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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

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

Updated: 01/06/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 the great outdoors, wandering the ground for food or a mate. Despite its name, Texas Brown Tarantulas have a range that ventures north into Kansas, west to Arizona, east to Louisiana, and south into Mexico.

The brown cephalothorax and abdomen (head and rear end) are lighter brown in contrast to its darker legs. The legs may have a grayish-white hue to them thanks to light colored hairs near the feet. 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.

Though it is not aggressive, like any frightened animal, it will defend itself if it feels threatened. Running for cover is its usual response after being spotted. Behavior such as raising 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 these spiders in order to use them as food for wasp larvae. Birds and other small mammals also eat them.

Look for these Texas Brown 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.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Hairy insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Theraphosidae
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          Genus: Aphonopelma
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            Species: hentzi

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Aphonopelma hentzi
Other Name(s): Oklahoma Brown Tarantula
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 51mm (1.37" to 2.00")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; gray; orange
Descriptors: orange hairs; furry; spider

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 35mm (1.4in) and 51mm (2.0in)
Lo: 35mm
Md: 43mm
Hi: 51mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Texas Brown Tarantula may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Texas Brown Tarantula. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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