The average speed of a tarantula is between 8.4 inches per second and 21 inches per second, depending on the tarantula’s size, temperature, and other circumstances such as the surface.
Tarantulas are deceptively quick. They can move about thanks to their hydraulic legs, which allow them to move in several directions and switch directions quickly. Despite the fact that tarantulas depend on their venom to catch their prey, they’re still pretty quick, so they’re also able to catch other animals with their legs if needed.
Average Tarantula Speed
The average tarantula running speed is between 8.4 inches and 21 inches per second. Most of the time, however, their speeds will be below 15 inches per second, and will only get above that mark if all the circumstances go into the tarantula’s favor.
This is right behind the fastest spider species in the world, which is the Giant House Spider, which has the capacity to run at around 1.73 feet per second. If you compare that to the tarantula’s speed, you’ll find that a tarantula is not that far behind the Giant House Spider.
The main difference between the Giant House Spider and tarantulas is that the tarantulas run in short bursts, while the Giant House Spider will run at those speeds constantly, making them the best running spider in the world.
But even tarantulas are no slouches when it comes to running speeds.
The highest running speed is around 20 inches per second, although that will only happen when a few circumstances are fulfilled. The tarantula needs to be light and not full of food, but also the surface needs to offer enough grip for the spider to run at those speeds, which doesn’t always happen.
Tarantulas Run Faster When Hot
Under a few circumstances, tarantulas can be one of the fastest spider species in the world.
When temperatures are at 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), the tarantula seems to be at its fastest. That’s when it’s able to run about ten times its body length per second, which, if we consider that an average tarantula is around 2.1 inches, comes at just over 20 inches per second.
At lower temperatures, tarantulas run slowly because they have more control over their limbs. However, when temperatures rise above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, they lose some of the control they have over their legs, which results in faster running speeds, which can rival the speeds of the fastest spiders in the world.
However, the main problem when that happens is that the tarantula doesn’t have full control over its body. Because it runs faster, it might not be able to fully control its legs, thus it would not be able to get a constant sense of direction as it runs.
This might be one of the main reasons why tarantulas mainly come out at dusk when it’s colder, as they will be able to control their legs more and be more effective when hunting other animals.
Quick Bursts of Speed
When you observe a tarantula running, you’ll see that it will run in quick, short bursts of speed, making it harder for us to track it down.
Tarantulas are exceptional runners over short distances. This mechanism is provided by their hydraulic legs, which the main purpose of the legs is to quickly pounce on their targets as they find the opportunity to do so.
This means that over shorter distances, tarantulas are exceptionally quick. Sometimes, they might be so quick that it might be hard to track them down with your eye.
Over longer distances, though, things get a little bit more complicated for tarantulas. They’re not the best runners over longer distances, as they might only be able to travel at the speed of a lizard. However, their activities are tailored around short-distance travels anyway, so they will rarely have to engage in long-term activities.
Tarantulas hunt their prey by ambushing the prey, which is where the short-distance speed is necessary. Sometimes, if the ambush is not successful at first, the tarantula will have to engage in a short-distance chase, which is where their short-distance speeds come into play.
Can a Tarantula Run Faster Than a Human?
It’s unlikely that a tarantula would be able to outrun a human. Even though they’re deceptively quick, even for their size, they wouldn’t be able to cope with our long strides, especially over longer distances
We’ve already mentioned that tarantulas can reach speeds of up to 20 inches per second, which is significantly less than humans, who can run at around 7 meters per second on average.
The major difference here is obviously the size of the humans. We have much longer limbs and thus we’re able to cover much more length at smaller periods of time. At the same time, we have a much larger lung capacity, making it possible for us to run for miles at one time without having to stop.
On the other hand, spiders are only able to cover short distances over short periods of time. They’re still very fast though, especially for their size. They can run much faster than many insects they hunt.
A fair comparison between the running speed of a tarantula and the running speed of a human would be to look at the size of the spider and the human and then compare the running speeds according to their sizes.
A tarantula is about 4.5 inches long, while a human can grow up to 5’10’’ on average. If we compare that, the relation between the sizes of both is that humans are actually slower when compared to their size as spiders.
MORE TARANTULA GUIDES:
- List of the Most Venomous Tarantulas
- List of the Most Docile Tarantulas
- How Long can a Tarantula Live without Food?
- Tarantula vs Other Spiders – Key Differences
- Can Tarantulas Climb Walls?
- Can Tarantulas Hear?
To conclude, tarantulas can run pretty quickly, as it might be hard to track them down with your eye over short distances.
They’re at their best when it’s hot when they don’t have full control over their limbs as they run. This makes them faster, although a bit less effective at hunting down other animals.