My eyes spotted a big hairy spider curled up at the front door. Upon closer look I saw it was a desert Tarantula. Arizona blond tarantulas are common during the Monsoon rainy season. I captured a picture of my tarantula friend before I attempted to move it to safety. Even though spiders, especially big hairy tarantula spiders give me the shakes….. I still want to honor nature and give this spider its freedom. As long as it is out of our front yard. 😉
The female tarantula spider is usually a uniform tan or light brown color with a stocky body; that is why this tarantula is sometimes called Arizona Blond. More common names are desert tarantula or western tarantula. The male desert tarantula spider has black legs, is thinner with black hair on his body and reddish hairs on his abdomen. I need a plan to move this tarantula without getting bit. Although most tarantulas are harmless to humans; this spider bite does hurt and can cause an extreme discomfort for a week or so.
In the above picture I used a large plastic bag to safely move the tarantula without harming it. Laying the bag over the yard fence and letting the Arizona Blond start her search for her tarantula mate. All is good!
Arizona Blond Tarantulas, Aphonopelma chalcodes, belonging to the Theraphosidae family, are nocturnal predators that never venture far from their burrows unless it is mating season. It struck me odd that this large desert arachnid was at the front door.
Her light brown, blond tarantula colors blend in quite well with the desert landscape and you can barely see this Arizona Blond Tarantula in the above photo.
Tarantulas live in dry, well-drained soils in open areas throughout the Sonoran desert and grassland areas. All North American tarantulas are ground-dwellers and live in burrows; although some other tarantula species live in trees. Male desert tarantulas mature when they are 10 to 12 years of age, at which time they leave their burrows in search of females.
The many Arizona tarantulas seen on the Sonoran Desert roads during the summer rains (July, August, September) are usually males searching for mates. The male tarantula does not survive long after his summer mating.