California Black Tarantula


Detecting subtle vibrations outside of its underground burrow, the California Black (or “Ebony”) Tarantula (Aphonopelma eutylenum) emerges to lunge forward and impale its prey with its large fangs. This species of tarantula prefers grassy or open areas and hunts at night waiting near its burrow for unsuspecting prey to wander by.

Although large and intimidating, it is a docile spider and only bites if provoked. Its bite is painful but not dangerous. It is found in coastal sage scrub and chaparral as well as the open grasslands and deserts of San Diego County.

Handling the California Black Tarantula is discouraged since its barbed hairs can be very irritating and hard to dislodge once they have pierced the skin. If handled, it is recommended you wash your hands immediately when finished.

To see more photographs of the California Black Tarantula, please visit the BugGuide’s website.

PHOTO CREDIT: Public Domain