Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Autumn . . . . .it's Tarantula time!

Bryan and I came upon this guy out at Christmas Tree Pass area on October 30th, 2010. A nice, healthy male.

A close-up of the last photo.

Tarantulas can bite but almost never do. Using gloves is always a good idea. The bite is poisonous to small animals and insects but about like a bee sting to humans.

Males are always on the move (looking for females to mate with) so you have to be careful so that they don't walk off of your hands and fall to the ground. A ruptured abdomen would kill the Tarantula. Females are not so active.

A macro photo of the Tarantula.

The abdomen of a Tarantula has urticating hairs that they scrap off with their back legs into the face of an aggressive predator. The hairs are barbed and very irritating if they get into the predators eyes our nasal cavity.
Always wash your hands after handling a Tarantula so that you don't transfer some of the hairs into your eyes.

Definitions of urtication:

noun: a sensation of having been stung by nettles

noun: an itchy skin eruption characterized by weals with pale interiors and well-defined red margins; usually the result of an allergic response to insect bites or food or drugs.

Definition of weal:

noun: a raised mark on the skin (as produced by the blow of a whip); characteristic of many allergic reactions.
Definitions provided by Rhymezone

A Funny Tarantula Story
When I was a kid of about 12 or 13, we found a Tarantula out in the Utah desert and brought it home. I kept it in a jar for a few days and my Dad finally told me to turn it free before it died. We should have taken it back out to the desert but I took it across the street and let it go in a plowed field. Several days went by and we forgot about the Tarantula, then, one Saturday afternoon I was out in the yard and all of the sudden our neighbor across the street, Mrs Johnson, started screaming bloody murder. The Tarantula had crawled into her yard and was climbing up her back screen door. She was trying to squish it with a broom.
Her husband rescued the poor thing and let it go in a safer place. We quietly watched from afar not wanting her to know who was the source of her great distress. We were lucky she didn't have a heart attack!

Looking for Tarantula at Christmas tree Pass.

Ouch!!! Risks of the terrain.

Tip: keep a hair comb handy to pop the cactus out and away from your skin so that you don't have to grab it and take the risk of sticking it in your fingers.

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