• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

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Tarantula mating season begins amid Arizona's monsoon

tarantula

As lightning flashes and thunder booms amid Arizona's monsoon, sparks are flying in the love lives of tarantulas across the desert.

"They really like the moisture, and their eggs do better when it's moist outside," said Katelyn Garcia with the Phoenix Herpetological Society. It's the most active time of the year for tarantulas.

"They could have hundreds of eggs," Garcia said. "So they could have quite a few offspring, but a lot of the times those will be preyed upon, so that's why they have so many."

While tarantulas have all eight eyes on the lookout for a mate, you need to be watching out for them.

"They're nocturnal, so you won't see them out during the day, but at night you might find one or two walking around in our desert," Garcia said.

Specialists at the Phoenix Herpetological Society say if you come across a tarantula in the wild, you should give them some space and move away.

"Because they have fangs," Garcia said. "They're about as venomous as a bee or a little bit more. Then they can kick hairs or move their legs on their abdomen; those hairs can irritate your skin."

Still, Garcia says it's rare that they hear of people being bitten by tarantulas out in the desert.

"Arachnophobia is the most common zoological fear," Garcia said. "But honestly, the more you get educated about them, that fear can turn into an appreciation."
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