The Zoo welcomes a new brown tarantula

The Zoo welcomes a new brown tarantula

Brown tarantula

Aphonopelma hentzi

Habitat: North American grasslands

Range: North America

One brown tarantula took up residence at the Zoo this summer. While the brown tarantula may look intimidating, this venomous spider is actually not a threat to humans. Living in the central United States between Utah and the Mississippi River, the brown tarantula is most likely to be seen on grassy hillsides either in the late afternoon or early morning. Females stay close to the burrows they dig, while males spend more time wandering and take retreat under brush and other plant debris. Like other spiders, the tarantula sports a pair of silk-producing spinnerets on its abdomen. But it doesn’t spin webs. Instead, it uses the silk to line its burrow and enfold its prey. The female tarantula also uses silk to protect her eggs.