Texas Tarantula

 

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Range: South East United States including Texas, Arizona and New Mexico

Habitat: Desert Regions , lightly forested habitats

Natural Diet: Insects, small vertebrates

Diet at RainForest: Crickets, cockroaches

Size: 2-4"'   Females are substantially larger than males.  Females are capable of living for over 20 years, males average approximately 4-5 years.

Each Tarantula leg is made up of seven parts with two claws at the end and a tuft of hair for extra gripping power!  A spider has eight eyes, they are very small and generally not very strong, the spider rarely depends on it's eyesight.  Huge fangs actually help hold the prey item after the Tarantula has grabbed the food item. 

Most Tarantulas do not hunt by building webs, they are generally more like a leopard or a cheetah, stalking slowly on the ground the spider will quickly pounce on and hold their food item while their powerful venom goes to work! 

There are even various types of tarantulas that dwell in trees!  The Pink Toe is a classic example of an arboreal tarantula.  The Pink Toe will build it's nest under bark that may be pulling away from damage on a tree limb or branch, under this bark the spider will line the cavity with silk to create a safe, moist hiding place from which to hunt bugs!

RainForest Facts: This species of spider is the largest living in North America.  Large numbers of this species can still be observed at certain times of the year as the males move about looking for suitable mates.

 

 

RainForest Adventures zoo, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN