Thursday, May 04, 2006

Arachnids, Tarantula

Tarantula, Tonto National Monument (National Park Service)<Tarantula, Tarantulas are the largest spiders in the world - some in Central America are as big as a dinner plate! There are about 30 species in Arizona, ranging in size from 2 - 3 1/2".
Males live for about 10 years, females may be as old as 20. They spend most of their lives in a burrow, and rarely go far from it, even to hunt. The tarantulas that you see are usually males, out looking for a mate.
Source: National Park Service Tonto National Monument

Tarantula Web, A tarantula spins silk, but not in the form of a web for catching food. Instead, the silk is used to line the burrow, and by the female to line the nest and cover the eggs.

Self Defense, If provoked, the tarantula may inflict a painful bite, about like a bee sting. (The tarantula hawk's sting is much more painful.) However, the tarantula has a rather gentle nature, and rarely uses its fangs except to catch prey. When alarmed, it may raise its front legs and its abdomen to look aggressive. It may also release stinging hairs from its abdomen. These hairs irritate the skin of an attacker by digging themselves in with hundreds of tiny hooks.
hairless tarantula, Pinnacles National Monument, National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Department of the Interior.This spider is about half the size of the more commonly seen tarantula. It lacks stinging hairs, and it is quite aggressive. National Park Service Pinnacles National Monument
A tarantula spotted on an open piece of ground. National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Department of the Interior.Spiders, too, live in this area. Tarantulas, although not very appealing to look at, are fascinating to study. These spiders are usually reluctant to attack people, but when they do, their venom is no more poisonous than a bee sting. National Park Service Tumacácori National Historical Park
Tarantula; R Robinson, National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Department of the Interior.This image is in the public domain and may be reproduced, free of charge with the proper credit line, National Park Service Yellowstone Digital Slides: Spiders, Tarantula by R.Robinson
Common Name: Tarantula, Photos on this website were made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of Kodak, Proud Partner of America's National Parks, National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Department of the Interior.Common Name: Tarantula, Latin Name: Aphonopelma chalcodes, Habitat: Desert Soil, Range: Arizona, New Mexico and Southern CaliforniaNational Park Service Mojave National Preserve
Disclaimer Notice The above websites and the information they contain are provided as a public service by the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Department of the Interior.

Ownership, Information presented on these websites, unless otherwise indicated , is considered in the public domain. It may may be distributed or copied as is permitted by the law.
Tarantula, Spider Fish Springs national Wildlife Refuge, US Fish and Wildlife Service.Although rarely seen, the Tarantula, Spider is right at home at Fish Springs US Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge
Most of the images on our Web pages (US Fish and Wildlife Service) are in the "public domain" (which means they have no copyright restrictions). If an image on our Web site is not restricted and does not say it is copyrighted, then you can assume it is in the public domain (the above image). You may download and use those copyright-free images in your print and electronic publications. There's no fee to pay (i.e., they're free), and no need to get permission from the Service for reusing them.
Death Valley National Park, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the InteriorMale desert tarantulas (Aphonopelma chalcodes) are most visible at dawn or dusk, particularly in the late fall and spring when temperatures are most suitable for them to travel in pursuit of females.
Otherwise, they are typically nocturnal and stay close to their burrows. They feed on insects, mice, lizards, and other small animals that they hunt mostly by feel in the dark. Males have longer legs than females after thier fist molt. Females can live for 20 years or more. These tarantulas are reluctant to attack humans, and the venom in their bite is no more toxic than bees or wasps.

Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credit is requested. (Death Valley National Park, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior)Source: USGS Death Valley

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