DYK: The mouth parts of the spider include the coxa of the pedipalps which have been modified as chewing mouth parts. They are often serrated ad it is these the spider uses to bite a hole in the skin, or exoskeleton of its prey. The parts of the coxa that function as mouth parts are called maxillae. Apart from their cutting edge the maxillae also have a a filtering edge covered in fine hairs that prevents solid particles from entering the spiders mouth. This filtering system is so fine that only particles smaller than 1 micron (0.001 of a mm) can pass through.

DYK: The exoskeleton of spiders is composed of a tough material called cuticle. Cuticle is a composite material made up of a protein with microfibres of chitin embedded in it. Chitin is a polysaccharide. The microfibres are laid down in layers with the fibres in each layer having a slightly different orientation. It is this internal structure that gives the cuticle its strength.

"Brown Recluses live in my state!"

That depends, but for most of the U.S, this is false.The range of the brown recluse spider is limited to the green area on this map. If you live outside this area, brown recluse spiders do not live in your state. Period.

How do I know if my tarantula is about to molt?

There are several signs to look for to determine if your tarantula in in pre-molt and you may notice only one or a combination of these things:

1.  Refuses food

2.  Appears sluggish / lethargic

3.  Difficulty climbing walls of container

4.  The skin of the abdomen has turned dark (this is easiest to notice in NW tarantulas that have a bald spot on their abdomen)

DYK: All spiders produce silk but not all spiders spin webs. Silk is used for climbing, to create webs, to build smooth walls in burrows, build egg sacs, and wrap prey. Where does it come from? Most spiders have four or more openings, or glands, on their abdomen called spinnerets. When the spider releases the silk, it looks like one thread but it is actually many thin threads that stick together. As soon as this liquid silk hits the air it hardens.

DYK: Predators that the tarantula would be afraid of are weasels, hawks, owls, skunks and snakes. Their worst enemy is the Spider-Wasp. The female wasp will paralyze the spider by stinging it. She then digs a hole and puts the spider and an egg into it. When the egg hatches, the baby wasp will eat away at the paralyzed spider. The spider could stay buried alive for many days before the larvae hatch.

DYK: Arachnids belong to an even larger group of animals called “arthropods” which also include insects and crustaceans (lobster, crabs, shrimp, and barnacles). This is the largest group in the animal kingdom! Approximately 80% of all animals are from this group…that would be over a million different species! There are more than 30 000 different species of spiders.

DYK: Tarantulas are part of the family of spiders called Hairy Mygalomorphs. These are the spiders that, scientists believe, have been around for millions of years and have not changed much in that time! There are around 700 kinds, or species, of Tarantulas.

DYK: The dance known as the tarantella is thought by some to have originated from the belief during the 16th and 17th centuries that the bite of a certain kind of wolf spider (named “tarantula,” being found in the Taranto region of Italy) would be fatal unless the victim engaged in frenzied dancing to certain music.