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Cover image for Spiders & Spookies Calendar

Taken in Marana,Az using a Canon Powershot SX100IS. Chilling in the backyard enjoying the cool desert air, this guy comes walking across the yard. This time of year

Information found on Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum

Identifying Features
A female tarantula has a more stocky body than a male and is covered in a light brown or tan hair (thus it is sometimes called the Arizona Blond Tarantula). The male is thinner and “lankier”, with black hair covering most of the body and reddish hairs on its abdomen. Tarantulas have two body parts (the cephalothorax and the abdomen), eight walking legs and two pedipalps that are used for touching and moving prey.

Tarantulas are very sensitive to vibrations in the ground that may indicate the presence of prey or danger. They are equipped with urticating hairs on their abdomen which can be released by kicking with the back legs; these hairs irritate the nose and eyes of would-be attackers.

Tarantulas live in dry, well-drained soils in open areas throughout the desert and grassland areas. All North American tarantulas are ground-dwellers although some other species live in trees, cliffs, caves, or in crops like bananas and pineapples.

Tarantulas occur worldwide. Those in North America occur in the southern and southwestern states, with many other species occurring to the south throughout Mexico, Central and South America.

Wild Status
Some tarantula species are endangered because of habitat destruction and over-collection for the pet trade. Our local species is common and is not currently threatened.

Tarantulas are nocturnal hunters. They feed primarily on insects like grasshoppers, beetles, other small spiders and arthropods, and will sometimes eat small lizards. They will attempt to overcome anything of the right size that moves in their range. Most tarantulas have weak venom.

Predators of tarantulas include lizards, snakes, spider-eating birds, coyotes and foxes.

The desert tarantula lives in a deep burrow which is lined with silk webbing to prevent its caving in. The hole is enlarged as the spider grows. If suitable soil is not available an occasional individual may hide in cracks or logs.

Life Span
Male tarantulas live 10 to 12 years. Females can live twice as long.

In the Sonoran Desert, tarantulas grow to a length of 3 to 4 inches (70-100 mm).

Extra Fun-facts

The Tarantula Hawk, a large spider wasp, searches out tarantulas and attempts to sting them. If successful, the sting paralyzes the spider. The wasp will then lay an egg on it, and seals it up in a burrow. The paralyzed spider provides “fresh meat” for the wasp grub to eat after it hatches from the egg.Most spiders have no teeth with which to chew their food, so they rely on their venom to liquefy their prey. They then use their sucking stomachs to draw in or ’suck" up the meal.

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My goal is to get my name out there among the vast ocean of Natural photographers. To be known for my skill with a Point & Shoot~

My images are not photo shopped. They have only been adjusted with basic sharpening, contrasting & saturation techniques. I believe that in order to appreciate Nature, you have to capture it as it is, naturally.

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  • Judy Grant
    Judy Grantover 4 years ago

    Yikes !! Nice one Kim ! Great info as always ! :)

  • Thank you Judy! He was a lot of fun to capture!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • TomBaumker
    TomBaumkerover 4 years ago

    Nice capture my friend…Well done…Hugs…Tom

  • Thank you Tom!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Lisa G. Putman
    Lisa G. Putmanover 4 years ago

    Wow, that’s close! Great shot, Kimberly!

  • Yes, I looked like a fool trying to walk backwards in front of You gotta do what you gotta do right! Thank you Lisa!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerover 4 years ago

    Fabulous capture Kimberly!

  • I apprecaite that Trish, thank you!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Lilian Marshall
    Lilian Marshallover 4 years ago

    OMG Great capture and info .

  • Thank you Lilian! I appreciate you checking him out!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Bonnie Robert
    Bonnie Robertover 4 years ago

    LOL until I started trying to capture everything I see to post on these photo sites I would have run the other way if I saw this guy!! Now I’d be walking backwards too!! Great capture lady

  • Isn’t it amazing what we can over, thank you my friend!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • DeoVolente (Dewahl Visser)
    DeoVolente (De...over 4 years ago

    lovely capture. it send shiffers down my wifes spine!

  • LOL< it did the same to my dear hubby…….Thank you so very much Deo!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • wayne51
    wayne51about 4 years ago

    Brilliant capture and narrative. Wayne

  • I try to share what I can learn about them. I think it makes them less scary……..Thank you Sir!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • Jim Sugrue
    Jim Sugrueabout 4 years ago

    Holy Crap! I’m staying in NY! Great shot of the grizzly!

  • LMAO, Ok now that is funny! I appreciate your supportive comments.

    – Kimberly Chadwick

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