Family Theraphosideae
Genus & Species Aphonopelma iodium
Description body 2 to 3 inches; 4 inch legs; color is brown to black; covered with thousands of fine hairs. Besides its eight legs, the basic sections of a tarantula's body are its cephalothorax (a fused head and thorax, or chest) and its abdomen. It also has eight closely set eyes.
Food insects like beetles and grasshoppers, small lizards and mice; Tarantulas chase down their prey rather than snaring it in webs. Sensitive hairs on the spider's body allow it to detect subtle movements in its immediate environment and "home in" on a victim.
Life History mates in fall; litter size is 500 to 1000; females may live 20 years or more; males may be eaten during mating; solitary, living one to a burrow
Habitat Joshua tree forest; creosote scrub
Activity When cornered by a predator, the tarantula will rub its hind legs over its abdomen, brushing hairs into its enemy's eyes.
Conservation Status common
Where to look Oasis of Mara, Split Rock, Wilson Canyon
Notes These shy giants are reluctant to attack humans and their venom is no worse than a bee sting.

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