Sunday mornings at my house are generally spent watching CBS Sunday Morning, and having breakfast in bed. My wife and I are not church goers so there is no hustle and bustle to get ready for an early service. Breakfast is simple, usually coffee and maybe cinnamon rolls or some other type of pastry.
We both check our phones for messages and what’s going on in the social media world as we watch CBS. On this particular Sunday past, my wife casually asked a question that gave me a sudden slap of attention.
Wife: “Did you know the Texas tarantula migration was on?”
Me: (slight pause to take in the statement) “What did you say?”
Wife: “Did you know the Texas tarantual migration is on? It says here they are coming into central Texas from Colorado and New Mexico.”
Me: “A migration? How are they coming? Wagon train? Bus convoy? Long march? I never heard of such a thing.”
Wife: “They are walking, and it says the migrating tarantulas are males looking to mate.”
Me: “Wow! Just what we need. A bunch of horny tarantulas invading our area. What else does it say?”
Wife: “It says that after the males reach maturity in 6-8 years, they migrate to find a mate, do the procreation stuff and then die within a month.”
Me: “Sounds like a bunch of dead beats if they can’t live long enough to help take care of the new ones.”
Wife: “No, the new ones are self sufficient when they are hatched. The county DA isn’t going to come after them for child support.”
Me: “How come they die so soon after they find a mate?”
Wife: “It doesn’t say. It only says the male is the weaker of the species and after their last molt, they get horny and look for a mate. They are about 1-1/2 inches long, have a leg spread of about six inches and only live 6-8 years.”
Me: “What about the females? How long do they live?”
Wife: “They can live up to 25 years, are much larger and have a wider leg span. They also are beneficial in that they eat a lot of common pest cockroaches, june bugs, and grasshoppers.”
Me: “If they have a wider leg span, I can see why the males get horny. How come we never see them around here?”
Wife: “Pay attention and get your mind off of the horny part. They are very reclusive and hide in burrows, under logs or under rotting tree bark. They spin a web near their hiding place and wait for prey to touch it causing vibrations they can sense. Even though they have eight eyes, eyesight is not their strong suit. They pick up movement by vibrations from their prey, and only leave their burrows to forage when necessary.”
Me: “So, you’re saying I should leave them alone if I see one?”
Wife: “Yes, they are harmless to humans despite their large size and scary appearence. They rarely bite humans and if they did, the bite is non-toxic. It feels like a bee sting, but you won’t die from it.”
Me: “If their bite is non toxic to us, how do they kill prey?”
Wife: “It says here, they do bite their prey and inject a venom that liquifies the victim. They consume the liquid with their strawlike mouth. The hair on the body is also toxic to both prey and predator alike, causing a sting similar to a nettle or bee sting. When threatened, they can throw the hair at their attacker causing a stinging sensation.”
Me: “Wow. I’m certainly going to leave them alone. Especially the females. They sound like bad ass bugs.”
Wife: “Now you are catching on. Remember your place.”
I may have taken editorial liberties with the exact conversation, but, hey…it’s my post.