Tarantulas (as the term is used in North America) comprise a group of often hairy and very large arachnids belonging to the family theraphosidae, of which approximately 900 species have been identified. Tarantulas can be found in the south and western parts of the United States, Central America, and throughout South America, throughout Africa, large parts of Asia and all over Australia. In Europe, there are some species in Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy and in Cyprus. Most tarantulas are harmless to humans and some species are popular in the exotic pet trade. All tarantulas are venomous, but only some species have venom that, while not known to have ever produced human fatalities, can produce extreme discomfort over a period of several days.