As generalists, Mexican red-knee tarantulas do not control species of prey. As a whole, however, tarantulas help stabilize or regulate insect populations, as tarantulas are one of the biggest families of insectivores and exhibit a wide variety of lifestyles and foraging strategies. Spiders are also important prey for birds, moths, lizards, and other insectivores. Spiders are primary food sources for bark-gathering birds. Birds also use the silk of spiders to build nest, as the protein fibers of their silk adds stability.
Mexican red-knee tarantulas are parasitized by pepsis wasps, which use their body as a nest. Pepsis wasps seek tarantula burrows and vibrate their body, mimicking prey. When a tarantula emerges from its burrow, the wasp stings it and lays eggs in its paralyzed body. When the larvae hatch, they feed upon the tarantula.
Ecosystem Impact: keystone species
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