What’s crawly need not be creepy

The very word ‘Tarantula’ is something that strikes dread into most of our hearts. We’ve all heard the horror stories of ‘evil’ arachnnids delivering fatal bites.

However, though they may be deadly Tarantulas elsewhere, the ones we have nearby are generally more wary of us than we are of them, and do not bite until they are extremely disturbed.

Tarantulas comprise a group of very large and often hairy arachnids belonging to the Theraphosidae familyof spiders. Their large size and hairy appearance, combine to give most of us a dread of them. But they have some very interesting features!

Tarantulas do spin silk like other spiders do… but they do not have the kind of web that we often see. Instead, some of them, especially those which make homes in burrows, line their burrows with silk! Sometimes, to protect their babies, they even put up a “silk screen” in front of their holes.

A tarantula under the silk-screen she has spun. Pic: Deepa Mohan

However, tarantulas themselves can be the prey for other insects. Here’s a video I took, as I once watched a Spider Wasp drag a Tarantula that she had stunned (you can still see it moving a little in the video), into a hole she made in the ground.

Such wasps then lay their eggs on the stunned spider, and when the larvae hatch later, they have fresh food. Another of the marvels of nature!

So, what’s crawly may not be creepy, if you get to know more about it… and the fear of the creature goes away, too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

How we build today will determine the future of our species: Jaya Dhindaw, urban researcher

Urban development expert Jaya Dhindaw of WRI tells us how we need to envision cities to protect the planet from the effects of climate change.

April 16, 2024, saw Mumbai reel under a heat wave with a maximum temperature of 39.7 degree celsius at the Santacruz observatory. At 6.3 degrees above normal, this was the highest temperature recorded at Santacruz in ten years. These abnormally hot conditions continued to plague Mumbai with the megapolis experiencing a second heat wave towards the end of April. Neighbouring Thane hit 41.3 degrees during this period. Mumbai was not the exception and it seems like extreme heat has become the norm across the country. Delhi recorded a hazardously high temperature of 52.9 degree Celsius at the end of May…

Similar Story

New look, old problems: Residents question Rs 43-crore Retteri Lake restoration plan

Residents want the government to urgently address the problem of sewage contamination and encroachments on the lake.

As the population of metropolitan cities like Chennai continues to grow, the government faces an uphill task β€” coming up with alternative solutions to provide drinking water for the city. While schemes such as desalination plants aim to meet water needs, the public seeks more natural and environment-friendly water sources. This is where Retteri Lake, one of the major lakes in Chennai, plays a pivotal role. When Chennai faced a major drought in 2019, water from Retteri Lake was used to meet the shortfall in drinking water supply. The lake also remains a source of groundwater recharge for the neighbourhood.…