having a size of about 3.8 cm (1.5 inches).
Species of this family lay between 50 and 2,000 eggs in a silken sac and protect it for 6 to 8 weeks.
They remain in their mother’s protection for a while after which they disperse to go on their own.
Most species of this family are not known to make webs, but rather spin silk for building burrows. They prefer pouncing upon their enemy while on a hunting spree instead of catching them in their mesh.
They are known to have venom in their bites that could be as mild as a bee sting or produce more painful effects. Their urticating hairs could cause pain and irritation to the skin, and even damage the eyes in extreme cases. However, spiders of the tarantula family are not known to bite unless provoked, and their instances of harming humans are infrequent.
|Lifespan||Females: 30 years, Males: 7 years|
|Distribution||Parts of South America, Central America, Mexico, Asia, Australia, and Africa;|
|Habitat||Grasslands, rainforests, mountains, deserts, and scrublands, found on treetops, under logs and rocks, as well as on barks of trees|
|Common Predators||Snakes, owls, weasels, skunks, and hawks|
|Diet||Beetles, and grasshoppers, arthropods such as centipedes and millipedes as well as other spiders|