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Tarantula Migration in Colorado

For a few months, arachnids can be seen roaming prairies outside their hideouts

Tarantula Migration
Texas Brown Tarantula (Aphonopelma hentai) - Las Animas County, CO
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Over a dozen tarantula species can be found in the United States, mainly in the deserts of southern regions. Southeastern Colorado is home to a considerable population of Texas Brown or Oklahoma Brown Tarantula species that can be best spotted during their annual mating season beginning at the end of August and lasting through early October.

Comanche National Grassland in La Junta is the number one destination to spot tarantulas during their migration in Colorado. The park in the southeastern part of the state occupies about 443,764 acres (179,584 ha) of range land. Be on the lookout for large, hairy brown spiders along Highway 109, between La Junta and Kim, or on Highway 71, north of Ordway. Vogel Canyon is the most popular hiking destination in the Comanche National Grassland. The peak tarantula viewing time in La Junta is mid-September. Spiders tend to be more active in the afternoon, especially in the last hour before sunset. Tarantula hawks in the air can give you a heads up on where to look for spiders.

Tarantula migration occurs when males reach adulthood at about eight and leave their burrows in search of females. After a short mating season, a male tarantula typically dies before the arrival of winter. Females are luckier, having a lifespan of 20-25 years.

Practical info

When is the best time to spot tarantula migration in Colorado?

In Colorado, tarantula migration occurs during the annual mating season, typically from late August to early October. Observers can spot more spiders in the afternoon, especially an hour before sunset. La Junta is the ideal location for tarantula migration from mid-September, where male spiders migrate to search for females. While females can live for 20-25 years, males die shortly after the mating season before winter arrives. Show more

Where is the best location to see tarantulas in Colorado?

The Comanche National Grassland in southeastern Colorado is the ultimate spot for tarantula spotting during their migration. The area spans 443,764 acres of range land, and tarantulas can be observed on two different highways, 109 and 71. Additionally, Vogel Canyon is one of the popular hiking destinations within the park. It's an excellent spot for observers to witness nature's amazing spectacles. Show more

How many spider species are found in the United States?

The United States has over a dozen tarantula species, mainly found in desert regions in southern areas of the country. Texas Brown or Oklahoma Brown Tarantula is the most typical spider species in southeastern Colorado. Despite their appearance, tarantulas are harmless spiders that are vital in controlling pests that could damage crops and other vegetation. Show more

How can tarantula hawks help in spotting tarantulas for the observers?

Tarantula hawks are a type of wasp that preys on tarantulas and can be observed flying relatively close to the ground. Observers can follow these wasps to locate tarantulas. Remember to avoid getting stung as it's an incredibly painful experience that may last for an extended period. Despite this, tarantula hawks themselves are relatively harmless. Show more

How long is the lifespan of male and female tarantulas and what is the reason behind it?

Female tarantulas can live for up to 20-25 years, while males die shortly after the mating season and before winter. While the reason behind this is unclear, experts hypothesize that males need to conserve energy for the migration and mating season, leading to their shorter lifespan. The longer lifespan for females is likely tied to breeding and fertilizing offspring, one of the essential aspects of their survival. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen