Q:

What do tarantulas eat?

A:

Quick Answer

Tarantulas eat arthropods such as insects and other spiders, and larger species even prey upon small rodents and reptiles. Contrary to its name, the Goliath bird-eating tarantula very rarely consumes birds.

Continue Reading
What do tarantulas eat?
Credit: Tim Platt Stone Getty Images

Full Answer

Tarantulas are some of the largest spiders in the world and are capable of consuming large prey. Grasshoppers, large crickets and beetles are common arthropod prey for tarantulas. Female tarantulas sometimes kill and consume a male after mating. Larger species of tarantula hunt vertebrate prey like mice or small lizards. Goliath bird-eating tarantulas actually consume very few birds. These large, burrowing spiders most often prey upon earthworms, as well as invertebrates and rodents. Bird-eating tarantulas prey upon birds only on rare occasions, such as when a young animal falls from a nest.

Tarantulas do not entrap prey with a web like some spiders, but they do produce silk. Tarantulas have poor eyesight; they mainly detect light, dark and movement. To assist in locating prey, tarantulas use their silk to create trip wires. When a prey animal steps on the silk the tarantula discerns its location and grabs the prey with its legs and fangs. Like other spiders, tarantulas inject venom that incapacitates prey through paralysis and also begins predigesting the soft parts of the animal.

Tarantula venom is relatively weak to humans, producing pain similar to or less than a bee sting. However, as with other invertebrate venom, some people exhibit allergic reactions to tarantula venom that are more severe than normal.

Learn more about Spiders

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are tarantulas dangerous?

    A:

    Tarantulas are not dangerous to humans. Tarantulas have an unpleasant bite, but their venom is not deadly. The average bee's venom is more potent than that of a tarantula.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What eats wolf spiders?

    A:

    A wide variety of insects, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians prey on the wolf spider; specific examples include coyotes, owls and certain species of wasps. Wolf spiders are also cannibalistic. The wolf spider belongs to the family Lycosidae, which is ancient Greek for "wolf."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do spiders eat ants?

    A:

    Some species of spiders do eat ants and some, like the Euryopis superba, prefer ants over other insects. Black widows and lynx spiders target ants for prey when given the opportunity. Some jumping spiders eat plant nectar and may consume ants or other insects that might harm the plant.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some interesting facts on spiders?

    A:

    There are more than 37,000 species of spiders worldwide, and all possess the same features that unite them with other members of arachnid family, including having eight legs arranged as two sets of four as well as lacking the antennae possessed by insects. Most spiders also possess venom.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore