Tarantulas march in October

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A male tarantula marches along a sandy culvert in search of a mate. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
As if on cue for the spooky Halloween celebrations, large black and somewhat hairy creepy creatures have been seen steadily walking about, oblivious to most distractions. Male tarantulas are marching forth, looking for mates among the canyons, deserts and scrublands. The California Ebony Tarantula, Aphonopelma eutylenum and the Desert Blond Tarantula, Aphonopelma chalcodes, are the most common Southern California tarantula species whose males are on the move. Each arachnid is about 2 inches in length, which is pretty big for a spider. Fortunately, none of the North American tarantula species are dangerous to people, but they are capable of inflicting a nasty bite if mishandled. They can even express irritating barbed guard hairs as a defense. Generally speaking, tarantulas are
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