Posts tagged: Biology

5 Interesting Facts About Tarantulas Physiological Features

Desert Tarantula In Hand

Tarantulas may be big, hairy spiders, but they have some physiological features that truly set them apart from other arachnids. Unlike most spiders, tarantulas are fairly non-aggressive towards humans, although they are natural born killers when it comes to other insects, mice, birds, and frogs. Below we’ll discuss five interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about tarantula’s physiological makeup.

Tarantulas Can Grow Up to 10 Inches

Tarantulas are some of the world’s largest, with some species growing up to 10 inches at full leg span, or approximately the size of a dinner plate. It’s no wonder movie directors display these fuzzy arachnids in horror flicks – can you imagine a spider the size of a dinner plate heading toward you?

Tarantulas Throw Needle-like Barbed Hairs in Self-Defense

Tarantulas rarely bite people, but if they feel threatened they will use their back legs to scrape barbed hairs from their abdomens and fling them and the so-called threat. Sound strange? It gets stranger – you’ll definitely know if you’ve been hit, as these barbed hairs tend to cause rashes. Some people suffer severe allergic reactions. Not that the tarantula gets off scott free – it ends up with a nice bald spot on its belly.

A Fall Can Kill a Tarantula

Tarantulas actually have thin skins, especially around the abdomen. A fall from even a short height can cause a fatal rupture in the spider’s exoskeleton. This is the number one reason why it’s recommended that you never handle a tarantula – it’s easy to get spooked when this large, hairy spider species is crawling on your hand, and the knee-jerk reaction is to drop it, which can result in the spider’s death.

Tarantulas Have Retractable Claws on Each Leg

Evolution didn’t leave tarantulas totally defenseless against the risk of falling – in order to provide them with a good grip, they have a retractable claw at the end of each leg to help them climb. Most tarantulas stay on the ground, but some climb up into trees or on other objects, which is when the retractable claws come in handy. In this aspect tarantulas are rather cat-like – by extending their claws, they can get a better grip on the surface they are climbing.

Tarantulas Can Regenerate Lost Legs

Tarantulas molt throughout their lives, giving them the ability to repair injured parts of their bodies. If a tarantula happens to lose a leg, a new one will grow in its place by the next time it molts. Depending on its age and how much time passes by before the tarantula’s next molt, the leg may be a bit smaller than the rest, but over time it should catch up with the rest of the spider’s body. Sometimes tarantulas eat their own severed legs in order to recycle protein.

Tarantulas have very interesting and unique physiological qualities which set them apart from other spiders. Though fairly harmless, if you’ve noticed an outbreak of tarantulas around your home, you might want to call in a pest control professional to check things out.

About the author: Chris is a professional for a ct pest control company. The movie Archanaphobia scared the daylights out of him as a kid, and although he doesn’t like spiders, they don’t freak him out anymore.

Three of the Longest Lived Insects on Earth

The Earth is home to some 900,000 known species of insect, and probably many more unknown. Most of these insects lead short lives of a few months or a couple of years. However, there are some insects who are much longer lived. These bugs can live almost as long as a human in varying forms, and some live longer than people.

Termites

Termites Interacting

These insects are a pest to homeowners dealing with an infestation, but in the wild they can build some truly magnificent termite mounds. Termite colonies are often hierarchal in nature with workers and soldiers maintaining the colony, while a Queen termite and King termite provide each new generation. Most workers and soldiers only live about two years in captivity. Studies have found that the Queen and King termites can last for decades, up to fifty years or more. Although, most of the colony ends up with a short live span, the royalty can live as long as many humans.

Cicadas

Cicada_Swarm

Another long lived insect are cicadas. These insects have an unusual life cycle during which they spend most of their lives underground before emerging for a brief few months to breed and die. There are over 2,500 classified species of cicada and probably more unknown species. Cicadas are known to live underground as ‘nymphs’ or juveniles for between 13 and 17 years before emerging to begin their adult life cycles. Cicadas are usually harmless with no mouth parts, but they do have a proboscis that they use to suck sap out of trees. These insects are known for the loud mating calls of the male that can cause annoyance to humans in the area.

Wood Boring Beetle

Wood_Boring_Beetle

A wood boring beetle is also a nuisance to homeowners who do not have properly treated wood. These insects spend a large part of their lives as larva, eating wood. This is better done in trees, but sometimes they do make it into a home and live in the wood framing and paneling. There are many species of wood boring beetle, most of which live as larva in the wood for a few months to a few years. However, some wood boring beetles have been found living in wood as larva for up to twelve years, or even thirty years.

These are just three long lived insects. You never know, there may be some insects, as yet unidentified, that live even longer. One creature, called the “Springtail”, is a hexapod that looks very insect like. Springtails can enter a state of suspended animation when dehydrated or under stress and return to life later on. They could ‘live’ indefinitely in this manner. However, this does not mean they are invincible and will die from injury, poison, or even getting eaten like any other creature.

About the author: Chris is a blogger for a New Jersey pest control company.

Discovery of Endangered Spider In San Antonio Brings $15 Million Highway Project to A Halt

San Antonio Construction Delays

Commuters in San Antonio, TX are less then trilled about the discovery of an endangered spider in the middle of a $15 Million highway construction project, which has halted construction plans until further notice. While biologists are celebrating the rare discovery, local residents are fuming over the inconvenience and lack of progress on the busy road.

Construction workers have been told to stop working as the Federal Government tries to figure out what further steps need to be taken to protect the endangered spider. Josh Donat, San Antonio District spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation, said “it is too early to tell which options are viable.”

With the underpass construction project on hold, the 80,000 motorists that usually pass through the intersection everyday will experience more delays in their already nightmarish commute. With all the attention on the special species of spider, San Antonio residents are fuming that the needs of the community are being overlooked.

The Discovery Of An Endangered Spider

The Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver spider was found in the heart of an underpass project, which began in April 2012, on Texas 151 at Loop 1604 in Northwestern San Antonio. It is only the second time the species has been spotted in more than 30 years. The spider was discovered after rain exposed a 6-feet-deep natural hole on the highway median. Local biologists found 19 other cave features, and believe that they all may be the spider’s habitat.

The Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver Spider

The Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver Spider is a rare species of spider found primarily in the state of Texas. The spider is about the size of a dime, and doesn’t have eyes. The spider was first discovered in 1980 by Goerge Veni, about five miles away from the newest discovery and construction site. The Meshweaver is named for a type of intricate mesh web the spider spins. They spend their entire lives in subterranean habitats, like caves. The Meshweaver was placed on the federal endangered species list in 2000, along with eight other spiders found only in the Texas County. Habitat degradation via pollution, alterations in water flow and direct human interference are the reasons scientists believe the spider is so rare.

Spider Control

While the Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver Spider is very rare, there are many other spiders that can infest your San Antonio home. If you are seeing spiders in or around your property, contact a local exterminator today!

Bulwark Exterminating
118 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-2706
bulwarkpestcontrol.com

San Antonio Chimney & Wildlife Control
333 West Olmos Drive #123
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 607-0347
texaschimneywildlife.com

Orkin Pest & Termite Control
4902 Center Park Boulevard
San Antonio, TX
(866) 713-9979
orkin.com

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