July 17, 2010
Location: Cornville, AZ
Returning from our nightly walk our pug stopped dead in his tracks a few feet from our front door and wouldn’t move. This tarantula was the reason why. Upon closer inspection, we saw why he was there. He had a scorpion cornered by the wall next to the door.
Thanks so much for submitting your witness account of what might have become a food chain battle that would probably have interested many of our readers. You didn’t indicate how long the stand off lasted or if there was any human intervention. We believe your Tarantula is a Desert Blond Tarantula, Aphonopelma chalcodes, which is pictured on BugGuide. We believe the Scorpion might be the Arizona Bark Scorpion, also pictured on BugGuide.
It couldn’t have been very long – it was a short walk and they weren’t there when we went out. The area was in semi-darkness, the only light coming from inside the house – the front screen door. We turned around and went in through the garage. Unfortunately, my husband was not comfortable leaving the tarantula there so caught it in a glass and moved it back to the yard. It was only after that that I took a flashlight and inspected the area and saw the scorpion under a slight overhang against the wall by the door. Black widow spiders usually hang out there. This was the first time in our 5 years here we’ve seen a scorpion or tarantula in our yard, oddly enough, the first ‘critter’ we encountered here in the desert was a toad.
Thanks for your identification.