California Desert Tarantula

California Desert Tarantula, Jim Caldwell Redondo Beach

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.

Jim Caldwell
Redondo Beach



About jw60sea

Jim Caldwell has over 26 years of experience in the public safety sector in occupations ranging from professional ski patrol, and ocean lifeguard to firefighter. Jim has worked for the Redondo Beach Fire Department for the last 22 years holding successively higher positions of responsibility. For the last six years, Jim has held the rank of Engineer with responsibility for driving and operating the Department’s Engines and Tillered Aerial Ladder Truck. Throughout his career, he has shown a dedication not only to public safety but also community service.
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