tarantulas in texas

5 Types of Tarantulas in Texas

Texas is home to a diverse range of tarantula species, with five distinct types found in the state. These fascinating arachnids are part of the rich ecological fabric of Texas, showcasing the remarkable diversity of spider species in the region. From the Texas brown tarantula to the Carlsbad Green, each species has its own unique characteristics and can be found in different habitats throughout the state. Let’s explore these five tarantula species and learn more about these captivating creatures that call Texas home.

  • Texas is home to five distinct species of tarantulas.
  • The Texas brown tarantula is one of the most common species in the United States.
  • The Texas tan tarantula is the largest tarantula species in the United States.
  • The Texas black spot tarantula is another species found in Texas.
  • The Carlsbad Green can be spotted in west Texas.
  • The Rio Grande gold tarantula is a light brown tarantula with black banding on the legs.
  • The Tucson bronze tarantula is black in color with slight orange or red on their bellies.

The Texas Brown Tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi)

One of the most common tarantula species in Texas is the Aphonopelma hentzi, also known as the Texas Brown Tarantula. These fascinating creatures can be found in various habitats throughout the state, including grasslands, deserts, and scrublands. With their striking appearance and docile nature, the Texas Brown Tarantulas have captured the curiosity of many nature enthusiasts.

The Texas Brown Tarantula is easily recognized by its dark brown body, which can grow up to 2.5 inches in length. They have hairy legs and two large fangs used for capturing prey. Despite their intimidating appearance, these tarantulas are relatively harmless to humans and are more likely to retreat or use their venom as a defensive mechanism rather than attacking.

Key FeaturesDetails
HabitatGrasslands, deserts, and scrublands throughout Texas
SizeGrows up to 2.5 inches in length
BehaviorDocile and prefers to retreat rather than attack
Conservation StatusNo immediate conservation concerns

These tarantulas primarily feed on insects, small arthropods, and even small vertebrates. They use their strong jaws to crush and consume their prey. The Texas Brown Tarantulas are known for their burrowing behavior, creating tunnels in the ground to serve as their homes. These burrows provide protection from predators and help regulate temperature and humidity.

Overall, the Texas Brown Tarantula is an essential part of Texas’s ecosystem. They play a crucial role in controlling the population of small pests and contribute to the overall balance of nature. While encounters with these tarantulas may seem intimidating, it’s important to remember that they are an integral part of Texas’s biodiversity and deserve our respect and conservation efforts.

Texas Brown Tarantula
“The Texas Brown Tarantula has been known to live for up to 20 years in captivity, making them popular among arachnid enthusiasts.”

The Texas Tan Tarantula (Aphonopelma anax)

If you come across a large tarantula with a leg span of up to 6 inches in Texas, chances are it’s the Aphonopelma anax, also known as the Texas Tan Tarantula. This magnificent arachnid is the largest tarantula species in the United States and can be found inhabiting various regions of Texas.

Texas Tan Tarantula

The Texas Tan Tarantula is known for its impressive size and striking appearance. Its body is covered in short, tan-colored hair, giving it a distinct sandy appearance. This tarantula has long, hairy legs and a powerful set of fangs, which it uses to capture and immobilize its prey.

As the largest tarantula species in the United States, the Texas Tan Tarantula requires ample space to thrive. It can be found in a variety of habitats throughout Texas, including grasslands, deserts, and scrublands. These arachnids are skilled burrowers and create intricate underground lairs where they spend the majority of their time.

Despite its intimidating size and appearance, the Texas Tan Tarantula is not a threat to humans. Like other tarantulas, it is generally docile and will only bite if provoked or threatened. Its main diet consists of insects, small rodents, and other small arthropods.

Texas Tan Tarantula Quick Facts:

  • Scientific Name: Aphonopelma anax
  • Common Names: Texas Tan Tarantula, Texas Giant Tarantula
  • Size: Up to 6 inches in leg span
  • Habitat: Grasslands, deserts, scrublands
  • Main Diet: Insects, small rodents, arthropods
Tan-colored body covered in short hairGrasslands, deserts, scrublandsInsects, small rodents, arthropods

Encountering a Texas Tan Tarantula in its natural habitat can be an awe-inspiring experience. The sight of this magnificent creature with its impressive size and unique coloration is a testament to the diversity and beauty of Texas’s natural wildlife.

The Texas Black Spot Tarantula (Aphonopelma armada)

The Aphonopelma armada, commonly known as the Texas Black Spot Tarantula, sports unique black markings on its body, making it easily distinguishable among other tarantula species in Texas. This venomous spider can be found in various parts of the state, including the arid regions of west and central Texas. With a leg span of up to 4 inches, the Texas Black Spot Tarantula is an intimidating sight.

This tarantula species prefers to inhabit underground burrows, which it creates itself or takes over from other animals. These burrows provide a safe haven from predators and harsh weather conditions. It is often during the mating season, from late spring to early fall, that tarantula sightings in Texas become more common.

Despite its fearsome appearance, the Texas Black Spot Tarantula is generally not a threat to humans. While its venom can cause mild irritation and discomfort, it is rarely dangerous. In fact, these tarantulas play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance by controlling the population of insects and other small creatures in their habitats.

If you happen to come across a Texas Black Spot Tarantula, it is best to observe it from a safe distance and appreciate its unique beauty. These fascinating creatures are a testament to the diversity of wildlife in Texas and the importance of preserving their natural habitats.

Tarantula SpeciesScientific Name
Texas Brown TarantulaAphonopelma hentzi
Texas Tan TarantulaAphonopelma anax
Texas Black Spot TarantulaAphonopelma armada
Carlsbad GreenAphonopelma gabeli
Rio Grande Gold TarantulaAphonopelma moderatum
Tucson Bronze TarantulaAphonopelma vorhiesi

The Carlsbad Green (Aphonopelma gabeli)

The Carlsbad Green (Aphonopelma gabeli) is a captivating species of tarantula found in the western regions of Texas, known for its striking green coloration. These arachnids can range in size, with females typically larger than males. The Carlsbad Green tarantula is highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, including desert scrublands and rocky areas.

One of the unique characteristics of the Carlsbad Green tarantula is its vibrant green color, which helps it blend in with its surroundings. This coloration is further enhanced by the dense setae, or tiny hairs, that cover its body. These hairs not only provide protection but also aid in sensory perception.

The Carlsbad Green tarantula is an opportunistic predator, feeding on small insects, spiders, and even small vertebrates. Its venom helps immobilize and subdue its prey, allowing for easy consumption.

Tarantula SpeciesLocationColoration
Texas Brown TarantulaThroughout TexasBrown
Texas Tan TarantulaWest TexasTan
Texas Black Spot TarantulaSouth TexasBlack with spots
Carlsbad GreenWestern TexasGreen
Rio Grande Gold TarantulaSouth TexasLight brown with black banding
Tucson Bronze TarantulaWest TexasBlack with slight orange or red on bellies

With its stunning appearance and adaptability, the Carlsbad Green tarantula remains a fascinating species of Texas arachnids. The diverse tarantula habitats in Texas provide a home for these unique and important creatures, highlighting the need for their conservation and protection.

Carlsbad Green Tarantula

With its light brown body and distinctive black banding on the legs, the Rio Grande Gold Tarantula (Aphonopelma moderatum) is an iconic tarantula species native to Texas. This beautiful arachnid can be found in the western regions of the state, particularly in the Big Bend area, where its unique habitat preferences are met.

The Rio Grande Gold Tarantula is known for its docile nature, making it a sought-after species among tarantula enthusiasts. Although its venom is not considered dangerous to humans, this tarantula’s presence plays a vital role in the ecosystem by controlling the population of small insects and pests.

Conservation efforts have been implemented to protect the Rio Grande Gold Tarantula and its habitat in Texas. These efforts include preserving its natural habitat, raising awareness about the importance of tarantulas in the ecosystem, and avoiding the use of harmful pesticides that can harm these arachnids.

To promote coexistence between humans and the Rio Grande Gold Tarantula, it is crucial to educate the public about the benefits of these native tarantulas and their role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. By appreciating and respecting these incredible creatures, we can ensure their continued presence in the diverse landscapes of Texas.

Interesting Facts about the Rio Grande Gold Tarantula:

  • The female Rio Grande Gold Tarantula can live up to 20 years, while the lifespan of males is significantly shorter, ranging from 4 to 7 years.
  • During mating, the male performs a courtship dance to attract the female. If successful, the female may lay up to 500 eggs in a silk sac, which she guards until they hatch.
  • Despite their name, the Rio Grande Gold Tarantulas vary in coloration, with some individuals displaying more vibrant shades of gold than others.

Table: Tarantula Habitats in Texas

Tarantula SpeciesPreferred Habitat
Rio Grande Gold Tarantula (Aphonopelma moderatum)Desert scrubland, grassland, and rocky areas
Other Texas Tarantula SpeciesVarious habitats including grasslands, deserts, scrublands, and forests
“The presence of the Rio Grande Gold Tarantula in Texas is a testament to the rich biodiversity found in the state. It is our responsibility to protect and conserve these fascinating creatures to ensure the preservation of our natural heritage.” – [Your Name]
Rio Grande Gold Tarantula

The Tucson Bronze Tarantula (Aphonopelma vorhiesi) is a black-colored tarantula with slight orange or red on its belly, making it a unique sight in certain parts of Texas. Found primarily in the Chihuahuan Desert, this species is well-adapted to the arid and rocky habitats of the region.

Unlike other tarantula species in Texas, the Tucson Bronze Tarantula is known for its burrowing behavior. It creates intricate underground tunnels, where it spends a majority of its time. These burrows help protect the tarantula from extreme temperatures and predators, as well as provide a safe space for molting.

In certain areas of Texas, tarantula enthusiasts and nature lovers are fortunate enough to spot the Tucson Bronze Tarantula during its mating season. This is a thrilling experience for those who appreciate the unique beauty and fascinating behaviors of these creatures.

To get an idea of the size of the Tucson Bronze Tarantula, imagine a leg span of up to 5 inches. This impressive size, coupled with its striking coloration, makes it a visually captivating species to observe in its natural habitat.

Tucson Bronze Tarantula
  • The Tucson Bronze Tarantula is native to the southwestern United States, primarily found in Arizona and New Mexico, with some populations extending into Texas.
  • These tarantulas are nocturnal, hunting for prey such as insects, small rodents, and even other spiders during the night.
  • Despite their intimidating appearance, Tucson Bronze Tarantulas pose little threat to humans. They have venom, but their bites are usually harmless and result in mild irritation at most.
  • Conserving the tarantula habitats in Texas is crucial to the survival of these unique arachnids. By preserving their natural environments, we can ensure the continued existence of these fascinating creatures for future generations to appreciate.

In conclusion, the Tucson Bronze Tarantula is a captivating species found in certain parts of Texas, known for its striking black coloration with hints of orange or red on its belly. With its impressive size and burrowing habits, this tarantula species is a true marvel of nature. To protect and conserve their habitats is to preserve the rich biodiversity and ecological balance of our beloved Texas.

Tarantula SpeciesHabitatUnique Characteristics
Tucson Bronze TarantulaChihuahuan DesertBlack with slight orange or red on the belly, burrowing behavior


Texas offers a fascinating array of tarantula species, with each one showcasing unique characteristics and adaptations. By understanding and appreciating these native arachnids, we can contribute to their conservation and protect their habitats for future generations.

Among the five tarantula species found in Texas, the Texas brown tarantula, also known as Aphonopelma hentzi, is one of the most common species in the United States. With its striking appearance and widespread distribution, this tarantula serves as a symbol of the state’s rich biodiversity.

The Texas tan tarantula, or Aphonopelma anax, stands out as the largest tarantula species in the United States, boasting an impressive leg span of up to 6 inches. Its size and unique coloration make it a remarkable sight for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Another notable tarantula species found in Texas is the Texas black spot tarantula, also known as Aphonopelma armada. With its distinctive markings and venomous nature, this species adds an element of mystery to the Texan spider population.

Venturing into west Texas, we encounter the Carlsbad Green, or Aphonopelma gabeli, known for its vibrant coloration and preference for arid habitats. The Carlsbad Green tarantula blends seamlessly with its surroundings, making it a fascinating specimen to observe in its natural habitat.

The Rio Grande gold tarantula, or Aphonopelma moderatum, distinguishes itself with its light brown body and striking black leg banding. Efforts are underway to conserve this species and protect its habitats throughout Texas.

Finally, the Tucson bronze tarantula, or Aphonopelma vorhiesi, displays a unique black coloration with hints of orange or red on its bellies. This species can be found in various areas of Texas, adding to the diverse tarantula population.

As we explore the different types of tarantulas in Texas, it is crucial to remember the importance of conservation. By preserving their natural habitats and promoting awareness, we can ensure the survival of these incredible arachnids for generations to come.


How many tarantula species are there in Texas?

There are 6 reported species of tarantulas in Texas.

What is the most common tarantula species in Texas?

The most common tarantula species in Texas is the Aphonopelma hentzi, also known as the Texas brown tarantula.

What is the largest tarantula species in the United States?

The largest tarantula species in the United States is the Aphonopelma anax, or Texas tan tarantula, with a leg span of up to 6 inches.

Are there any venomous tarantulas in Texas?

While tarantulas do possess venom, their bites are not considered dangerous to humans. However, individuals may still experience some discomfort or allergic reactions.

Where can I spot tarantulas in Texas?

Tarantulas can be found in various habitats across Texas, including deserts, grasslands, and woodlands. They are most commonly seen during their mating season in the fall.

Are tarantulas in Texas protected or conserved?

Tarantulas are not currently listed as protected species in Texas. However, conservation efforts focus on preserving their natural habitats and promoting awareness about their ecological importance.

Are Tarantulas Considered Large Spiders in Texas?

Tarantulas are indeed considered large spiders in texas. With a leg span of up to 8 inches, these impressive arachnids can strike fear into the hearts of many. While they may not be as venomous as some other spiders, their size and hairy appearance make them an imposing sight in the Texas wilderness.

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