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How to Know If a Tarantula Is About to Attack

Learn how to recognize the warning signs that a tarantula is about to attack from Jungle Bob in this Howcast video.


Tarantulas have a very mild temperament when they're not hassled, but once one is being messed with it is no doubt that it is not happy. He will rear back on his hind legs, pick up his front (?), the two here and then his two front legs. In some cases, show you the fang. Here's my fangs. You want to mess with me is what he's saying. Sometimes they can even squeeze them and almost like see a drop of venom come out of it. That's how irritated they get.

They will hold that posture where they will show you what's going to go on underneath their body which is their fangs are going to invenomate [SP] you if you come any closer to me. Some of them do it instantly. Cobalt blue tarantulas, my God, in a millisecond they are putting their defensive mechanisms up and saying here I am. That was just a strike right there. He tried to invenomate the sharpie. All right? He's not happy. This red rump that we have here today.

Now, other tarantulas will do that and then he's starting to . . . he'll turn around then and flick his hairs. Instead of using his venom on you, he doesn't want to use his venom defensively. He uses his venom to eat and to digest his prey, so he tends to want to conserve it. Often times a bite from a tarantula when he's trying to attack to is a drive by. He didn't give you any venom. He just bit you and said, get away from me.

So, you know he's going to attack because he rears up. Then if he turns around and shows you his abdomen which most people call the rump or the butt. Right? If he turns around and shows you his rump then you know he's really mad. The next thing that's going to happen is the hair is going to get flicked off of there in your face and you've got one ticked off tarantula.

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