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Best time to travel to New Mexico

Tarantula Migration

Thousands of spiders can be spotted on roads, trails, and even in backyards

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The Desert Tarantula, also called the Desert Blonde Tarantula, is common in New Mexico. These arachnids usually keep to themselves, spending most of their lives in burrows. However, in the fall, you can spot them almost everywhere, in particular, on the desert highways and roads. These large spiders covered with brown or tan hair leave their hideouts and roam the desert in search of mates. Their mating season lasts from September through October,

Tarantulas are abundant in Northern New Mexico, around Santa Fe and Albuquerque. They can usually be easily spotted on Santa Fe Desert County Road 42. In Cerrillos Hills State Park, employees sometimes do guided tarantula-spotting tours. The best time to look for spiders is in the afternoon around sunset.

Eight-legged tarantulas eat insects, which they kill, stinging them with venom. The venom is usually harmless for humans, but if you get bitten by a tarantula, you might feel a sting, similar to a bee's. Male spiders live only until they reach adulthood and can mate. They die shortly after mating unless female tarantulas kill and eat the poor fellows in the process of reproduction. On the contrary, females can live up to 25 years, giving life to thousands of offspring. A tarantula hawk is the only natural enemy for these arachnids.

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen