Tarantula are known for their large hairy bodies and legs.But they are harmless to humans ad their venom is weaker than a typical bees.Tarantulas periodically shed their external skeletons in a process called molting.In this process they also replace internal organs such as female genitalia and stomach lining and even regrow lost appendages.
There are hundreds of tarantula species in most of the worlds tropical and subtropic regions.Tarantulas are burrowers that live in the ground.Insects are their main prey but can target bigger prey including frogs.toads.and mice.The South American bird eating spider asits name suggests is even able to prey on small birds.Tarantulas have few natural enemies.but parasitic pepsis wasps are a formidable exception.They paralyze the spider with its sting and then lays its eggs on the spiders body.When they hatch the larvae feed on the still living spiders flesh. Typical symptoms of a spider bite in the UK are local pain, swelling and reddening. Countrywide, the incidence of bites is not high (perhaps a number in 10s or 100s each year) but, with the relatively recent spread in the UK of some colonizing species, the frequency appears to be increasing. However, there are no statistics collected nationwide. Thus reports help alert people, including medical practitioners, to the reality that the UK has a number of spiders that can and do cause bites.
We have some different tarantula spiders on display including a specimen of one of the biggest spiders on the planet, The Salmon Pink bird-eating spider.
Pink toed Tarantula.
Pink toed tarantula:
This spider is arboreal (lives in trees) and comes from South America.
It stalks the branches of the tree it lives in looking for insects to eat.
Like all tarantulas, it kills its prey with venom injected through its fangs.
If threatened, this spider will squirt poo and try to run away!
Salmon pink Tarantula.
, The Salmon Pink bird-eating spider!
This tarantula is one of the largest species of spider on earth, with adult females having a leg span of up to 25cm!
It has massive fangs which it uses to kill the mice and snakes that it eats.
To avoid being eaten, this spider will raise itself up and show its fangs as well as rubbing the hairs off the back of its body. These fine hairs are like itching powder and will cause any animal nearby to have sore eyes and skin.
We have several species of stick insect on display.
As well as the Indian stick insect that everyone knows about, we also have several species that are not often seen such as:
The Giant Green Stick insect
This stick insect comes from the Island of Grenada. The females are very chunky and a bright green colour, with the males being slimmer and brown.
Females can grow to around 19cm in length and males around 12cms.
Both the males and females can fly.
Black Beauty stick insect (Peruphasma Schultei)
This stick insect is found in a small area in Peru, South America. It has very small bright red wings which it uses as a warning to other creatures not to eat it, a jet black body and yellow eyes! It sprays a toxic liquid from its head making it taste really nasty.it cannot fly.Also there is Asceles sp (ban salok .These colourful stick insects come from Thailand.
They are green, orange, brown and yellow with light purple heads.
They are really good fliers.
Females grow to around 8cm long and the males 6cm
Giant Hissing cockroach.
This large insect comes from the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Giant hissing cockroaches are one of the largest species of cockroach, with adults reaching lengths of 7cm or more.
They don't fly but are able to run fast and are excellent climbers.
They mainly eat vegetable matter such as leaves and rotting wood.
These insects are able to produce a loud hissing noise by forcing gas out of their breathing pores (spiracles) on the side of their body.