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Tarantula Wolf Spider Served Breakfast (inc. Video)

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After discovering the Tarantula Wolf Spider burrow a few days ago (see blog posts), I decided to set up two cameras, one for a photography and another for video. I then dropped a Mealworm near the burrow that she gladly came out for a breakfast treat!

Due to the size, I think this is a female as they are considerable larger than the males. The female’s body grows to about 3cm whereas the male is only around 2cm. Also, the females live their entire lives in their burrows and the smaller males go off in search of females. In the winter they hibernate in the burrows. As you will notice in the video below, the burrow opening is almost 5cm wide which helps visualise the size of her.

{Click image(s) to view on Flickr - opens in new tab}

Tarantula Wolf Spider (Lycosa tarantula)

This spider is not to be confused with the more commonly seen Wolf Spider (Hogna radiata) which is much smaller.

The name Tarantula is believed to come from the Italian town of Taranto where these spiders are common. In fact, they are common throughout Southern Europe, but due to their burrow nests are seldom seen. I was lucky enough to spot her retreating whilst walking the Dog. The Lycosa tarantula (scientific name) is where Tarantula comes from, but of course, we associate Tarantulas with the American association of the large hairy spiders such as the Red Knee Tarantula.

The Tarantula Wolf Spider can bite a human, but would rather retreat than defend, it can bite if continually provoked, but the bite is similar to that of a Bee Sting. In the Italian region of Apulia (where Taranto lies) it is folklore that if bitten by one these spiders the treatment is to perform a special version of the Tarantella dance.

I bet she didn’t realise she would become a movie star!

Cameras pointed at the burrow

Finally, here is the video (don’t forget the sound!)….

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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