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Are Tarantulas Poisonous?

Learn if tarantulas are poisonous from Jungle Bob in this Howcast video.


People ask me all the time, are all those tarantulas used in your presentation poisonous? The answer is no. They're not poisonous. They're venomous. There's a difference between poison and venom. Poison is something that come out the back of an animal like a poison dart frog. It's secreted and accidentally ingested into your system.

Venom is different. Snakes bite. That's venom. Scorpions sting. That's venom. Bees and wasps, they're the same. That's venom. A tarantula bite is venom. So, a tarantula is a venomous creature and there's no such thing as a tarantula that has been defanged [SP]. If you would take the fangs out of a tarantula or more importantly remove his venom glands, what would happen to them?

Well, first of all he wouldn't be able to subdue his prey because the fangs are gone, but most importantly that venom is really used in his digestive process. The venom from a tarantula is the equivalent to our stomach acids. He uses that to digest his prey. It's kind of weird. He catches something in the web. He bites it. The venom will liquify [SP]. He's usually eating what? An insect and an insect is an exoskeleton animal. So, he liquifies [SP]. It turns into like a . . . I tell the kids a Slurpee from 7-11. Right?

It turns into a mushy consistency and the tarantula will then actually drink or slurp down the contents of that insect and that's how he gets his food. It's different from how we eat. We eat and put items into our stomach and our digestive juices take over. The tarantula uses his venom to digest his prey. So, no. Don't defang [SP] your tarantula because you'll kill it and yes, all tarantulas are venomous for sure.

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