Tarantulas are found throughout the tropics, in the new world and the old world and they are found in a variety of habitats.
- A lot of tarantulas prefer to burrow in the ground and in these burrows they line them with their silk. The silk keeps the dirt from caving in on them. Also outside these borrows, some tarantulas create a tripline, so when a prey item such as an insect walks across a burrow, it hits the tripline, triggers the tarantula to come out of the burrow and grab it’s prey.
- Some tarantulas are also arborial, meaning that they are found in the trees. Tarantulas of all species are excellent climbers and what makes them excellent climbers and what separates them from other spider species is that on the tips of their legs they have tiny little hooks. As you can see here, she is hooked onto my hand and she can hang vertically right off my hand.
- Also, tarantulas, what separates them from other spiders are that they are covered with all this hair. Now this hair is not like hair on humans. Each one of these hairs is connected to a special little nerve cell, which also gives a tarantula a sense of what’s around it.
- The biggest predator of tarantulas is a wasp called a tarantula hawk wasp and when the hawk wasp flies in, it pushes a lot of air and the air will hit the tarantula these little nerve cells telling the tarantula that there is a major predator around and that he or she better get out of there quick.
- Tarantula hawks will grab a tarantula and sting it and paralyze it, but not kill the tarantula, instead, that wasp will drag the tarantula on the ground to a pre-made or already dug burrow where she will put the spider into the burrow and lay an egg on it. Then she’ll bury the spider. Now, the spider, believe it or not, is still alive through this entire process. The egg will hatch out and the tiny wasp larvae will actually start feasting on the spider while the spider is still alive. Now, eventually, those wasp larvae will pupate and turn into another tarantula hawk.