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Honduran Curly Hair Tarantula

Brachypelma albopilosum

Description:

The Honduran curly hair tarantula is a large variety of spider. This spider has a dark (brown to dark blue) colored body with a golden-bronze sheen due to long golden hairs that cover the body.

Size:

Adult Honduran curly hair tarantulas have a 5-6 inch (127-152.4mm) leg span.

Adaptations:

  • A tarantula has a pair of fangs that it uses to inject venom into its prey to kill it.
  • Tarantulas have urticating hairs on the sides and back of their abdomens that can be dropped or flung if the tarantula is under stress. These hairs are itchy and can be irritating to the nose, mouth, and eyes of a predators.
  • Although they do not have bones, tarantulas and other spiders have hard external coverings called exoskeletons that give their body protection and support.
  • Tarantulas have the ability to spin silk, but unlike other spiders, they do not use the silk to make webs that catch their prey. Instead, they use the silk to line their burrows and protect their eggs.

Diet:

In the wild, tarantulas eat insects and other arthropods. Cosley Zoo’s tarantulas are fed crickets and mealworms.

Reproduction:

Mating can occur any time of year. After mating, the female lays 100-500 eggs in a silk capsule. The young hatch about six weeks later.

Shelter and space needs:

This type of tarantula is native to the jungles of Costa Rica and Honduras. It is a burrowing species.

Life expectancy:

In human care, males live to be 5-10 years old, while females live 20-25 years.

Relationship with man:

Spiders make up an important part of the food chain by helping to control populations of insects, including some that prey on farmers’ crops.

Fun Facts:

  • Although tarantulas are venomous animals, their venom is rarely toxic to humans.
  • A young spider is called a spiderling.
  • The exoskeleton of a tarantula does not grow. As the tarantula gets bigger, it molts (sheds) its exoskeleton.
  • Spiders are arachnids, not insects. One major difference between spiders and insects is the number of legs they have. Spiders have eight legs, whereas insects have six legs.

Photo credit: Nozhnici, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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