The trip to Joshua Tree was rewarding. I met this California tarantula out for cruise one mid morning. Probably a male by his more svelte abdominal rear portion.
In spite of the average lore, the tarantula venom is generally not fatal man. They generally will only attack man if they feel threatened. In the face of threat, whether perceived or real, the tarantula has two modes of defense: using its fang to bite or using their legs to cast the (urticating) barbed abdominal hairs into the faces of their predators. The barbs pierce through the skin of its attacker injecting venom. The urticating hairs generally just cause soft tissue or eye irritation.
The tarantula’s beneficial aspect is they eat crickets, scorpions, cockroaches, other small insects, mice and small other rodents.
During mating season (which runs from spring to fall), if a female isn’t totally up to an amours of a desiring male she may just decide he is a better meal than mate.