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Tucson, AZ this week

Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by BeyondPrint, Aug 27, 2013.

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    I'm in Tucson, AZ this week on business and plan on going out searching for both scorpions and tarantulas several nights this week. My son and I went to San Antonio a couple of years ago and someone on this forum was nice enough to provide some good places to see the local fauna and we were able to collect a tarantula and a couple of scorpions. I'd like to do the same here in Tucson. I used to go out in the washes west of Phoenix years ago when I lived in there. Would anyone be willing to share some suggestions for searching? I'm near Randolph Park.

    I'd prefer the Hadrurus arizonensis (hairy desert scorpions) over a "bark scorpion". I'm unsure of the types of tarantulas that are local to this area as well.

  2. I went out last night in the east part of Tucson and went exploring in a very large wash/scrub bushes next to a large park. Within an hour, I had found many scorpions--I kept two large hairy desert and two tarantulas (Aphonopelma). I believe I found a male and female. The female was out and above ground about 1-1/2 from her burrow. The male I just caught a glimpse of his feet. It took me almost 2 hours to carefully dig him out of his burrow.

    There seems to be a lot of "burrows' in vacant/scrub/washes. Are there a local type of gopher that digs these holes or are all of the holes in the ground from tarantulas?

    I'd like to see if I can find a couple of trap door spiders as well this week. I welcome any other suggestions of places to visit to observe these facinating creatures in the wild. Unfortunately, we don't have any of these awesome arachnids in MN.
  3. Here are three photos I took of the "burrows" I'm seeing. The first looks like some sort of mouse/rat/gopher hole. How about the second two?

    Instead of digging up a burrow, is there an easier way of knowing for sure a tarantula is in it and coax it out?



  4. aznative86

    aznative86 Arachnosquire

    They usually got a little bit of web at the entrance.. you could pour a little water down there and wait for it to poke out
  5. What a great place to hunt, explore, collect and see so many different arachnids in one place! If you get a chance to come to Tucson, you won't be dissappointed.

    I went out again last night and again found a high density of the local tarantulas, giant hairy dessert scorpions, a large centipede (almost caught it), a rattlesnake as well as many lizards and other "bugs".

    How high can a population of tarantulas get in an area? (x tarantulas per square foot?)

    I'd like to see if I can find some trap door spiders, does anyone in the Tucson area have any suggestions for where to search for them? Please PM me.

  6. josh_r

    josh_r Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Glad you hd suggess finding stuff... Just don't collect a whole lot. Those area are constantly hit hard by collectors. As for the trapdoor spiders, good luck finding the desert populations. They like to hang around washes. If you go a bit higher in elevation, you stand a better chance at finding several species. Any of the neighboring mountains will have great populations of trappies.
  7. Smokehound714

    Smokehound714 Arachnoking Active Member

    tarantula burrows can be rather crowded in some areas. Washes are an excellent place to look, as centipedes are drawn to them. Even a dry creekbed has enough moisture deep within in, enough to make the undersides of stones moist. nearly every stone should have some sort of myriapod underneath. The sonoran can be extremely diverse, some portions along slopes receive so much precipitation that they cannot be classified as a desert, and are instead called 'thornscrub', very similar to coastal sage scrub. paruroctonus enjoy sandy moist habitat, might find some anuroctonus around slopes, too. Arizona rocks, truly a herper's/collector's paradise.
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