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Can a Tarantula Climb Upside Down?

Tarantula's climbing

Can a Tarantula Climb Upside Down. They have little hairs on their feet that look like brushes, and they serve like hands that grab onto whatever they can to support spiders ascend. They secrete silk that attaches to the surface to hold them as they crawl. For tarantulas, hanging on is highly necessary. Despite appearances, tarantulas are in reality very vulnerable, and a drop of only a few inches could damage the delicate abdomen of a tarantula and even prove fatal.

Still, researchers have asked, how does the heavier Tarantula’s weight alone help these keeping hairs hold his weight?

Spiders have all sorts of different silks for various uses – to spin webs, build dens, cover their eggs, shield themselves, hang from ceilings, and trap and bundle their prey.

Interesting Fact – Unlike other spiders, tarantulas do not spin webs for their thread, and instead, they use it to line their burrows.

Some researchers argued that they used silk from their spinners to make their feet sticky, but an experiment was performed by Claire Rind of the University of Newcastle to discover the facts. Tarantulas were mounted in boxes of glass, which were then turned and clung to the slippery board’s sides.

Tarantula’s climbing

Using microscopic slides and video footage, they saw that only the arachnid’s paws were hitting the window, and thirty to forty silken threads were left behind where they had fallen slightly. But how could they realize that these strings come from the foot of the creepy crawler?

They then looked at the tarantula feet using an electron microscope and noticed small silk-producing taps or ‘spigots’ among the loo-brush hairs. By letting liquid out of little taps that they can toggle on or off, spiders produce silk.

As it exits the spider’s body, this substance becomes heavy and used for several purposes. The researchers studied many Tarantula types in the experiment, representing an extensive range of the tarantula genus. The proof indicates that all tarantulas use taps in their feet that create silk to ‘hang on’ in this manner.

Can a Tarantula Climb Upside Down / The Science of How Tarantula Moves

A tarantula has four leg pairs and two extra appendage pairs. Every leg has seven segments: coxa, trochanter, femur, patella, tibia, tarsus, pretarsus, and claw, which come as part of the prosoma.

To grasp surfaces for climbing, two or three retractable claws at the end of each leg are required. A set of bristles, called the scopula, is often on each tail’s end, covering the claws, allowing the Tarantula to grasp easier while climbing surfaces such as glass.

The fifth pair is the pedipalps, which, in the case of a mature male, assist in sensing, gripping prey, and mating. Chelicerae and their associated fangs are the sixth pair of appendages.

When walking, the first and third legs of a tarantula, on the one hand, pass on the other side of the body at the same moment as the second and fourth legs. The muscles in the legs of a tarantula allow the legs to curve at the joints, so to stretch a limb, the Tarantula raises the hemolymph pressure that enters the leg.

At the top of the opisthosoma, tarantulas, and nearly all other spiders, have their main spinnerets. Tarantula species have two to four spinnerets, unlike other spider species in the infra-order Araneomorph, which comprises most of the existing spider species, and most of which have six.

Spinnerets are lightweight devices that are tube-like and from which the spider exudes its silk. The tip is named the rotating area of each spinneret. Each spinning sector protects as many as 100 spinning tubes from which silk is exuded. The shear forces allow proteins in the silk to crystallize as the silk is taken out of the spinners, converting it from a liquid to a strong thread.

Can You Move Tarantulas Fast?

When they want to, tarantulas will move very quickly. However, tarantulas move much of the time in a rather sluggish, plodding type of manner. Because of vibrations, they pick up through their legs and hairs on their body, do not have obvious eyesight, and feel the environment.

Moving steadily helps them to feel the environment around them more quickly. During the colder months, tarantulas begin to run more rapidly. They can also travel very fast to get away from the hazard if they are attacked. Studies have demonstrated, though, that they appear to lose their coordination as the Tarantula runs more rapidly. When they dash to get away, they can slip a little or seem to walk almost in a drunken manner.

Can a Tarantula Climb a Glass Wall?

Tarantulas are heavy-weighted spiders that are generally rather good climbers. There are even tarantulas that live in trees, also known as arboreal tarantulas. But when you keep tarantulas in a glass terrarium, should you be careful that they don’t climb out? Can tarantulas climb a glass wall of their enclosure?

Tarantulas can climb smooth surfaces like a glass wall; even the terrestrial ground-living tarantulas can. However, many tarantulas don’t prefer to climb a glass wall and mainly have all eight legs on the ground or climb other objects. Because tarantulas can climb on glass, you should always have a lid on your tarantula enclosure.

So, don’t be surprised to see your tarantula climb on glass, but even that they can, it doesn’t mean they will climb on it. But, how is a tarantula able to climb on glass with their heavyweight body. How can they get a grip on such a smooth surface?

Tarantula climbing glass wall

How Can a Tarantula Climb on Glass?

It was long believed that tarantulas grabbed silk from the abdomen’s spinnerets to create lifelines and secure their grip on smooth surfaces. However, a recent discovery shows this is not true.

Tarantulas can climb confidently on glass because of silk-shooting feet. Scientists discovered that tarantulas do not only produce silk in their spinnerets but also within their eight legs. With the help of small amounts of sticky silk, they can easily climb glass walls — the fibrous silk ‘glues’ to anchor itself down and prevent a fall.

When a tarantula climb on a smooth surface, you will see it always keep four legs on the surface to keep a grip. It also more slowly and more precisely moves its feet. Tarantulas have more to battle climbing rugged terrain. On each leg, a tarantula has a small claw, which helps when climbing.

Many tiny hairs on its feet, called setules, form a weak electric attraction with the surface to keep them on smooth surfaces. While this attraction work for small spiders and lightweight spiders, tarantulas are too heavy to only rely on this adhesion with the help of setules. Silk-shooting legs make them able to climb even glass walls. It can even hang upside down because of this adaption—climbing adaptations in tarantulas.

Why is my Tarantula Climbing the Wall?

There can be many reasons why tarantulas climb. It is quite normal for arboreal species that they climb, and it would be more surprising and strange to see them on the bottom of their enclosure. However, for terrestrial tarantulas, to see them climb may be a signal that your Tarantula wants to tell you something. Let’s discuss the reasons why your Tarantula is motivated to climb?

Climbing on walls

Your Tarantula does not like its Substrate

Tarantulas that don’t like their substrate may start to climb to get away from it. This can have several reasons. One is that it doesn’t like the substrate material. This may happen, for example, when you use vermiculite as a substrate.

Another instance when a tarantula climb is when the substrate is too wet. Although tarantulas like humid environments and a damp substrate are too moist, they look for a way they do not get wet feet.

There is mold in the substrate

If the substrate is too dirty, especially when there is mold growing on it, your Tarantula may start to climb. When you see your Tarantula effortless, try to climb the glass, have a look at the cleanness of your substrate.

Tarantulas are neat creatures. They like a tidy and clean environment. Mould is also harmful to tarantulas, so make sure you keep your enclosure clean and tidy.

There are (pest) creatures in the substrate

An enclosure infested with other (pest) bugs makes your tarantula climb as well. Although cleanup crews in the substrate can be beneficial, your Tarantula may not like it crawling under its feet.

Your Tarantula may have no problem with other bugs in the enclosure at the start, ut when they reproduce and get with too many, it is trying to avoid them by climbing on objects and possibly also the glass.

No suitable place to hide

Terrestrial and fossorial tarantulas like a place to hide. They need shelter or enough substrate to burrow. If you do not provide this, a tarantula will feel uncomfortable and unhappy. It may also try to search for a place it feels more comfortable and will start climbing objects or the glass walls.

It is essential to fulfilling the needs of your Tarantula. Every Tarantula needs some hiding place that suits the species. For fossorial species, you need to provide a thick layer of a substrate. Terrestrial species like to have a wood or bark piece to shelter. Arboreal species like to have pieces of wood to crawl behind to have some privacy.

Your Tarantula is exploring its environment

Your tarantulas may climb objects and glass walls simply because it’s exploring the environment. Although tarantulas often are hidden for long times and seem to like sitting still for a whole day, they sometimes go out exploring their enclosure.

Some tarantulas are more curious and more adventurous than others. It depends on the species but also the character of your spider. Some tarantulas like to climb their terrarium wall.

Your Tarantula is hungry or thirsty

When a tarantula is climbing on the terrarium wall can be a sign that your Tarantula is hungry or thirsty and search for food or water. Some tarantulas tempt you to climb in your approach as a keeper, hoping they will get their next meal. It can also be learned behavior. It may be that your spider has learned that, when it climbs on the glass wall or specific object, that it gets food.

Why can’t my Tarantula climb glass?

Sometimes your Tarantula will try to climb but fail in the attempt. There are some logical reasons why it temporarily lost the ability to climb glass. When a tarantula is nearing its next molt (called premoult), it will often lose the ability to climb slick surfaces like glass walls.

The quality of its hair is not that good anymore. You can recognize that your Tarantula is in pre molt when it develops a ‘blad spot’ that is shiny and without hairs. Also, often your Tarantula starts to get a bit dull-colored when it is nearing its next molt.

It can be that your Tarantula has broken its setules hairs on its legs. This may happen when walking on a sinister quality substrate or extreme climbing (often stress or lack of basic needs). Of course, the first step is to provide your Tarantula’s basic needs so it feels happy again. Do not worry; your Tarantula will be able to (better) climb after it is molted.

Make your tarantula enclosure escape-proof

Now we know your Tarantula can climb a glass terrarium wall; you might consider if your enclosure is escape-proof? First, you need to keep your Tarantula in an enclosed space.

For terrariums, a lid is always included. When you use another type of enclosure, like a glass aquarium, you need to build a lid yourself. Otherwise, your Tarantula will walk out in no time.

And although you probably are not scared of tarantulas like some people are, you don’t want your Tarantula to walk freely in your house. They can harm themselves, and your house has not the optimal environment for them to stay healthy.

However, many terrariums have wired mesh lids on top. There are some tarantulas known to weaken and bend the mesh eventually and then break out. Also, make sure your tarantula enclosure is closed and locked when you are not around. When a lid is not secured, they can push it open and crawl out.

Tarantulas Popular Species

Tarantulas are a genus of large, hairy spiders from the Theraphosidae family. Around 1,000 species may currently be described. “The name tarantula is generally used to identify members of the Theraphosidae family, while “tarantulas” or “fake tarantulas” are frequently referred to by several other members of the same order (Mygalomorphae).

In the exotic pet trade, several of the more common species have become famous. Many creatures of the New World who are kept as pets contain urticating fur that can cause skin inflammation and, in difficult situations, cause eye injury. More common than others are certain forms of tarantulas. There are also several tarantula types kept as pets. In the United States, in the southwestern states, you will encounter multiple Tarantula forms.

Types of Tarantulas

Redknee Mexican Tarantulas

One of the more common pet tarantulas is the Mexican Redknee Tarantula. For spider lovers, it is also the first pet. You can find them in online pet shops.

These varieties of tarantulas can live for up to 30 years, have a leg period of around 5 inches, and have red knees, as the name implies. They are silent spiders as well. Terrain forms such as scrublands, plains, deciduous trees, and dry thorn forests can be identified in the Mexican red knee tarantula.

Rose Tarantulas from Chile

The Chilean Popular, Chilean Fire, Chilean Rose Haired, and Chilean Flame tarantula are often referred to as these forms of tarantulas. It is a common pet spider for lovers of arachnids, too. The standard leg period is around 5 inches and will live for up to 20 years for females. The Chilean Rose Tarantula needs a warm and humid climate and is a burrowing spider. This tarantula genus is considered to be calm.

Tarantulas Costa Rican Zebra

The Costa Rican Zebra has just a leg range of 4 to 4-1/2 inches, and these styles of tarantulas are significantly lower than the Chilean Rose. However, it is also a ground-dwelling species, as is the Chilean Rose.

These spiders are quiet, but they can be speedy (which may startle first-time pet owners). Females will live up to 20 years, and, along with high humidity in the atmosphere, average temperatures of 70-85 degrees F are required.

Redleg Tarantulas Mexican

These animals are capable of surviving up to 30 years. The leg span of the Mexican Redleg tarantula will expand to 6 inches. Usually docile, they are also ground-dwelling spiders. This species‘ recommended temperature range is 75-85 degrees F if you choose to keep them as pets, alongside the average 65-70 percent humidity that most tarantulas require.

A terrestrial Tarantula species closely similar to the typical Mexican red knee tarantula is the Mexican redleg or red-legged Tarantula. It is a docile tarantula, like the redknee, and is expected in the pet trade. It is slow-growing, and females will live for decades, like many tarantulas.

Honduran Curly Hair Tarantulas

A plump-bodied spider is the curly hair tarantula, coated with dark brown to black bristles. This spider is very resistant, slow-moving, and fast-growing, often referred to as merely curly hair or wooly Tarantula. Like other successful beginner spiders, it is a ground-dwelling spider, which only requires a tiny enclosure, such as a five or 10-gallon habitat.

Pink Zebra Beauty Tarantula

The Pink Zebra Beauty is from South America, like many tarantula types. For newcomers who are searching for a pet spider, it’s a perfect pick. It is often mistaken, though, for a particular form of spider named the Chaco Golden Knee. Females can live up to 25 years and have a leg span of up to 6 inches, and they can expand. They usually have calm temperaments.

Pink Toe Tarantulas

The Guyana Pink toe, Common Pink toe, South American Pink toe, or Pink-toed tree spider are often referred to as the Pink Toe tarantula. The leg span of this spider can be between 3-1/2 and 5 inches. Females only survive for up to 10 years, though.

As it is a tree-dwelling tarantula, housing for this form of Tarantula is far different from a ground dweller. The enclosure would require branches and more height to enable it to ascend. Pink toes, like most other tarantulas, are carnivores that consume butterflies and other tiny animals.

Brazilian Black Tarantulas

The Brazilian Black Tarantula is a radiant black and wide spider with a long leg range, making for a lovely cat. The females of this tarantula genus will live for up to 30 years, and around half a dozen crickets are estimated to be consumed per week. It is suggested that this pet tarantula’s temperatures should be in the ’70s, and humidity should be about 60%.

Mexican Red Rump Tarantulas

The Mexican Red Rump is simple to look after and develops to have a leg period of around 5 inches or more, like most tarantula types. These tarantulas are rare since they prefer to reside next to other Mexican Red Rumps in the wild, so this is the species to select if you are interested in getting more than one Tarantula.

Desert Blonde Tarantulas

These forms of tarantulas on this page are much more violent than the others. The Desert or Mexican Blonde tarantula, though, is also a reasonable option as a pet spider. This spider is a little larger than others, but as contrasted to other inexperienced tarantulas, they have identical care specifications.

Tarantula Cobalt Blue

These Southeast Asian tarantulas are shiny, brilliant blue in some lights. The majority of the time, they appear black, according to the Oakland Zoo. They are among the most violent, and therefore one of the rarest forms of tarantulas. It is not advised that these types of tarantulas be kept as pets.

Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula

According to Blue Planet Biomes, this giant spider has a leg span of approximately 12 inches (30 cm). It is endemic to South America’s northern regions and resides mostly in swampy areas. While the Goliath Bird-Eating tarantula is capable of eating birds, its activity is unusual. Earthworms are the main prey of this genus.


When they want to, tarantulas can move very quickly. However, tarantulas move most of the time in a very sluggish, plodding sort of way. This is because tarantulas, by vibrations they pick up through their legs and hairs on their body, do not have excellent eyesight and sense the world. Moving slowly helps them to feel the world around them more quickly.

1 thought on “Can a Tarantula Climb Upside Down?”

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