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.
Scientific Name: Aphonopelma hentzi
Other Name(s): Oklahoma Brown Tarantula
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 51mm (1.37in to 1.99in)
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.
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
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).