Back to School at Home, Lesson 3: Colorado's Fall Tarantula Migration

Colorado Tarantula photo by Katja Schulz Wikimedia Commons
Although you may associate big spiders with Halloween, every fall southern Colorado residents witness an eight-legged migration through their part of the state. Right now, thousands of male tarantulas are on a walkabout. From September through mid October they trek across roads and fields, looking for a mate. So determined, too: they even go without food during their travels!

Did you know:

  • Colorado Tarantulas are large brown or black hairy spiders with longer hair on their tummies.
  • Despite their great size, Colorado Tarantulas are friendly. They tend to leave people alone unless you scare them, and their bite is a bit like a bee sting. 
  • Colorado Tarantulas live in a burrow all their lives, except when the males migrate.
  • Female Colorado Tarantulas are almost twice as big as the male spiders.
  • Colorado Tarantulas rest during the day in their burrows and hunt for beetles, insects, and mice at night.
  • Male Colorado Tarantulas live for 10-12 years; female Colorado Tarantulas live at least twice that long.
  • Sadly, male Colorado Tarantulas mate just once, and then they die.

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