Last night hubby Jim was getting ready to pull his car into the garage. He spied this guy.
Jim runs into the house to tell me there is a tarantula in the garage. It’s time for teamwork. I grab my iPad, he grabs a flashlight and together we help herd this critter out of the garage back to his/her desert home. Truthfully, Jim did the herding and held the flashlight to give me some light. It took about ten snaps to get this shot. I guess the tarantula figured I may as well stand still for a minute and get this photo session over with so I can get on with my life. Sounds like Jim when we’re barreling down the highway. However, he has become an enabler stopping when he sees something photo worthy. He’s slowly absorbing the power of social media one tiny drop at a time.
A few weeks ago I found this visitor outside the gate. It was early and maybe he wasn’t warm enough yet to move. I gave him a little poke just to make sure he was still breathing. I had no thoughts of doing mouth to mouth or calling 911 in case he didn’t move.
So here are a few fun facts about tarantulas:
According to the National Wildlife Federation, female tarantulas can live up to 30 years, while males live for a much shorter time, around seven years. Is it because their smarter? You need to find a lot of partners over that time to keep reproducing!
Tarantulas periodically molt, shedding their exoskeletons to grow. According to the Saskatchewan Science Centre, while tarantulas are molting, they can also replace internal organs including female genitalia or stomach lining. They can even regrow lost legs or pedipalps (short sensory appendages). Tell me, before you read this last sentence had you ever heard of a pedipalp? If we learned about this in high school biology, it’s long gone!
Tarantulas spin silk! Sometimes, tarantulas spin a line of silk near the entrance to a burrow, which acts as a trip wire, alerting the spider to prey that is nearing it’s home.
Why do females live longer than males? She’s weeding out the slow guys during mating season. When the male is finished, he better make a quick getaway since females will often try to eat the males after mating. No good deed goes unpunished!
In the United States, tarantulas are found in southwestern states. Tarantulas are not threatening to humans. Their venom is milder than a honeybee and though painful, their bites are not harmful. In fact, tarantulas have become a popular pet for arachnophiles around the world. Just use common sense, when you see one in the desert, enjoy and please leave it alone. Unless of course you’re trying to wrangle it out of your garage. There are exceptions to every rule.
Who has a pet tarantula? If not, what kind of critters live in your casa? Sadly I am allergic to dogs and cats, there’s a desert tortoise in my yard.
No tarantula was harmed in the writing of this blog.