Desert Blond Tarantula - Aphonopelma chalcodes
It often resides in desert soil. It makes its home in burrows by digging itself under stones or by utilizing burrows discarded by rodents. It may live in the same burrow for decades. Since it lives in the desert, A. chalcodes is acclimated to harsh weather conditions. It does not require much water to survive, and can therefore survive in the extreme heat of the desert.
Southwestern United States, especially Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California.
Desert tarantulas, like other tarantula species, have a body covered entirely with hair. Like all spiders, they are divided into two body segments: the cepholothorax and the abdomen. The cepholothorax is gray to dark brown and the abdomen is dark brown to black. Iridescent hair forms a pad below the tip of each of the eight legs.
Males have a diameter of 49 to 61 mm, whereas females range from 49 to 68 mm, with a leg span of approximately 98 mm.
While it takes approximately 8 to 10 years to become sexually mature for both sexes, males, after molting for the last time, live for approximately 2 to 3 months. Females, however, continue to molt (shed their exoskeleton as they grow), and may live for up to 20 years. In captivity, females have been known to live for 25 years.
lizards, crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, cicadas and caterpillars
Males have two specialized claws that are shaped like syringes on the ends of its two pedipalps. Male A. chalcodes weave a
Of little concern in the wild
- Most spiderlings do not survive to reach sexual maturity. They are either eaten by predators or do not find enough food to survive.
- It makes no sounds, and since tarantulas have poor vision, this species communicates with the outside world and the opposite sex primarily by touch.
- The venom is similar to that of a mosquito or a bee sting.
- Aphonopelma chalcodes is often a victim of parasitism. A species of fly lays its eggs on the tarantula’s back, and when the larvae hatch, they devour the tarantula. A species of wasp, known as tarantula hawks, attack these tarantulas, and if successful, inject their victim with poison and paralyze it. The wasp then drags the tarantula back to its nest and places it next to its eggs. The tarantula can often live for a few months in this paralyzed state, until the eggs hatch and then eat the tarantula.
- Adult (13 and over)$10.50
- Child (2 - 12)$7.50
- Child (1 and Under)FREE
- Senior (65+)$9.50
- Active Military$9.50
We begin transferring animals to evening (off exhibit) holding at 4:30 each night.
Open Daily 10:00-5:00
Last admission at 4:30