Though tarantulas are often seen as dangerous, these spiders are actually harmless to humans aside from a slightly painful bite. Venom from a tarantula’s bite is inflammatory but has less of an effect than a bee’s sting. Their bite may not be lethal, but it’s still best to admire these critters from a safe distance and not aggravate them.
Adding to their spooky reputation, October is typically the month in which the majority of tarantula breeding occurs. It takes around 6-9 weeks for eggs to hatch and there can be hundreds to even thousands of eggs hatching at one time. Males usually live 5-7 years and are seen more often than females as they search for a mate. The females tend to be the more resilient of tarantulas, remaining burrowed underground for most of their time and living up to 15-20 years. After breeding, male tarantulas have to escape the web quickly before the cannibalistic female doesn’t let him leave.
The long life spans and incredible adaptability of tarantulas paint an eerie picture of how long these spiders have been around and how long they’re likely to keep crawling the earth. Next time you hit the trails for an evening stroll, see if you can spot one of these not-so-scary creatures!
For more information about native wildlife on the Landmarks, visit IRConservancy.org or follow the Landmarks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.