Environment

Enviro brief: Tarantula 'migration' underway

By Cody Hooks
chooks@taosnews.com
Posted 9/20/18

Every fall, the roads around Northern New Mexico are dotted with tarantulas. Though many people call it a "migration," it really isn't; male spiders go on the move to …

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Environment

Enviro brief: Tarantula 'migration' underway

Posted

Every fall, the roads around Northern New Mexico are dotted with tarantulas. Though many people call it a "migration," it really isn't; male spiders go on the move to find a mate.

Around the world, more than 900 species of tarantulas exist, according to Bandelier National Moment. And at least six species roam the landscapes of New Mexico, a fact that wasn't known until a 2015 study by New Mexico researchers.

Tarantulas can "sting," but it's about the equivalent of a wasp sting unless a person is allergic.

The crew at Bandelier National Monument has some essential tips when folks meet a tarantula on the road. First, don't squash them. "Let him proceed on his mission to provide future generations of tarantulas," they write.

"If he's in a dangerous location like a road, and it's feasible, consider helping him across. Definitely be aware for your own safety -- fast-moving cars aren't good for people either. Wear gloves or find something flat for him to crawl onto. Place him off the road or trail in the direction he was traveling."

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