Know About Grand Canyon Wildlife

Grand Canyon wildlife that you might encounter on a hike in the canyon is something you will want to be aware of. For instance, you may find the tarantula crawling at a higher elevation. You usually will not find the spider in the desert scrub, or at a lower elevation. Tarantulas are hairy spiders, and therefore, have earned the name hairy mygalomorph among the families of spiders.

Scientists believe that the tarantula has been around for a long time. In fact, they believe that the spider has lived on the planet several millions of years. It hasn’t changed much over time, and about 700 types of tarantulas exist in the world today. One place tarantulas call home is the Grand Canyon, making them a staple of Grand Canyon wildlife.

A Burrowing Animal

You can find tarantulas among Grand Canyon wildlife, as well as the jungles and rainforests of Central America and South America. Tarantulas generally burrow underground in the day, especially in the Grand Canyon. They either create burrows with their fangs or occupy another critter’s burrow. While tarantulas do not spin silken webs, they do use their silk to create soft walls or doors for their burrow habits.

The Tarantula’s Nemesis In Grand Canyon Wildlife

Tarantulas are nocturnal hunters, known to pounce on prey. They feast on grasshoppers, beetles, and insects. All the spiders of this group defend themselves the same way. Their abdomens feature sharp barbs that they shoot at predators with their legs. Some of the predators of the tarantula include snakes, skunks, owls, and hawks. The worst enemy, however, is the tarantula hawk wasp, or the female of the species.

Its Appearance Is Worth than Its Bite

A female tarantula hawk wasp hunts tarantula spiders as food for its young. The male of the species does not hunt, but feeds off the blooms of milkweeds or mesquite trees. Females feed on these blossoms as well. Compared to a tarantula hawk’s bite, a tarantula’s bite can be compared with a bee sting. In fact, the bite used to paralyze a tarantula is the second most painful bite in the world. Only the South American bullet ant conveys more pain on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index scale.

Not The Scariest Grand Canyon Wildlife

The tarantula has a reputation of being venomous and dangerous. However, most tarantulas usually will not harm a human. The venom is not highly toxic. Tarantulas typically will not bite unless unnecessarily provoked. The tarantula is different from other spiders, as its jaws move up and down instead of side-to-side. Its eight tiny eyes can detect the slightest of movement, and its hairs can distinguish vibrations easily.

Among Grand Canyon wildlife, the tarantula is actually a gentle spider. However, it is one that should still be viewed at a distance. Most of the spiders come out at night. Therefore, they are more likely to be seen on a camping trip.

Learn More Grand Canyon Wildlife On A Tour

If you want to learn more about Grand Canyon wildlife, contact a tour provider, such as Grand Canyon Destinations. You can take an affordable bus day trip to the canyon and learn all about the area’s flora and fauna. Book your reservation today.

About the Author

Kyle Gooverton

Kyle Gooverton

A Grand Canyon enthusiast! A local Las Vegas resident that loves the flora and the fauna of all things Southwest.