We were collecting some trail data in Bajo del Tigre yesterday and Marty just barely missed stepping on this 5 inch long Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula! Check it out.
Did you know that tarantulas moult in order to grow? Since their exoskeleton cannot stretch, they have to replace it several times a year. When the new exoskeleton is ready, the tarantula will lie on its back for several hours while the transformation takes place. Since the fangs are part of the exoskeleton and the new ones are soft, the spider cannot eat for a couple more days. Wouldn’t that be neat to watch? Today our friend Heleena saw a parasitic wasp lay its eggs on a tarantula. As they grow, the larvae will eat the tarantula from the inside out!