Living Art / 25 November, 2009
Tarantula | The spider that horses are afraid
This tree dwelling tarantula can be found living amongst cracks in the bark, hollow branches or leaves of the trees of its native Central America, where it is locally known as the horse biter or pica caballo. They are much more active at night when they descend to the ground to hunt and can come into accidental contact with grazing horses. Acting in self-defence the spider injects poison into the leg or foot, which while not fatal can cause serious tissue damage producing burns similar to those caused by caustic acid. This spider usually feeds on small birds and rodents once tissues begin to dissolve after the fatal bite.