California tarantula on Mount Diablo. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
The California Department of Fish and Game sent out the news release below about tarantula myths and Halloween. It seems appropriate to print this now, with Halloween just 4 days away. If you are afraid of spiders, I suggest you cover your eyes before reading it. /Gary
California Tarantulas Caught in Web of Lies
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to crush the myths surrounding one of the season’s most misunderstood critters – the tarantula. These hefty, hairy spiders have been unjustly maligned for decades and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) wildlife biologist Nathan Graveline wants to set the record straight.
Graveline has been fascinated with tarantulas since he was a young boy growing up in the Central Valley, where these spiders enjoy the dry, well-drained soil.
“I handled quite a few tarantulas and was never bitten, but I did get a rash from the small irritating hairs on their backs,” said Graveline.
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Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Under: Spiders, Tarantulas | 6 Comments »
Tarantula on Mount Diablo. Photo by Ray Mengel, Bay Point, Ca.
I thought you might be interested in a recent tarantula photo I took on Mount Diablo on October 1. Cheers.
Ray Mengel, Bay Point, CA
Always good to get one of your always beautiful tarantula photos from Mount Diablo.
For those of you who don’t know, this is the best time of year to see tarantulas in the wild and Mount Diablo is the BEST place to see one of these big, beautiful (and gentle!) spiders. Male tarantulas come out in the fall, in great numbers after the first fall rain, to search for female tarantulas. Lucky (??) males who find females will get a chance to breed before the big female spiders sometimes kill and eat them. Hey, it’s a tarantula thing.
Drive carefully when you go up the mountain to see them. There’s often a lot of those big spiders crawling across the road. When you stop to take a look, treat them gently. They’re actually quite fragile. Yes, they can bite, but it takes a lot to provoke them. The bite, I can tell you from first-hand experience, is about like a bee sting. Have fun! /Gary
Posted on Thursday, October 21st, 2010
Under: Mount Diablo, Spiders, Tarantulas | 1 Comment »
Baby tarantula photo by Connie Muir, Castro Valley, CA
I took this pic in Castro Valley — unfortunately in my laundry room. Many people who have seen the above picture argue that this is not a tarantula. I have been told it is a wolf spider. I know that the male tarantula comes out in the Fall looking for a mate. I took this picture about two years ago around October. Please settle this dispute once and for all. I would like to think it is a Tarantula.
Connie Muir, Castro Valley, Calif.
Your thinking is correct. The above photo is a young tarantula. The picture below is an adult tarantula. These are beautiful, gentle (unless you are a tasty insect) spiders. /Gary
Adult tarantula photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
Posted on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
Under: Spiders, Tarantulas | 2 Comments »
TARANTULA PHOTO BY RAY MENGEL
If you’d like to get a look at a tarantula in the wild, now is a good time to go for a pleasant hike on Mount Diablo. The mountain is one of the best places in the Bay Area to see these giant spiders.
Just be careful when driving up the mountain … there could be a lot of tarantulas crawling on or across the road. (Brake for tarantulas!)
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Posted on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
Under: Mount Diablo, Spiders, Tarantulas | 4 Comments »