Tarantulas are blind


Text © birdspider.de

Are tarantulas poisonous?

Yes. However, the poison is weak and harmless to humans, as long as they are not allergic. Animal experiments have shown that the most poisonous tarantula can kill a mammal weighing a maximum of 1.2 kg. So far, there is no known case in which a person was killed by the poison of a tarantula. The real danger is bacterial infection of the wound. Some tarantula species have a stronger poison, which can lead to slight symptoms of paralysis (especially African species such as B. Pterinochilus spp. or the tree tarantulas Poecilotheria spp.).

Can you pick up tarantulas?

Yes. However, it is unnecessary because tarantulas cannot seek contact with humans and can react stressed if they are taken out of their already palpable and familiar environment.

How old do tarantulas get?

About 14 years on average. Some species get very old (e.g. Pelinobius muticus with probably more than 30 years). Males die much earlier than females and usually within one year AFTER their last moult (moulting maturity).

How big can a tarantula get?

That depends on the species. The world's largest tarantula species is Theraphosa blondi, of which, according to the Guinness Book of Records, a specimen with a body length of up to 12 cm and a leg span of up to 30 cm was found.

What should I do if I was bitten?

Keep calm, disinfect the wound and if necessary consult / call a doctor if the tarantula is a species with a stronger poison.

What do these numbers mean (e.g. 0.1, 1.0, 0.1.0, 1.0.0, 2.0.7)?

With this number format you can quickly specify the number of males, females and indefinite animals.

x.y.z so means

  • x: Number of males (males)
  • y: Number of females (females)
  • z: Number of undetermined animals (unsexed)

  • 1.3.5 = One male, three females and five indefinite animals
  • 0.1 = A female (the last number can simply be omitted)
  • 3.0 = Three males (the last number can simply be left out)

Why these scientific names?

So that the species can be clearly assigned, as they sometimes look very similar.

What does spp., Sp., Spec., Cf., sp.nov., Spp.nov. and aff. in the scientific name?


  • Brachypelma spp. = All species of the genus Brachypelma (spp. = species plural).
  • Brachypelma spec./sp. any kind = An indefinite one Brachypelma Type with the provisional designation any kind (sp./spec. = species).
  • Brachypelma cf. smithi = An indefinite one Brachypelma Kind, but which is probably a Brachypelma smithi acts (cf. = confer = compare).
  • Theraphosa stirmi sp.nov. = A new species in the genus Theraphosa (sp.nov. = Species nova = new species, the plural is spp.nov.).
  • Euathlus aff. any kind = A Euathlus species belonging to the species any kind is very similar (aff. = affine).

What do DNZ, ENZ and WF mean?

These are abbreviations with the following meaning:

  • DNZ = German offspring, i.e. the animal comes from a breed in Germany and is not caught in the wild.
  • ENZ = own offspring, i.e. the animal comes from the seller's own offspring and is not caught in the wild.
  • WF = wild caught, i.e. the animal was caught in the wild.

How high is the maintenance effort

Minimal, more on this on the Attitude page.

What do tarantulas eat?

Insects and all small animals that can overwhelm them (e.g. rodents, snakes). More on this on the Posture page.

How do tarantulas eat?

Tarantulas only have a very small gap-shaped mouth opening. They must therefore digest their prey outside of the body. For this purpose, they choke digestive juices from the mouth opening and thus liquefy the prey, which is also chewed between the chelicerae. Even with broken chelicerae, a tarantula can still liquefy its prey. In addition to the choked digestive juices, decomposing enzymes in the injected poison cocktail also help with liquefaction.

How long can a tarantula go without food?

Adult tarantulas can even do without food for a whole year, provided they have been adequately nourished beforehand. This is made possible by the so-called blind sacs of the midgut, in which the nutrients are stored as a reserve.

Which tarantula is suitable for beginners?

For example Brachypelma smithibecause it is very easy to show, can be kept dry and is not as extremely fast as some other species.

Where can I buy tarantulas?

On stock exchanges, on the Internet and in specialist shops. More on this on the purchase page.

How expensive is a tarantula?

That depends on the type and the desired size. More on this on the purchase page.

Do tarantulas build nets? Which build beautiful, extended webs?

Some more, some less. Build very nice large networks e.g. Pterinochilus murinus, Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens and Monocentropus balfouri.

Do tarantulas make noises?

No, but some species can stridulate what sounds like a hiss. They usually only do this if they feel threatened or if the stridulation organs rub against each other while running. Examples are Theraphosa blondi and Pelinobius muticus.

Can tarantulas see?

Despite having several eyes, tarantulas are almost blind and only perceive light / dark or only the light, which has a wavelength of 350 to 640 nm. Red light with a wavelength of 650 to 750 nm is therefore not visible to them. Red lamps are therefore particularly suitable for observation at night.

Can tarantulas hear?

They can perceive sound waves through their sensitive (tactile) hair. This could be called hearing.

Can tarantulas smell?

Tarantulas have chemoreceptors with which they can also perceive scents (e.g. those of a female).

Do tarantulas have a brain?

Yes. The supra-oesophageal ganglion (upper throat ganglion).

Do tarantulas have a mouth?

They have a slit-shaped "mouth" with which they suck up the liquefied food.

Which is the fastest tarantula?

Pterinochilus murinus and Heteroscodra maculata are extremely fast, for example.

Do tarantulas sleep?

Yes and no, they occasionally fall into a kind of paralysis during the day, whereby the metabolism is further reduced. This could be called sleep.

Can I keep several tarantulas together (group housing)?

Usually not, only a few species can be kept together to a limited extent (e.g. Monocentropus spp., Pterinochilus spp., Avicularia spp., Poecilotheria spp. Or Hysterocrates). You should consider that you not only have to offer a lot of space and hiding places, but also that it is much more difficult to handle in the terrarium (keyword cleaning).

What is the hibernation about?

Some species such as Grammostola pulchripes, Grammostola porteri and Grammostola rosea come from areas (Argentina, Chile) where winter also occurs during the year (southern winter). These species have genetically adapted to the changing seasons. It therefore makes sense to offer them a winter rest period in captivity.

For this, it is sufficient to lower the temperature in the terrarium to approx. 10 ° C over 2 months, e.g. by placing the terrarium in a cooler room or cellar. Alternatively, the tarantula can also be placed in the top refrigerator compartment after it has slowly been accustomed to the cold in a cooler room. The hibernation of these species can also be necessary to stimulate a mated female to build cocoons, whereby the hibernation should start immediately after mating.

Why is the droppings of tarantulas colored white?

The faeces mainly consist of adenine, guanine, hypoxanthine and uric acid, hence the white color.

Text © birdspider.de