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When it comes to tarantula temperament; each tarantula is different, and so is each species of tarantula.  That is why it cannot be emphasized enough that you should do your research well beforehand.  Larger tarantula temperament, some even measuring as long as a foot across; and these are the types that are extremely aggressive, extremely dangerous, and completely unsuitable to be made into pets.  On the other hand, certain tarantulas are more docile than others, and these less aggressive species are recommended for beginners.  But even with these “beginner” species; one can never be too careful in dealing with such a dangerous and lethal creature.  In this article, you’ll learn more about tarantula temperament.

Tarantula Behavior

Tarantulas can be aggressive, or they can go on the defensive when they feel threatened.  Most tarantulas have two main lines of defense: a venomous bite, and urticating hairs.

Many of the more docile species are skittish by nature, and they will prefer to run rather than bite.  When they do bite, their venom is not usually enough to kill.  Some have compared their venom to that of a bee sting.  Still, for those who suffer an allergic reaction to those bites, it can potentially be fatal.  If you are bitten and feel like you are having an allergic reaction; treat it as you would any other allergic reaction.  Seek medical assistance immediately.

More commonly utilized by most tarantulas are a mechanical/chemical defense mechanism. It involves their flicking of the urticating hairs on their abdomen.  These are not actually hairs but skin extensions that the tarantula can launch at a threat by rubbing its legs against its abdomen; producing a cloud of “hairs” that contain tiny barbs that could potentially cause irritation or hives.  The barbs attach to the victim and release a toxin – many keepers have once or twice had to deal with urticating hairs that got into their eyes or nose.  That bald spot in the middle of your tarantula’s abdomen is a sign that it has been using its urticating hairs quite liberally.


Even if your tarantula has never shot its urticating hairs directly at you. Be aware that tarantulas usually use these hairs around their burrow; weave them into their webs and egg sacs, and elsewhere around their cages.  This is why it is prudent to proceed cautiously when dealing with tarantulas, or even when cleaning their cages.  If you do become affected by the irritants in those hairs, cortisone cream can help relieve itching.  But if you are experiencing any severe reaction, whether to a tarantula bite or to the toxins in their urticating hairs; it is always best to go directly to your doctor.

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