Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders, sharing many qualities to their smaller relatives.


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.[1]

During his campaign to cause "hell" for Dolores Umbridge, Peeves dropped a bag of these in the middle of the Great Hall during breakfast.[2]

See also

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.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 6 (The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters)
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 30 (Grawp)
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