June 8, 2023- Every summer, thousands of tarantulas wander across Texas in what is now known as an annual tarantula “migration.”
Beginnining in May and lasting through July, the large arachnids, mostly males, actively search for female to mate with.
“One of the most spectacular spider events in Texas occurs for a few weeks each summer when male tarantulas actively wander apparently seeking females,” a Texas A&M field guide said. “This phenomenon is not well understood and may be related to migration more than mating.”
After mating, female tarantulas can lay anywhere from 100 to 1,000 eggs in a web made like a hammock. Eggs will hatch anywhere from 45-60 days.
It’s easy to spot a Texas tarantula due to its large size — usually about 1.5 inches long, the National Park Service said. The giant spiders also have a dark brown head-thorax and legs as well as a brown-black abdomen. There are 14 species of tarantula found throughout Texas, though it takes an expert to differentiate them.
The arachnids are more common in grasslands and semi-open areas, living in underground burrows, natural cavities under logs or stones, space under loose bark of tree trucks and old rodent burrows. Shelters used by these arachnids may have a few lines of silk on the ground in front of the shelter to help detect any passing pray.
Although they are nor harmful to humans, a bite from this 8 legged creature can still be quite painful, this is due to their sharp fangs. Any venom that may be injected is not dangerous. Tarantulas also defend themselves by releasing hairs found on their abdomen, which can cause irritation if the hairs come in contact with eyes or skin.