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Attention, Hikers: Tarantula Mating Season Is In Full Effect
Guess what, arachnophobes? It's TARANTULA MATING SEASON. Now, tarantulas are generally peaceful when it comes to their interactions with humans, but that doesn't stop many people from being terrified of the little creatures. Park rangers are currently letting hikers know that it's tarantula mating season at Rancho Sierra Vista in the Santa Monica Mountains, meaning they're more visible, KTLA reports.
Male tarantulas apparently like to head out at sunset in search of a burrow occupied by a female tarantula. Though tarantulas are venomous, they're not a real threat to human beings. Rangers request that we give these lustful arachnids their space so they can go about their business in peace.
When tarantulas mate, the male weaves a web on a flat surface, then rubs its belly on the web until it releases semen. The male spider then inserts its pedipalps into the semen, which absorb and store it for later. When the male finds a receptive female, it will insert the pedipalps into an opening in the female's abdomen called a gonopore, which will accept the semen. Not all females will be willing to receive, in which case she will either ignore or attack the intrusive male. After mating, the male runs away, as sometimes if he does not, the female will eat him. (This is rather rare.) The female spider will then go on to lay and hatch anywhere from 50 to 1,000 eggs, depending on what kind of tarantula she is.
If you'd like to meet some tarantulas for yourself, there will be a Sunset Tarantula Hike on Saturday, September 3 from 6:30-8 p.m in Thousand Oaks. The hike is free, and more info can be found here.
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