What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  From our personal email account.

Subject:  Tarantula in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
October 23, 2016
Daniel,
Can you ID this spider from this photo? S/he was not seeming well when Mark saw her – in a glass bowl on the porch, where she must have fallen 🙁
S/he’s much livlier since we gave her water and tiny crickets…Poor thing, I have no idea how long s/he was there.
Julian and I both think s/he looks more like a tarantula than a trapdoor spider.
c.

Tarantula

Tarantula

Dear Clare,
We agree with you and Julian that this is a Tarantula, and we are happy to hear it is recovering considering it looks dead in your image.  Female Tarantulas are reluctant to leave their burrows, and the males, which do not live as long, seek mates when the first rains of the season occur, much like related Trapdoor Spiders.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “Local hill residents are sometimes shocked to find a giant hairy spider crawling about their pations on a late summer’s eve.  Few Angelenos realize that tarantulas are permanent inhabitants of the dry grass and brush-covered hillsides of the basin.”  We also realize that habitat loss within the city is a contributing factor in reduced populations of Tarantulas, but your proximity to Rainbow Canyon Park and other preserved open space parks in the neighborhood is a good indication that local activism is having a positive impact on native species.  Hogue recognizes two species in Los Angeles,
 Aphonopelma eutylenum and Aphonopelma reversum.  We suspect your individual is most likely Aphonopelma eutylenum which is pictured on BugGuide, and which according to Hogue has males maturing in the fall.  Please keep us posted on this poor Tarantula’s recovery.

Thank you for the information. The tarantula is making a good recovery! We gave him (I decided he’s a male) water, which he  drank; then, three little crickets – of which he has eaten one. I just checked on him and he has buried himself under a combination of small wood chip/mulch and gossamer! So, I think he is recuperating well.

 

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California

4 Responses to Tarantula in Mount Washington

  1. Clare Marter Kenyon says:

    Thank you for the information. The tarantula is making a good recovery! We gave him (I decided he’s a male) water, which he drank; then, three little crickets – of which he has eaten one. I just checked on him and he has buried himself under a combination of small wood chip/mulch and gossamer! So, I think he is recuperating well.

    • bugman says:

      We suspect you are most likely going to nurse him back to health and release him back into the wild. Daniel is hoping to be able to stop by for a peek before that happens. Knowing what a good caretaker of the environment you are, we don’t think there is much chance you are keeping him with that exotic female Tarantula that you have cared for so many years. We shudder to think how that roommate situation would end.

      • Clare Marter Kenyon says:

        Yes, I think that will be the plan! I wonder if he has settled in for the winter, or is he just recuperating and keeping himself safe…? The beautiful Chilean roseate tarantula you mentioned (whom we have had since she was four years old – she is now 31…) is called Ariadne. The name of the foundling is Theseus. 🙂 I will let you know when he is active again – but, they will not be housed together!!

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