Massive Wave of Tarantulas Cross Texas- Will They Make It To Lubbock?
It seems our spiders, and their migrations, are one of the many things that are bigger in Texas. Meet the Texas Brown Tarantula (aka: A. hentzi), whose leg span can reach over 4 inches, and who can weigh up to 3 ounces (about the same as a deck of cards). This chubby, fuzzy one is a female:
Texas is currently in the middle of a yearly migration of thousands of these guys, which takes place from May to July. Most of the spiders on the move are males, looking for a mate- we think. It's actually not entirely certain why so many make this move at this time.
If you are wiggly about spiders, you are probably desperate at this point for me to tell you if they are en route to Lubbock. Okay, let's get to it.
According to this distribution map, we are ever so slightly out of range of the migration- according to that study, anyways. With all the rains we've had lately, perhaps we could get some "strays" but that may not even be a factor. Looks like most of West Texas proper is spared, but all of Oklahoma is in range, so don't move there unless you want to occasionally run into these dudes.
Traveling? Texas Browns love multiple habitats including prairie and scrub, so you could possibly find one if you have that desire. They make burrows in the ground but so do snakes so you probably don't want to stick your hand in there. Tarantula bites won't kill you but they will hurt badly. A snake, on the other hand, might introduce you to your maker.
Personally, I think they are really cool and actually quite cute. But if you are anti-spiders and in Lubbock, you're probably safe.