‹‹ Colorado Postcards


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Shanna Lewis/KRCC News
A tarantula crosses the road south of La Junta late in the day on Sept. 30, 2023.
Tarantulas on the move

As days get shorter and nights get cooler, thousands of large, hairy spiders march across the eastern plains, especially near La Junta. It’s been called a tarantula migration, but only males go on the move.

They spend their first several years close to the home burrow. When they’re ready to mate, they develop very long legs to walk half a mile a day in search of females. When he finds a female’s burrow, the male slaps the ground. It’s a gamble. If she’s not receptive, the much larger female tarantula could eat him. Even if the mating is successful, the male is pretty much done for. Each one dies after it fulfills its reproductive mission. While his lifespan is limited to seven or eight years, the female tarantula lives up to 20.

Maybe you fear spiders. But remember: a tarantula is much more afraid of you, and its venom results only in mild effects.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.