Tarantula Threat Posture: Everything You Need to Know!

Tarantulas are very interesting creatures that come in many different varieties. In fact, there are over 800 identified species, all in different sizes and colors, and with different behavior and temperaments. However, one thing that all tarantulas have in common is that they show a threat posture when they feel like they’re being threatened.

If you’ve never seen it before, it might be a bit strange, but there’s a very good reason why they do the threat posture, they want to scare you off.

Today, we’ll go over everything you need to know about this interesting behavior.


Why do tarantulas display a threat posture?

Tarantulas put up a threat posture when they feel like they’re being threatened. Tarantulas are very large spiders, but they’re still much smaller than we are. As a result, they can easily feel threatened by us, especially when they’re not used to being around humans.

Their threat posture is basically a warning telling you to back off. It’s meant as intimidation and is used as their first line of defense.

The likelihood of your spider taking on this posture depends a lot on what species you have on your hands. Some species are quite docile and are very tolerant towards humans and being handled while others are very easily agitated and will strike a threat posture with a very slight provocation.

What should you do if your tarantula puts up a threat posture

When you see your spider taking on this posture, it’s best to leave them alone. If you do not, you risk getting a taste of their fangs because they might bite.

If you have a New World species, their bites are typically not that bad because those specimens have weak venom. However, if you get bitten by an Old World Tarantula then it can have some pretty dire consequences because they have much more potent venom.

You have to understand that these spiders are in essence wild animals and that we can be quite intimidating to them. They act almost entirely on instinct and when they feel threatened they will do what they must to survive.

What does a tarantula threat posture look like?

It’s important to know what exactly the threat posture looks like, otherwise, you don’t know when it occurs. Luckily, it’s a very easily recognizable pose.

Your spider will lift up its front legs and expose its fangs. Sometimes you might even be able to see venom dripping from their fangs if they’re really agitated.

Oftentimes, it will kind of look like they’re pointing at you with their front legs, which can look kind of funny.

Take a look at the picture above or the video below to get a good idea of what a threat posture looks like.

How to avoid this behavior

You can’t really avoid your tarantula showing this behavior. They’re not domesticated animals and can’t really be taught not to do it. It’s an instinctive behavior that they will do when they feel scared.

In some ways, you should be thankful that they do it because it’s definitely better to have your tarantula do this pose rather than getting bitten!

However, while you cannot get an individual specimen to stop doing it, you can minimize the chance of it happening by getting a more docile species. Certain species are so docile that they almost never strike this pose. Some of those species include:


Final words

The first time you see your tarantula strike a threat posture it might take you off guard. However, as long as you heed their warning and give them some space, there’s really nothing to worry about.

If you put yourself in their shoes, it’s understandable why they sometimes feel scared by the giants that care for them.

As you get more experience with these fascinating arachnids you’ll soon come to learn that they’re really not all that scary and that they’re more scared of us than we should be of them!

Jesse A.