Tarantulas In Central Texas

I was vaguely aware of the fact that we have Tarantulas here in Central Texas, and more specifically, right on Fort Hood. However, up until recently I hadn't actually seen any of them myself. For the past couple of weeks, Justin has actually been telling me about the tarantulas that he sees along the path on his way to and from the skateboard park ... along with the deer, water moccasins, and he even claims to have seen a Mountain Lion (I'm still not totally buying that one).

Anyway, back to the Tarantula ...

The other afternoon when I got back from work, my neighbor Mary Kay came over to the house holding a jar. She knows that I take pictures, and she wanted to know if I wanted to get a few snaps of the spider that she found underneath her car. Needless to say, I answered in the affirmative.

I took the jar out front, and picked up about a 2 1/2 foot stick that I could use to try to control the spider, then dumped him out on my front lawn. He was very cooperative. Not only didn't he run away, but it just too a few nudges with the stick to turn him (or maybe it was a her) around, and make a better pose for my photograph.

I really wasn't all that surprised by how relatively docile this tarantula was ... and actually, I'm a little bit disappointed in myself for not picking it up and handling it a bit. Basically, "walk the walk" to match the "talk" that I told my son ... that Tarantulas are not aggressive, and you would almost have to "try" to get it to bite you ... and then, even if it did bite, the venom has very little effect on humans ... for most people a bee sting is much worse.

I'm sure this won't be my last encounter with big hairy spiders here in Texas. And truth be told, I may even go seek them out at some point ... and of course I'll have my camera with me. ;-)



  1. Josefina Arg├╝elloJune 22, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    After spending many vacations in Cancun, Mexico, I decided to move there to study. And I learned there are tarantulas in Mexico, and they are big but not aggressive, thank goodness. I had a red-kneed tarantula taken away from the front of my door once. My maid used to throw out other spiders she found inside, and laugh when I would be freaked out by them. "This? It's harmless!" she'd tell me. Yuck. I took her word for it.


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