<zoology> Any one of several species of large spiders, popularly supposed to be very venomous, especially the European species (Tarantula apuliae). The tarantulas of Texas and adjacent countries are large species of Mygale.

Alternative forms: tarentula

Tarantula killer, a very large wasp (Pompilus formosus), which captures the Texan tarantula (Mygale Hentzii) and places it in its nest as food for its young, after paralyzing it by a sting.

Origin: NL, fr. It. Tarantola, fr. L. Tarentum, now Taranto, in the south of Italy.

(26 Nov 1998)

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