Wildlife - Tarantulas

Wildlife - Tarantulas


These large, furry spiders live quietly in burrows in the ground, coming out primarily at dusk and dawn. They are usually slow-moving, marching deliberately along as they go about their business. Although related to the larger and more venomous South American tarantulas, our local variety has a bite no more dangerous than a bee sting; and I've never gotten one sufficiently riled that it even wanted to bite.

Tarantula burrow

A tarantula burrow can often be recognized by its circular opening, lined with spider silk. When the silk covers the opening, the tarantula is at home; when the burrow is open, the occupant may or may not be in residence.

We were out for a walk one summer evening when we saw a family of kestrels. The newly-fledged youngster was flying down to the ground and carefully inspecting a tarantula that was making its way through the dust on the road. After a thorough look, the youngster flew back up to its parents on the powerline, and we could practically hear it asking, "Is that food, daddy?" The answer seemed to be "no."

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