There are hundreds of species of tarantulas. With eight legs and eight eyes, tarantula species can vary wildly in size and color. Although they are awesome predators, they can fall victim to wasps called “tarantula hawks.” Tarantulas are also consumed by humans in some parts of the world, roasted over a fire to remove the hairs before being eaten.
Hunting habits of tarantulas vary according to species, with some hunting in trees and others hunting on the ground, but none of them use a web for capturing their prey. They eat mostly insects but have been known to take on small mice and snakes.
Most U.S tarantulas are found in the southwest. Wild tarantulas are also found south, including Mexico and Central and South America, along with Australia, Asia and Africa.
Tarantulas have become popular in the pet trade and face some threats from over-collecting and habitat destruction.
In spite of their fearsome reputation, tarantulas pose little threat to humans. There are many beautiful colorations of tarantulas, including a cobalt blue species and a black and white striped species. Most North American tarantulas are brown. In spite of having eight eyes, most tarantulas don’t see too well, and perceive their environment through touch and vibrations.