Hitch-hiking tarantula
June 27, 2010
Thought you all might enjoy this photo and the story that goes with it. We spend a lot of time in Baja California Sur and a few years ago in early December, we made one of our usual 30 minute trips into town from the beach where we lived to visit a friend. At the time, we drove a big truck with high clearance, which we usually kept closed as much as possible, to keep out the elements and unwanted fauna.
You can probably imagine our surprise then, when after visiting our friend, we found this male desert tarantula (I say male, since they are the wanderers) all cozy on the passenger seat. I couldn’t believe I had just about hoisted my butt up on top of him. As we debated how to safely and gently remove him (though we like all kinds of critters, in the heat of the moment, we were wishing Jeff Corwin were around to lay hands on him), one of the gardeners just reached in, picked him up and then put him in my partner’s hand at her request. While she held him, I took photos and then they went for a little walk out into the nearby desert scrub where she released him.
We still can’t figure out how he got into the truck cab and it was kind of creepy to think about where he had been on our way to town and how long he might have been in the car. One theory about his presence was that our cat, who liked to jump into the cab or camper shell whenever we left the car open, may have brought him in as one of his pets to play (lizards on the doorstep, live mice in the shower stall, fiddler crabs in the shoes…), but then quickly lost interest in him, as he usually did.
Unfortunately, the Case of the Hitch-hiking Tarantula will always remain a mystery…but it sure has made us look twice before getting into the car!
D. Valov
Mulegé, Baja California Sur, Mexico


Hi D,
Thanks for the great Tarantula anecdote.  You Tarantula looks like an undescribed Aphonopelma species photographed by Rick West and posted to the Tarántulas de México website.

2 Responses to Tarantula in Baja California, Mexico

  1. Jimmie Jeffries says:

    I have lived in Baja Ca, Sur for forty five years. To show of I used to pick up our black Turantulas and shopw everyone they are harmless to humans. On day I found the kids pusing one around under their ping pong table . I told them that wasn’t the rigt ting to do and I bent down and picked up the spider from his backside. The spider imidiatle embed it’s fangs into mmpal near a finger . I thought nothing of it and walked outside the gsrsge and tried to flip the ppyder off from my hand . It hung on I had to really snap my wrist to get rid of it. The was blood rujnning out of one puncture and a cleasr liquid on my hand near the wound. A few hours later my muscles started cramping when ever they were bent. That night I had to have someone stay with me to straighten my arms legs, fingers and every thing else out I couldn’t release a coffee cup. This lasted over a month but dimished a little each day , I even had prlonged orgasms. When I told my story to some spyder expert and asked why alll my life I’ve read Turtantula poison doesnt affect humans. I was told, “OH we do not know anything about Bajas Turtrantulas”. I think a good bight like I got could stop a heart. This person I taked to seemed seemed disinterested. Thanks Jimmie Jeffries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *