Tarantulas are the largest known spiders with a length of around 10 cm and a diameter with the legs of approx. 30 cm. In order to grow and to simultaneously get rid of waste products, tarantulas shed their skin regularly and on each occasion they leave a complete copy of their body as a sheath.
What you should know about tarantulas
Tarantulas are found on all continents, at least in locations where it's comfortably warm. Of the currently approx. 900 known species, most originate in Asia, the more easily excitable and aggressive specimens are native to India, Sri Lanka and Africa. The tamer species are found predominately in South America – which is why they are preferred because of their attitude.
The poisonous characteristics and harmfulness of the tarantula are overestimated
The great fear that many people have of tarantulas is actually unfounded. True tarantulas actually have a modest character, and their venom is barely as strong as that of bees or wasps. The belief that tarantulas could kill people or even horses is therefore only a myth. But that does not mean that they can't bite with their 2–3 cm large jaws, so it's better not to irritate them.
Just be careful when handling that banana box!
Its not uncommon for more than just fruit or plants to be packed when cropping bananas or loading tropical plants. These hairy stowaways constantly surprise local florists or greengrocers when they unpack imported boxes unsuspectingly. It's not a rare occurrence that you may have to deal with these incoming representatives of the imposing arachnids.
Is it true, that...?
... Tarantulas communicate by tapping? Correct. Males use, for example, their characteristic pulps to draw attention to themselves. If the female is ready for mating, it drums back using its own pulps. By the way, the leg hairs of the tarantulas are used as the main means of sensing, with which they discern movements and ground motion in their vicinity.
Aquarium Berlin is home to around 30 species of tarantulas, among which you can see, for example:
• Brazilian tarantula (Sericopelma melanotarsum)
• Red-kneed tarantula (Brachypelma smithii)
• Costa-Rica tarantula (Aphonopelma seemanni)
• Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi)
• Brazilian black tarantula (Grammostola pulchra)
• Trinidad tarantula (Psalmopoeus cambridgei)
• Bird-eating spider (Lasiodora christata)
Animal sponsors sought
Become an animal sponsor and support the high quality of the animal management and the zoological work at Zoo Berlin.