Campers beware! It's about to be much more important to zip up your tent. The annual tarantula migration around Colorado is set to begin at the end of August as thousands of male tarantulas hit the road in search of a mate.

According to an article published by Colorado State University, the tarantula migration typically starts in southeastern Colorado at the end of August, lasting through September. It is followed by a southwestern migration that typically peaks in October. Following the mating season, all males typically die within months if the cold weather doesn't kill them first.

According to The Denver Channel, one of the best places to see these tarantulas is at Comanche National Grassland near La Junta, Colorado. This is located in southeast Colorado, so expect a mid-September peak.

Two more great spots to see this natural phenomenon include just north of Ordway on Highway 71 and between La Junta and Kim on Highway 109, according to the  La Junta Tribune-Democrat.

A number of tarantula species can be found Colorado including Aphonopelma echinum (nicknamed the Colorado chocolate brown), Aphonopelma coloradanum, and Aphonopelma hentzi, also known as the Oklahoma Brown Tarantula. These hairy eight-legged critters can grow a leg span of up to 11 inches – that’s nearly twice the length of a dollar bill!

According to a report from USA Today, male spiders wait 10 years to reach sexual maturity. To find a female mating partner hidden in a burrow about a foot underneath the ground, male tarantulas use their hair and legs to detect vibrations. Sadly, they’ll mate once and die, sometimes killed by the female they mate with. Female tarantulas can live up to 20 years or more.

According to a report from the Durango Herald, a male tarantula can wander about a half-mile a day searching for a female mate.

While you shouldn't attempt to touch or grab wild tarantulas you might spot during this time of the year, tarantulas are pretty harmless and rarely bite humans. However, when bites do occur, they're very painful and contain venom. Read about treating a tarantula bite here.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike. Follow along with his adventures on Instagram at @spence.outside


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(4) comments


This article contains a lot of false information. There is only one species migrating, the aphonopelma hentzi, they do not grow to 11', and males mate as many times as they can. As a member of the colorado arachnid club, I'm saddened by the lack of research and therefore, knowledge in this article. Any member of the Colorado arachnid club would be happy to answer any questions you have about tarantulas. These beautiful creatures are already very misunderstood and feared so articles like this spreading misinformation are incredibly frustrating for people like me. I'm disappointed to say the least.


(psst.... when writing a scientific name, the genus is capitalized.. 😉)


So IM not sure where the author is getting their informayltion, but tuere is absolutely zero male tarantulas that can live up to ten years!! Five years if he is lucky. I have been studying amd learning this creature and all od its species and genus. Please check ypur facts first, you might freak some people out whose males died at the average age of like 4!!! And yes females can live 20 to approximately 25 years.


Well aren’t you smart; maybe try proofreading when you get on a rant.

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