It’s so strange that I’ve spent so much of my life traveling around the United States and have never seen a tarantula in the wild. I even owned a tarantula-breeding business for zoos and collectors in the 90’s, yet somehow finding one in the wild just simply eluded me. Recently, while I was out in a very rural tract of public land in the Lower Rio Grande Valley looking for Texas horned toads (not a toad – it’s a lizard) my wife yelled, “Watch out! You almost stepped on a tarantula!” Sure enough, this beautiful subadult Texas tan tarantula almost got squished. Usually a very docile species, this one was quite frisky and was showing me its fangs!
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Texas Tan Tarantula (Aphonopelma anax)
A great find! A subadult Texas tan tarantula is seen out in the open in broad daylight in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas on a hot autumn afternoon. These long-lived, gentle spiders are harmless to humans and can be found throughout most of Southeast Texas.