15 States with a High Presence of Tarantulas

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The United States is home to a surprising number of tarantula species, and while these eight-legged wonders are more scared of you than you are of them, encountering one can be a heart-stopping experience. So, grab your bug spray (just kidding, these guys are chill!), and get ready to explore 15 states where you might share the trail with a spooky spider.


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Yep, even the Sunshine State has a dark (more like hairy) secret. The California ebony tarantula (Aphonopelma eutylenum) can be found in coastal regions and deserts, often hiding in caves or under rocks. So, watch for these softball-sized arachnids next time you’re exploring Death Valley!


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The Grand Canyon State takes the crown, boasting over 20 different types! From the aptly named Arizona blonde tarantula with its stunning golden hairs to the Mexican redknee tarantula found in rocky crevices, Arizona is a spider enthusiast’s paradise (or nightmare, depending on your perspective).


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Everything’s bigger in this state, including the spiders! The state boasts a healthy population of tarantula breeds, like the Texas brown tarantula, known for its burrowing lifestyle, and the Tawny cursor tarantula, fond of hiding under rocks.

New Mexico

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The Land of Enchantment offers more than just stunning landscapes. Several types of tarantula make their home here, including the New Mexico and the zebra tarantula, recognizable by its black and white stripes (think goth zebra). Remember, even zebras with eight legs can be surprising on a hike!


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Sooner or later, you can encounter a tarantula here. Oklahoma is home to a few fascinating species, like the Oklahoma brown tarantula, known for its impressive leg span, and the dwarf tarantula, one of the smallest breeds in the US.


Nevada Department of Wildlife/Facebook

The glitz and glam of Vegas might be the first thing that comes to mind, but venture outside the city lights, and you could encounter the Nevada tarantula. This shy desert dweller prefers to stay hidden in caves. But keep an eye out on those late-night desert strolls.


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The Colorado tarantula prefers higher elevations, between 5,000 and 9,000 feet, than its desert cousins, so you can spot one on a mountain hike. These creepy crawlies have adapted to their environment with shorter hair than their desert counterparts. This helps them retain heat in the cooler mountain climate.


Jungle Adventures A Real Florida Animal Park/Facebook

Sunshine, beaches, and…tarantulas? Yep, the Sunshine State adds another surprise to its list. The Florida Keys curly-haired tarantula might sound exotic, but it’s a tunneling class that prefers to stay out of sight. So you can still relax on the beach, but maybe keep a flip-flop handy, just in case.


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Who knew the “Wizard of Oz” state had a hidden population of tarantula royalty? The Kansas tarantula, also known as the dwarf tarantula, is one of the smallest in the US, reaching a leg span of only about 2 inches. They create intricate underground tunnels and chambers, venturing primarily at night to hunt for prey like insects and other small invertebrates.


Fear Not Tarantulas, Inc/Facebook

The Big Easy is known for its vibrant culture and irresistible food, but venture out to the swamps and forests, and you could encounter the Louisiana swamp tarantula. This aptly named class thrives in humid environments. They are brown with darker markings, allowing them to blend in perfectly with their habitat’s decaying leaves and forest floor.


Arkansas Game and Fish Commission/Facebook

The Natural State lives up to its name with a diverse range of wildlife, including the Arkansas brown tarantula. This burrowing beauty prefers the drier western parts of the state, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re exploring the Ouachita Mountains.


Arkansas Game and Fish Commission/Facebook

The Show Me State can surprise you with its tiny tenant, the Ozark Mountains dwarf tarantula. This little guy, measuring a mere inch or so, is another burrowing champion, making spotting one a bit of a challenge.


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Home to breathtaking national parks like Zion and Bryce Canyon, Utah also boasts a resident spider- the Utah tarantula. This species favors higher elevations, so you might encounter one while scaling those majestic red rock formations.

South Carolina

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences/Facebook

Unlike its name suggests, the Carolina brown tarantula isn’t brown. It has a dark reddish-brown carapace (the hard upper body shell) with lighter brown legs. These shy arachnids prefer to stay hidden underground, living in burrows. They are a relatively small class, with a leg span of only about 3-4 inches. Despite their impressive fangs, they pose no threat to humans and are quite docile.


Spider Shoppe/Facebook

Washington forest tarantulas shun the dry heat and prefer the cool, humid environment of the state’s coastal forests. Here, they weave intricate webs high up in trees, making them even more elusive than their tunneling counterparts. They are remarkably camouflaged, their bodies blending in perfectly with the bark of the trees they live in. They can change color slightly as they mature, making them even harder to spot.


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