Animals & Habitats
Brazilian Black and White Tarantula
Scientific Name
Acanthoscurria geniculate
Conservation Status
Not Listed

King of the Spiders

Tarantulas are considered the largest of the arachnid species. There are over 850 species of tarantulas. The majority of nocturnal tarantulas are located in South America. Unique characteristics of tarantulas are their hairy bodies and appendages along with their venom (although their venom is milder than a honeybee). Male tarantulas are outlived by their female counterparts, as males may live up to 10 years while females may live up to three times longer.


Tarantula fangs face downward and are parallel to each other. Their primary diet is insects, but they will also consume small lizards, frogs and rodents. They are ambush hunters and will grab their prey, sink their fangs and inject their venom to immobilize their meal. After prey has succumbed to the venom, the tarantula’s digestive enzymes liquefy the body and the tarantula proceeds to suck their prey’s insides out through its straw-like mouth.