Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tarantula spider II

As reported in the previous blog entry, some tarantula spiders build their nests underground. The image to the left shows the entrance to a nest with its elaborate placement of leaves to camouflage the hole from wandering prey. Sometimes web material is also woven around the entrance hole. The spider hunts from a very comfortable position of half in, half out. We see many of these holes on the trails of the Bosque and quite often we get a fast glimpse of the tarantula as it ducks out of sight. If we have time to wait it out, we can see the spider come back to it's hunting position. I have never dug up a spider from this kind of nest, but I have uncovered many of them while digging around old logs and buried pieces of lumber. It's amazing how large they can get. I have also seen many of them with very large egg sacks.

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