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Tarantulas and Water



Hi all, ive got an interesting behavior story and maybe someone can tell me if it is normal or if any of their tarantulas do it too. Anyways, im a real chicken so i fill my tarantula's water dish with a turkey baster full of water. Even my b. smithi who wouldnt hurt a fly gets filled with the turkey baster because i am flinchy =). I started to fill my adult female B.Smithi's water dish when she started walking toward the end of the turkey baster. Not wanting her to possibaly bite and break a fang i started dripping in the water from above, near the top of the cage. With every little drip/squirt of water from the turkey baster into the dish, the tarantula went closer and closer. While she was going onto the dish, with every drip/squirt of water she "pawed" at the water with one leg, and kept advancing and pawing until she was compleately on the dish. She did not seem aggressive at all and was pawing at the water as if she wanted it. I've never seen this behavior amoung my tarantulas before and wondering why the tarantula would come close to dripping water and "paw" at it with her front leg. I thought tarantulas dispised water.

Im just curious so any thoughts would be interesting.


Vayu Son

Avatar of Anansi
Old Timer
Jul 19, 2002

The female need for clean hands/nails is universal. It transcends all boundaries otherwise present.


He Who Rules
Staff member
Jul 16, 2002
Vayu's thought aside, what it is is that they sense the vibrations from the water hitting the dish and see the movement of the water dropping and come to investigate on the off chance that it's food. I have a bunch of t's that do this. My A. geniculata is notorious for attacking a stream of water when I'm filling his dish. And don't feel bad about using a turkey baster. I use one too. It's just easier and because it's a controlled stream, you don't have to worry about splashing everything around the dish while pouring in the water.



Arachnosupporter +
Aug 15, 2002
I'd just like to address the T's being scared of water thing. Yes, they hate misting (so do I), but they are actualy good swimmers. Not that they necessarily like to, but they obviously can't loathe the water that much.



Old Timer
Jul 17, 2002
I also have quite a few Ts that 'bat' at the water. It's pretty funny, almost looks like a cat batting at a piece of string!


I know tarantulas can swim because i've seen them on TV documentaries, but their booklungs are on the underside of their abdomen, how do they not droun and die?


Code Monkey

Old Timer
Jul 22, 2002
The hairs on the abdomen actually cause a small shield of air to form over it when the Tarantula dives. A similar mechanism is exploited by diving spiders who work at getting a whole bell of air so they can stay submerged for extended periods of time.