Tarantulas is the name given to a group of large spiders, known as the Theraphosidae family, made up of approximately 900 different species. Tarantulas are best known for their large size and hairy appearance, although not all species in this family have these traits. The largest tarantula, the Goliath birdeater, can weigh up to 150 g (5.3 oz) with a leg span of 30 cm (12 in). There are two main groups of tarantulas; those that hunt in trees and those that hunt on the ground. All tarantulas have a similar diet, although larger species can eat larger prey. Despite their large, intimidating appearance most species are harmless to humans and they are often kept as pets. Let’s find out the common distribution and habitat of these large spiders.
Where do tarantulas come from?
Tarantulas can be found on all continents of Earth apart from Antarctica. They are found throughout Australia, South-East Asia, Africa and South America. They are also found in most of the United States, small parts of Europe and the Middle East. They are not found in the northern parts of North America, Europe or Asia. Tarantulas are popular pets, which means that they are often kept outside of their natural range. In rare cases this can lead to them being accidently introduced where they are not native.
Ground dwelling tarantulas live in burrows that they line with silk and the tree dwelling species create a silk tent to live in.
Did you know?
Tarantulas can live for many years and the oldest recorded tarantula lived for 49 years!