tarantula web tent with prey

Do Tarantulas Make Webs?

Tarantulas are among the most intriguing spiders. With their banded legs, the sinister fanged maw and the creepy claws, they’re certainly not your average arachnid. These hairy spiders are found in almost every corner of the world. Although they prefer to live in tropical or subtropical regions, tarantulas can live almost anywhere there is plenty of food and shelter, and that includes your own backyard. If they are different from other arachnid, the question is, can tarantulas produce webs?

Can Tarantulas Create Webs Like Any Spiders?

When most people think of spiders, they think of a web. However, not all spiders make webs, and tarantulas do not produce webs. Tarantulas make “tents” out of silk, which is actually a very strong fiber. They use their silk to make a special tent for themselves, and to catch food. Their silk is not sticky like a spider’s silk – it is wet and sticky, so it acts like glue. This is how tarantulas catch their food – they simply walk across their tent and trap their prey in it! Unlike spider webs, tarantulas’ silk tents don’t look pretty.

Their home are hidden away in dark, damp spaces, so you probably won’t even see them, such as under rocks, inside logs, or in small caves. It’s very rare to ever see a tarantula’s silk tent, unless you catch the tarantula in the act of making it!

Their tents are either golden yellow color, or dark brown, are around 0.002 inches thick.

Tarantula thick tent
Tarantula thick tent (Oleg Didenko – Unsplash)

How Do Tarantulas Make Their Webs?

Tarantulas’ silk is produced in their spinnerets – which are small holes on either side of the tarantula’s rear end. When a tarantula wants to make silk, it squeezes its anal muscles, which pushes the silk out of their spinnerets. The silk is then, guided from the spinnerets by tiny hairs on the back legs.

Interestingly, tarantulas’ don’t use their front legs to make silk. Instead, these legs are used for walking and feeling their way around. This is because the front legs are covered in tiny hairs – which would get stuck in the silk.

The silk is made out of a combination of protein and wax and is actually, very strong. It can support up to nine times its weight in water! Some are so strong that you can’t even break it with your fingers.

Shape-wise, they usually have a crisscross pattern with a sticky center, and a “door” on the bottom.

Header Image Credit : Grigorii Pisotckii – Canva

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jason massey

Jason Massey

I am an animal specialist with a love for spiders, snakes, and reptiles. I enjoy travelling to exotic places and have been to Africa, South-East Asia, India, and New Zealand. I am also dad to 3 beautiful girls. My work is in the NGO sector where I focus on animals such as helping endangered species and saving animals from being killed for their fur or skin.

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