As typical arachnids, they have eight legs and eight eyes. They possess venomous (deadly to insects and mice, next to harmless to humans) fangs, and "feelers," pedipalps, on either side of these. To tell a tarantula (as well as trapdoors and other mygalomorphs) from araeneomorphs ("regular spiders"), look at the fangs; An araeneomorph's fangs point towards each other, while a mygalomorph's points down and in.
Tarantulas can be purchased in Knockturn Alley. In 1991, Lee Jordan brought a large tarantula in a box to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters just before the school year began and showed it off to his classmates, both to their horror and delight.
Behind the scenes
- The Mainland Chinese version of the Harry Potter books included various footnotes from the translator explaining various aspects of British culture to Chinese readers. The word "tarantula" is given two such footnotes, one in Philosopher's Stone and one in Goblet of Fire. However, the two footnotes contradict each other, one claiming tarantulas are from South Africa, the other stating they are from southern Europe. Both footnotes are correct, however, as the tarantula has a large range covering much of the southern half of the Earth.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game