USA – Aphonopelma brunnius and A.iviei from central California

USA – Aphonopelma brunnius and A.iviei from central California

This autumn, my girlfriend and I went on a two week vacation to the United States, namely to the state California. We visited several different cities and nationalparks – we had an amazing time! During this trip I really needed to search for tarantulas, since they are very common during this season of the year. It’s mating season in autumn and with a bit of luck you’ll find adult males wandering around in search of females.

Our first stop was the Mount Diablo State Park, about an 2 hour drive from San Francisco. We drove all the way to the top and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. A few short hikes in search for tarantula burrows were not very successful, so we decided to drive back to the main road and head north to Lake Tahoe. On the way back, an adult male Aphonopelma brunnius crossed the street. I hit the brakes like crazy as I almost crushed it with the car. This short visit was suddenly very successful and I was satisfied and stopped looking around for tarantula burrows.

On our second half of our vacation, we visited the Sequoia National Park. In the lower parts of the park, the desert like area near the south entrance, we managed to find some spots which looked perfect for Aphonopelma iviei. We marked this spot on our GPS and decided to come back later in the evening, after finishing our visit at the top of the hill, near the giant Sequioa trees. Later the day on our way back, we stopped at this very specific spot. It was easy to remember as it was the only spot with “cactus-Aloe vera” like plants. Looking on the ground I immediatly knew that we hit the jackpot. There were dozens and dozens of burrows of Aphonopelma iviei, most of them silked at the entrance. Small ones for juveniles and big one for the adult females.

We were able to tickle several spiders out, it was just great and really made, atleast my, day. One adult female was kind enough for a short photoshooting. She was probably the hungriest one, as you can see on the picture that her opisthosoma doesn’t look good.

Special thanks goes to Chris Hamilton, who supported us with localities of several different species

nature lover and arachno enthusiasts who is traveling the world in search for ecological insights and new species of Theraphosidae and other arachnids