Yes, tarantulas do spin webs, but these webs are much different from the webs that other spiders create. They create silk structures that protect their burrows and their surroundings.
If you own a pet tarantula, then you’ll be able to see some neat silk structures inside the tarantula tank. These structures are not like the webs that other spiders create; instead, the primary purpose of these silk structures is to protect their burrows and homes.
Do Tarantulas Spin Webs?
Tarantulas create silk structures that might look like webs. They will use these silk structures to protect their burrows, climb surfaces easier, and make their life more comfortable.
However, unlike other spiders that use silk in their life, tarantulas won’t use these webs to hunt their prey. These webs are not sophisticated or strong enough to catch prey and keep the prey stuck inside the web.
Tarantulas spin silk from their spinnerets. For some time, it was believed that tarantulas produced silk using their legs. However, this has been disproven by more recent studies that found out how tarantulas create silk.
These studies found that these arachnids will create silk when they need to help themselves get around rough terrain, or when they feel endangered. The silk allows them to scale even the toughest terrains. When they are stuck as they are climbing, these spiders will start to create silk.
Even though the research about the tarantulas’ production of silk is still ongoing, one thing is becoming clearer and clearer: tarantulas don’t create traditional spider webs that other spiders tend to create, even though they can create and spin silk. But they will use this silk for other purposes.
How Do Tarantulas Catch Their Prey?
If tarantulas don’t create webs, how do they catch their prey, then?
Tarantulas are ambushing spiders. They will rely on ambushing their target and striking when the prey is not prepared.
They hunt mostly at night and if needed, they will also pursue their prey if it manages to escape. Tarantulas are one of the most advanced spider species when it comes to hunting.
The preferred method for tarantulas for hunting is ambushing. They will spend several hours waiting inside their burrow for another unsuspecting animal to pass by. Once that happens, the tarantula will be ready to strike.
The tarantula will pin down the prey with its fangs. Then, the spider will insert the venom into its prey, which will paralyze the target and make it unable to move. After a while, the prey will die and it will start to liquefy, thanks to the enzymes that are present inside the venom.
Tarantulas are also capable of crushing their prey using their mouthparts, especially when they hunt smaller animals of prey. Occasionally, the tarantula will resort to catching smaller animals if they are looking for a quick snack or if they can’t find other suitable targets around them.
But tarantulas also have another advantage that many other spiders don’t have – their body hair.
They have hair all over their bodies – but most notably, on their legs and abdomen. This body hair acts as a sensor that allow the spider to get a sense of its surroundings, despite the fact they’re deaf, have poor eyesight, and have poor sense of smell.
With its legs, the spider can spot any animals that are passing by or flying animals such as insects, giving it the chance to strike early.
This body hair gives the tarantula an important advantage over their animals of prey, making them one of the more accomplished hunters out of all spiders.
Why is my Tarantula Making Webs?
The main reason why your tarantula might be creating web-like structures is that it needs to create a comfortable environment for itself to live in.
In captivity, a tarantula will often create silk structures around its burrow. The main reason for this is that it needs structural stability as well as a more comfortable environment to live in. The silk that the tarantula will spin will be crucial for making sure that it can live in your tank.
The silk will hold their burrow together and it will make sure that its sturdy enough to withstand outside pressures. It also needs to be comfortable enough for the tarantula to sleep, stay safe, and make sure that it can breed if needed.
If a tarantula starts making a web or a silk structure inside your tank, then that’s a good sign. It is showing you that it is getting comfortable inside the tank and that it is only preparing a more suitable living area for itself.
What Kind of Webs Does a Tarantula Have?
A tarantula does not create webs that have a recognized structure. Instead, they will only create silk structures that act as supporting pieces in their environment.
So, tarantulas don’t create webs in the traditional sense of the word. These webs don’t have a particular shape, like you might see with funnel-web spiders, for example.
That’s because the silk structures that tarantulas create are often suited to the environment it lives in. The silk will allow the tarantula to scale the environment around it, or make life more comfortable for itself.
You will probably not see a distinct shape when a tarantula spins silk. These silk structures are often thick and fuzzy, which is because it needs to be as comfortable as possible for the spider. This type of structure is often found inside the burrow of the tarantula because it needs the silk there for laying its eggs.
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Tarantulas don’t spin webs in a typical sense of the word. The spider will only spin silk to create a better environment for itself, but it will not spin webs to catch prey.
Instead, the silk that a tarantula would create is used to allow the tarantula to move around easier, or to feel safer. You might often see these silk structures around the burrow of the tarantula or in places where the tarantula needs to access.