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Tarantulas: Not as Fierce as They Look

Updated on January 3, 2013

Live and Let Live

These gentle giants normally won't try to bite unless they are cornered or injured. When given the chance they would rather run than fight. Every time I see one of these hairy legged arachnids walking on tip toe through the grass, nimble as a tap dancer and intent as a hound dog searching the scent of a fox, I stop and watch a while. They are almost....cute.

Once I stumbled upon a red tarantula hawk wasp buzzing around its immobilized prey. The wasp was more aggressive towards me than I've ever seen any of these spiders be. Its buzzing and diving led me to investigate why it was trying to chase me, and I found it was guarding a limp young spider that it had somehow squeezed under a gutter drain board. In the end I left them both alone, simultaneously fascinated and horrified.

Amazingly Colorful

To my great surprise I discovered when they run through the grass beneath bright sunlight, some of them seem to sparkle an iridescent blue similar to the coloring of an indigo bunting. It almost looks like a hologram on their backs.

Sorry Mr. Spider!

I was doing a little yard work, and I honestly didn't know it was under that patch of overgrown edge grass. The very large spider (another iridescent one) crawled slowly out and stopped near the driveway. I hurriedly shut off the string trimmer and paused to watch it. I expected it might be angry at me for disturbing it or afraid I might go after it, but what it did astonished me. With its right front leg it rubbed its face thoroughly as if it were plainly saying, "Man, that smarts!" I guessed that the string might have lightly grazed it, because I didn't see any evidence of injury. I went back to work, keeping one eye on my new pal. After a while it seemed to recover and ambled away toward the woods.


I used to be afraid when I heard my state had tarantulas. Having met some of them, however, I think they are fine upstanding citizens who mind their own business. They don't make a lot of noise, which makes them nice neighbors. They help control pests, which makes them highly beneficial. And, contrary to some horror stories, they won't chase you.

Scary? I'll let you decide.


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    • Danast profile image

      Dana Stamps 5 years ago from Wichita, Kansas

      I like this article. Out of all of the creatures within this world, tarantulas are some of the most docile. I used to have 5 pet tarantulas. I loved them all! My Rose Haired female and South American Pink Toe female both lived a long time! They lived for about 12 years. They were so sweet! Many times they would wait at the top of their enclosures, because I think they wanted to come out and explore. Naturally, I would take them out and play with them, being very careful with them. They were very pretty. I'm writing an article on tarantulas right now! There are so many different kinds, and they do so many unique behaviors! My South American Pink Toe had the most intricate tube web!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      I've always had a great respect for spiders as they do eat pesky bugs. Tarantulas sound cool :)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Cool hub! I had a friend with a pet tarantula.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      This is really interesting. I linked my new spider hub to yours. I thought it would be interesting to those who are really into spiders.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 8 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Great informative hub!

    • profile image

      Kerry43 8 years ago

      I will never go camping again. Love the picture, I think!


    • keiranthapa profile image

      keiranthapa 8 years ago from Darjeeling

      Informative! Great, you presented them in better light. people do have prejudices and phobias.