What is the habitat of a tarantula

Federal Agency for Nature Conservation BfN

300 years ago, the naturalist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian drew a tarantula sitting on a hummingbird. She had seen the spider in Suriname, a country in South America. Since then this family of spiders has been called "tarantulas" - although birds are seldom their prey. Tarantulas mainly eat larger insects such as grasshoppers. They grab the insect with their powerful mouthparts and bite. Then they inject poison into the prey, which the animal decomposes so that the spiders can simply slurp it up. By the way: For humans, a tarantula bite is painful, but not dangerous.

Deadly enemy

Tarantulas are quite defensive. Their size and poison deter many enemies. Some species of tarantula even have stinging hairs on their abdomen, which they can hurl at an attacker. If the fine hairs hit, most enemies will be put to flight. The tarantula's worst enemy remains unaffected: the wasp is smaller than the spider, but its deadliest enemy. Its poisonous sting paralyzes the spider for a short time so that the wasp can lay an egg on it. The spider does not notice anything - until the wasp larva hatches. Then it feeds on the spider until it finally kills it. Other species of wasp stun the spider and drag it to its nest. There it is eaten by the wasp larvae.