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Tarantulas In Florida

There are 2 different types of tarantulas found in Florida.

Tarantulas are not native to Florida, so the species you might find are invasive species that have been introduced through importation and the tarantula trade. Tarantulas are secretive spiders that aren’t usually seen outside of their burrows, and they tend to make their homes in dry areas with loose, well-drained soil.

Tarantulas found in Florida are pretty docile and very unlikely to bite, but they may kick urticating hairs at you that can cause a rash or mild swelling. Even though these spiders aren’t dangerous, handling tarantulas found in the wild is not recommended.

Tarantulas are beautiful spiders and are very common pets. They are easy to take care of and can live for more than 30 years.

These spiders only need to be fed once every few days, and some adults only need to eat once a month. The tarantulas found in Florida can make good pets for beginner and advanced arachnid owners.

Tarantulas In Florida

1. Mexican Red Rump Tarantula

Mexican Red-rump Tarantula (Brachypelma Vagans) against a corner in Oaxaca, Mexico
A Mexican Red-rump Tarantula (Brachypelma Vagans) against a corner in Oaxaca, Mexico. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Brachypelma Vagans
  • Other Names: Tliltocatl vagans, Mexican black velvet tarantula
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: Females: 25 years/Males: 5 years
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $75

The Mexican Red Rump tarantula can be found throughout South Florida. They are most commonly seen in citrus groves, swamps, and canals.

These are ground-dwelling spiders that live most of their life in burrows. These spiders are not native to Florida; they are believed to have been transported here through importation.

You can find the males of this species out of their burrows during their breeding season. The breeding season occurs during the autumn from September to November.

Mexican Red Rump tarantulas are generally velvet black and covered in short black hairs. These spiders have long red hairs on their abdomen, and females usually have short red hairs on their legs.

Females are larger than males, while males have longer legs. These tarantulas are common in the tarantula trade because of their black velvet color and red hairs on their abdomen.

These spiders are nocturnal hunters that hunt for their prey on the ground. They mainly eat insects like crickets, beetles, grasshoppers, and other small spiders.

They wait for their prey to get within a few inches of them, and then they grab and inject their venom into their victim to subdue and help digest it. Their venom isn’t harmful to humans but can be painful.

2. Florida Golden Chestnut Tarantula

Florida Golden Chestnut Tarantula (Brachypelma albiceps) on a rock somewhere in Guerrero, Mexico
A Florida Golden Chestnut Tarantula (Brachypelma albiceps) on a rock somewhere in Guerrero, Mexico. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Brachypelma albiceps
  • Other Names: Tliltocatl Aureoceps
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: Females: 25 years/Males: 5 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The Florida Golden Chestnut tarantula is not native to the state of Florida. They are most commonly found on Tortugas Island.

They are believed to have been transported from Mexico in building materials during the construction of Fort Jefferson. This species is very secretive and isn’t seen outside their burrow very often.

The males can be seen outside of their homes during the rainy season in early fall. Their breeding season occurs from September to October.

This species is usually chestnut brown with short golden hairs covering its body and legs and long yellow hairs on its abdomen. Like other species, females usually have much larger abdomens while males have much larger legs.

These tarantulas are generally non-aggressive, and their venom is harmless to humans, but their bites can be painful. These spiders have hairs on their abdomen that they use as a defense mechanism.

When they feel threatened, they will kick these hairs at the potential threat. These hairs can cause skin and eye irritation to humans and, in some cases, allergic reactions.

FAQ’s

Are tarantulas in Florida common?

Tarantulas in Florida are most commonly seen during the fall in southern areas of the state. They are secretive spiders, so it’s unlikely to see them outside their homes.

Are tarantulas in Florida dangerous?

The species found in Florida are not dangerous, and their venom is not harmful to humans through their bite can be painful. The hairs on their abdomen are used as a defense mechanism when threatened and can cause skin and eye irritation.

Do the tarantulas in Florida make good pets?

Tarantulas make excellent pets as most species are docile and unlikely to bite.

Wrapping up

The tarantulas found in Florida are not native to the state and aren’t commonly found outside of their burrows. They are thought to have been introduced by importation and the tarantula trade. 

Tarantulas prey on most small insects, but they also have quite a few of their own predators, such as foxes, coyotes, toads, and tarantula hawks. These spiders make excellent pets and are fun to observe and handle.

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