What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Texas Tarantula
Location: McKinney TX
May 27, 2013 2:41 am
I volunteered at a charity event in McKinney, Texas and stumbled across the beauty. A friend of mine sat on short stone wall and was spooked by the tarantula. I quickly dumped my drink out and scooped up the spider, having never encountered one in the wild.
I was hoping you could fill me in on the exact type and sex. I believe (with really no concrete evidence) that it is a male. But again, I don’t know for sure.
I am trying to decide if I should keep him, sell him at a local exotic pet shop, or let him loose.
Thanks in advance for the information, and thank you for a great site.
Signature: Matt G

Tarantula

Tarantula

Hi Matt,
We believe this is a Texas Brown Tarantula,
Aphonopelma hentzi, and you can compare your individual to the photos posted on BugGuide.  We would defer sexing this individual to folks who know more about Tarantulas.  We would recommend releasing this Tarantula back where it was found.  Selling it to a pet store might be illegal if it was captured in a local, state or national park or other protected habitat.

The spider was caught on private property.  I have decided to keep him, and got care/feeding/sexing information from the aforementioned pet shop.  SHE is currently munching on a 15cent cricket.  I learned that she is around 3 years old, and can live up to 20 years.  Fascinating!

Thanks for the followup.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: McKinney, Texas

2 Responses to Tarantula

  1. Jarmo says:

    I am astonished by, and slightly repulsed about the reaction to scoop up and “possess” the animal. What’s the freaking point of it – to get money?! Where I come from it is illegal to take any animal from the wild and hold them as pets. Only injured animals can be taken in for care, but even then you should release them into the wild asap. And yes, this includes insects, ticks, and probably even amoebas if it comes down to it.

    • bugman says:

      Thank you so much for your firm perspective on this. While we had a similar reaction, we forced ourselves to moderate our response.  We think it is very important to educate our readership regarding wildlife and habitat preservation.

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