Bugs of the Month

Texas Brown Tarantula

The Texas Brown Tarantula is the most common in the South. Their size and appearance can be quite intimidating however despite what you may think they are not deadly. They have 2 “fangs” on the ends of their chelicerae. When they bite their prey, they inject venom to make eating easier. If you were to be bitten by this tarantula the experience would be similar to a bee sting. Undoubtedly unpleasant but no cause for emergency. As with bee stings there is a possibility of a person having an allergy to the venom but it is treatable by a doctor. The good news is in most situations the tarantula will not attack you unless it’s being provoked or bothered, more likely than not they retreat for safety. When they do feel threatened they will stand on their hind legs and spread their front legs to seem bigger and more threatening. Often they will brush the hair on their abdomen because it can be irritating to the skin or eyes of a predator. Tarantula’s generally feed on bugs, but some of the biggest tarantulas will go after snakes, lizards, small rodents, small birds and even other tarantulas.

Texas Red Headed Centipede

The Texas Centipede averages about 6.5 inches long but can get as large as 9 to 12 inches long. Like the tarantula above they too are venomous but not deadly to humans. Their bites will illicit pain and swelling but usually subsides within a few hours. Centipedes feed on lizards, toads, snakes, and sometimes even rodents using two highly modified legs at the front of their body as fangs to inject their poison. Although their name suggests that they have 100 legs, they actually only have 23 pairs of yellow appendages. The Texas Red Head Centipede is the largest in North America. It is a common misconception that they are insects; they are actually a different class of arthropod entirely:

Chilopoda. They may not be lethal to humans but they have certainly built a reputation for being confrontational. No deaths have been reported from a centipede bite but a few have reported heart attacks as a response from encountering these creatures. THAT’S one SPOOKY arthropod!