Fall is tarantula time at the Calaveras Dam project site. The annual ‘tarantula migration’, which, begins in September through end of fall, is underway. Normally shy, living underground in burrows, and nocturnal, these hairy spiders are making their yearly journey above ground. The male tarantulas are migrating across our lands in search of female tarantulas to breed, and then the males scurry home in fear of being eaten by their new female companions. As part of our continuing efforts to protect wildlife, you will see many of our workers driving slow enough to stop and let the hairy critters cross the road, evident in this photo taken by our staff.
These hairy, eight-legged creatures have been feared by many. In reality, tarantulas have never caused any human deaths and are only dangerous to small insects. Tarantulas have very small venom glands and the bite of our tarantula is compared to a bee sting. Harmful spider bites generally come from poisonous spiders of other species. Although we wouldn’t want to find them inside the office trailers, we’re glad to yield to them on the roads outside.
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Photo courtesy of Bill Stagnaro, Environmental Inspector & Biologist