Learn facts and figures about the world of tarantulas

Tarantula Facts

Facts about tarantulas

Here’s some fun tarantula trivia you can use at your next dinner party. These fascinating arachnids are far more interesting than most people realize. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

  • Female tarantulas can live up to 30 years, while males can reach 12 years.

  • Some tarantulas can have legspans of 11+ inches.

  • They can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

  • Tarantulas don’t use spider webs to catch prey, they are ambush predators. They spin silk webs.

  • Tarantula hawk wasps are their greatest enemy—a terrifying enemy indeed.

  • Females sometimes kill and eat the male after copulation. Ouch!

  • Females can guard their egg sacs for weeks on end, and have hundreds of babies.

  • All tarantulas are carnivores.

  • Tarantulas are both spiders and arachnids.

  • Their venom is generally weaker than that of a honeybee’s.

  • Males live much shorter lifespans than females.

  • Tarantulas can regrow lost limbs after a molt.

  • Tarantulas have eight eyes but their vision is weak—they rely much more on their sense of touch.

Facts about tarantulas

Here’s looking at you kid. Yes, tarantulas have eyes.
Eight of them.

  • They inject venom into their prey, and then suck up the liquified innards.

  • There are around 700 species of tarantula in the world.

  • Most tarantulas prefer insects as prey items, but some will eat baby rodents and birds.

  • They can kick-up irritating urticating hairs as a defense mechanism.

  • Tarantulas are eaten in some countries, and are said to taste like peanut butter.

  • They have retractable claws.

  • Falling onto a hard surface can be fatal to a tarantula. They can jump, so be careful.

  • Females are usually stockier than males, but males usually have longer legspans.

  • Tarantulas are nocturnal hunters.

  • Newborn tarantulas are referred to as EWLs (Eggs With Legs).

  • New World (North, Central, and South American) tarantulas have urticating hairs. Old World tarantulas (Africa, Asia, Europe) do not.

  • In Cambodia, 500-1,000 tarantulas are sold each day as food for locals. They are generally fried and dipped into garlic. This practice supposedly began during extreme starvation during the evil communist leader Pol Pot’s regime.

Edible tarantulas

Tarantula fact: edible indeed!

Tarantula Facts: Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of these interesting tarantula facts, I know I had fun putting the list together. Education is imperative in helping to prevent unwarranted phobias, so I do what I can to help folks understand these very misunderstood invertebrates. I’ll continue to add to the above list so please check back!