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Texas Brown Tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Texas Brown Tarantula.

 Updated: 11/12/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Hairy and arid-loving Texas Brown Tarantulas are classic-looking spiders found in the central parts of the U.S. and Mexico.



A good look at the orange tinted hairs covering the body and legs of the Texas Brown Tarantula requires close proximity. Fortunately, this species of Tarantula is considered quite docile. The two-toned spider is commonly seen in fields and outdoors, wandering the ground for food or a mate. Though Texas and Oklahoma list their state as part of its common name, Texas Brown Tarantulas have a range that ventures north into Kansas, west to Arizona and east to Louisiana, as well as south into Mexico.

The brown cephalothorax and abdomen (head and rear) offers a light contrast to the thick black legs. The main parts of the body are covered in rusty-orange colored hairs that the spider will rub off when threatened. Theses hairs can get embedded into skin and cause irritation. The dark legs may have a grayish-white hue to them thanks to light colored hairs near the feet.

Though it is not aggressive, like any frightened animal, it will defend itself if it feels threatened. Running for cover is its usual response to being spotted. Behavior such as lifting and stretching out its front pairs of legs in an effort to increase its apparent size is an indication to back away from it. A stressed spider is more likely to bite.

Like other Tarantulas, the Texas Brown preys on insects. It has its own predators, however. Tarantula Hawks are large wasps that sting and paralyze spiders in order to use them as food for wasp larvae. Birds and other small mammals also eat them.

Look for these Tarantulas in open fields, tilled farmland, and in places that offer good hiding spots like wood piles and leaf litter. They may accidentally wander indoors, but are most content in their natural habitat.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Theraphosidae
          Genus: Aphonopelma
            Species: hentzi
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Aphonopelma hentzi
Other Name(s): Oklahoma Brown Tarantula
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 51mm (1.37in to 1.99in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, black, gray, orange
Descriptors: orange hairs, furry, spider
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Spider Anatomy
Graphic showing basic parts of spider anatomy
1
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
2
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
3
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
5
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).