It’s the time of year for the Tarantula march. Starting in Fall until the weather gets too cold, thousands of hairy male tarantulas leave their burros in search of mates. They march until they die of exhaustion, are eaten by predators, or find a female to mate with (and hope she doesn’t she eat him either). How’s that for a tough dating life?
People tend not to like big ugly hairy bugs but our desert tarantulas have gotten a bad rap. Tarantulas are one of the least aggressive spiders and their bite is non-venomous. Similar to a bee sting, there’s no lasting effect unless you’re allergic.
When provoked they also have a secondary defense – using their legs to flick stinging hairs into the eyes of their predators. Okay, that is creepy… So If you see a tarantula rubbing his belly, he’s not thinking of you as a tasty meal, he’s saying stay away!