© 2010 Colleen M. Griffith. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, modified, or redistributed in any way without written agreement with the creator. This image is registered with the US Copyright Office.
This is a photo of a wild tarantula I found prowling the trails of Mount Diablo State Park in Northern California. Yes, even tarantulas have a mating season - so every September the mature male tarantulas come out of their burrows looking for love. If you walk slowly, and look closely, you can find them. I let this one crawl all over my legs to see if I could get a good shot of him (I was wearing jeans of course) :) The local tarantula expert I spoke to in the area said it wasn't a good idea to let them crawl on your bare skin (other than hands perhaps) - this is because the tarantulas use their hairs as a defense mechanism, sort of like a porcupine. Tarantula hairs have little barbs on the ends of them and will stick in your skin, causing a rash. If you ever find one with a hairless rear-end, then you know it's felt harassed. They'll raise their rear end, and use their back legs to scrape the hairs off their backside - they'll then wave their legs in the air to stir up the hairs in the hopes their harasser will breath them in. Barbed hairs inside your nose - must be really uncomfortable!
Posted 16 September 2010. You can see a collection of all my Tarantula photos by going to http://www.colleenmgriffith.com/Galleries/Flora-and-Fauna/Spiders
US ParksTarantulaMount DiabloCaliforniaColleen M Griffith
From 2010 New Photos