I hope you can venture a guess on this large spider, which turned up in my living room in Sonoma County California this morning. The picture is not great, but that’s a Pretenders LP cover. It was not particularly hairy, but did have lots of small spiny protrusions on the legs, and some fine cinamon colored hairs on some upper leg parts. Otherwise, all just sort of charcoal color, with no obvious markings, with the exception of a sort of radiation symbol mark on its thorax (not abdomen). At the end of the abdomen were two distinct downward pointing hooks, resembling fangs. This guy was ready for a fight.
Thanks, and once again, sorry for the poor picture, but I was hoping that region size and description would help.
Director of Education
Rodney Strong Vineyards
You shouldn’t be so harsh about the quality of your photograph. What is lacks in sharpness, it more than makes up for in creativity. You can’t miss with the Pretenders. You sure do have a Tarantula. Tarantulas belong to the family Theraphosidae. About 30 species of Tarantulas live within the United States, for the most part in the arid Southwest. Many California species belong to the genus Aphonopelma. Tarantulas often live in colonies in burrows in the ground. They often loose much of their hair just before molting. Though they rarely bite and have weak venom, it is possible for dislodged hairs to cause inflamation if they become imbedded in skin or eyes, a possible defense mechanism. The downward pointing hooks on the abdomen you mention are actually spinnerettes for spinning silk.