Skip to main content

Animal Crossing Tarantulas: How to catch, spawn and get Tarantula Island - or make your own

How to find the lucrative - and dangerous - spider.

Tarantulas in Animal Crossing are nothing new - but in New Horizons, the spiders have become one of the most sought after species you can find in the game.

Their rarity means the Tarantula price is high, leading to players trying to work out how to find them easily - including discovering ways to find what the community has dubbed Tarantula Island, a location crammed full of them.

This page explains everything you need to know - from the basics of catching Tarantulas to how to force spawn Tarantulas yourself.

On this page:

How to find and catch Tarantulas in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Tarantulas are a rare bug found in Animal Crossing: New Horizons during the evening hours, between 7pm and 4am, and between the months of November to April. Even then, they will only appear on your island at rare intervals.

If you get close to a Tarantula, they, like a Scorpion, will look at you and raise their legs. If you get any closer while they're in this state, they will lunge for you and attack. Though you can catch it as it runs towards you, it's very possible to miss - leading to you becoming stung and being knocked out, causing the Tarantula to flee.

To catch a Tarantula successfully, approach it slowly with your net held up (hold the A button). When it raises its legs, stop and wait. It'll soon return to normal, allowing you to creep slowly towards it once more.

Repeat this process until you are close enough to drop the net on top of it. You can see this process in action in the following video:

Watch on YouTube

Tarantulas price in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Beyond being difficult to catch, the reason why Tarantulas are so in demand is because of the price they fetch when sold.

The selling price of a Tarantulas in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is 8,000 Bells - making it one of the most lucrative creatures to find in the game.

Though in regular play you will come across Tarantula rarely, it's possible to visit a Mystery Island full of Tarantulas - and to force them to spawn in special circumstances...

What is Tarantula Island, how do you spawn Tarantula Island and make the most of your visit?

The infamous 'Tarantula Island' is a name the community has given to a Mystery Island (the location you can visit from the airport after buying a ticket using Nook Miles at the store ATM) you can visit which is full of Tarantulas.

Filling your inventory full of Tarantulas from one of these trips has proven to be one of the most popular Animal Crossing money making schemes - giving you between 200,000 and 250,000 Bells in a single trip. Certainly one easy way to pay off your house loan!

As you may know, the Mystery Island you visit is largely random. Often, it'll feature a range of exotic fauna and flora. On other times, it'll be filled with a single type of fruit tree you don't have. And on very rare occasions, the centre of the island will be full of Tarantulas.

Watch on YouTube

Tarantula Island only requires one thing to spawn - for it to be night time. But even then it's still not guaranteed - the chances of it appearing are rare, so it's all down to luck. Keep visiting during the evenings and eventually you should come across one.

Once you have finally arrived at Tarantula Island, you should fill your inventory with as many Tarantulas as possible. Dump any excess tools you have - you can always buy more when you return. And if any break during your time there, remember you can buy more from the pilot with Nook Miles.

By and large the above Tarantula catching advice applies, but players have been figuring out some ingenious ways to catch them without being overwhelmed - by creating a circle of dug holes which the Tarantulas cannot leap over, allowing you to safely swing your net from the outside in.

Here's the method in action, via tahmsplat on reddit:

Tarantula island strategy from r/AnimalCrossing

Now head back to your island and rake in the cash!

If Tarantulas are currently out of season, then you may also find you visiting a special Scorpion Island!

How to force spawn Tarantulas yourself to create your own Tarantula Island

If you arrive at a Mystery Island which isn't full of Tarantulas, there is a method to force them to spawn.

You need to clear everything from the island. Dig up all the trees, pick all the flowers, smash all the rocks after eating fruit, and everything else available which can cause other insects to appear.

With this barren landscape, Tarantulas will spawn - as it appears this is an ideal habitat for Tarantulas to start appearing. (Thanks to Voxels on Twitter for coming up with this method!)

That said, there are some caveats. For one, from April (for those in the Northern Hemisphere) the arrival of a new bug - the Giant water bug - has meant they are more likely to appear on a barren island than a Tarantula will, as reports suggest it's a similar type of spawn which cannot be scared away. Tarantulas can spawn, but you might have to catch the Giant water bugs first - making a more laborious process even more difficult!

Another caveat is not every Mystery Island works the same way. There is a three-tiered island type which doesn't spawn any insects - which as a result, won't result in any Tarantulas spawning even if you clear it out:

Ultimately, it should also be made explicit this method is both time intensive and tedious. It takes some time to clear the island, and the rates at which the spiders then begin to spawn isn't as fast as a natural Tarantula Island.

If you're desperate for cash, it's still an effective method if you're willing to put the effort in - though you might be better off searching for rare fish if the conditions are right.

Read this next