Childhood Memory: Tarantulas

Desert Blonde Tarantula - A Desert Blonde Tarantula that has a usual habitat in the Arizona.
@stealthy (8188)
United States
February 6, 2012 5:44pm CST
I went to an elementary school in Texas that was run by a college in town. It had grades kindergarten through sixth grade with one class per each grade. We would get a recess following lunch each day and one, fourth or fifth grade, a friend and I would get a small amount of turpentine from the workroom. We would take this out to a near by road that had dirt banks on the side and look for holes in the dirt. These holes were where tarantulas lived. We would pour a little turpentine into a hole and when the tarantula came out we would catch it in a jar that had air holes in the lid. Then we would take the tarantula to the nearby college biology department and they would gives us $0.25 for it. It was usually very easy. The usual tarantulas had brown hair on their legs which was the norm for our area. However, one day a tarantula with what looked like silver, possibly white, hair on its legs would come to the edge of the hole and then retreat. It would not come out even with several tries and so fearing we would kill it if we poured too much turpentine in the hole, we gave up. Searching the Internet I can only come up with one possibility for the type of tarantula it might have been and that is one called a desert blonde(see photo) and that had a usual closest habitat in Arizona two states West and probably a couple of thousand miles away. I can only speculate as to whether the biology department would have rewarded us with more than the usual $0.25 if we had managed to catch that tarantula.
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1 response
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
16 Feb 12
That's a great story. As for the different spider, could it maybe have been a female? maybe the mother of all the other spiders, who while not babies, may have been juveniles?
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
16 Feb 12
No it wasn't the mother of the other tarantulas. The typical native tarantula in that area of Texas has the brown hair on the legs. This one was not the typical type native to Texas but most likely had gotten there by some means from Arizona.