• Montezuma Castle's prehistoric dwelling

    Montezuma Castle

    National Monument Arizona

Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes

Tarantula near the outlet at Montezuma Well.

A desert tarantula near the outlet at Montezuma Well.

NPS image by Robb Hannawacker.

Hundreds of species of insects, arachnids and other invertebrates find a home in the unique ecosystems of Montezuma Castle National Monument. These include harmless tarantulas as well as highly venomous black widow spiders and bark scorpions. However, these often misunderstoood desert inhabitants pose little threat to humans. The invertebrates found at Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well reveal extraordinary evolutionary adaptations for survival in an arid desert environment.

Did You Know?

Sunset Crater

The Sinagua people witnessed the most recent volcanic eruption of Sunset Crater along the eastern slope of the San Francisco Peaks. In 1064 A.D. Sunset Crater erupted and then flared up intermittently for nearly 200 years, spreading half a billion tons of ash across 800 square miles.