Beware of Tarantulas in These 13 States

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: March 2, 2024
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Tarantulas are large arachnids that terrify some people, while others like to keep them as pets. They are most common in areas such as Mexico, Australia, Southern Asia, and Africa. In the United States, wild tarantulas are only in 13 states in the Southwest. Here, we list which US states have tarantulas.


Mexican redrump tarantula Brachypelma vagans

Mexican redrump tarantulas in Florida are escaped pets.

©D. Kucharski K. Kucharska/

Even though they are not actually a native species of the state, Mexican redrump tarantulas are now in parts of Florida. They were first discovered in a citrus grove in 1996. These spiders have been imported into Miami as pets since the 1970s and probably escaped.


There are six species of tarantula in Texas.

©Dallas Krentzel / CC BY 2.0 - License

Texas is home to six species of tarantula. These are the Texas Brown Tarantula, Texas Tan Tarantula, Texas Black Spot Tarantula, Chiricahua Gray Tarantula, Rio Grande Gold Tarantula, and the rather mysterious Aphonopelma moellendorfi about which little is known.


Texas brown tarantula

Texas brown tarantulas are found in Louisiana.

©Alan Tunnicliffe/

Strangely, the Texas brown tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi) is in Louisiana! It is a rich brown color with a lighter brown cephalothorax. Their range extends from central to north-central Louisiana and westward to Texas, where they burrow under rocks and logs.


Texas brown tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi)

Tarantulas are found in some parts of Arkansas.

©texas brown tarantula/

Tarantulas are the largest spiders in Arkansas but arrived only 8,000 years ago.  They range from the Ozark Mountains southward across the Arkansas River Valley and the Ouachita Mountains.


You can find Texas brown tarantulas in Missouri.


There is only one native species of tarantula in Missouri and that is the Texas brown tarantula. It also happens to be Missouri’s largest spider.


Ellsworth, Kansas.

You may spot tarantulas in Kansas.

©Tudoran Andrei/

Tarantulas are the largest native spiders in Kansas. They live in southern and western parts of the state but have possibly are around Eudora and in Lecompton as well.


Oklahoma brown tarantulas are also

Aphonopelma hentzi



The Oklahoma brown tarantula is exactly the same species as the Texas brown tarantula. They shelter near small rocks and logs that they can burrow underneath but can occasionally be spotted on roadways.


Arizona Blonde Tarantula

The Arizona blonde is just one species of tarantula in Arizona.


The western desert tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes) is so common in Arizona that you may see it called the Arizona blonde. However, there are plenty of other species in the state where they are a common sight.

New Mexico

San Lorenzo Canyon in Socorro, New Mexico, USA at sunset

You can go on tarantula-spotting tours in New Mexico.

©Raisa Nastukova/iStock via Getty Images

Desert tarantulas, or desert blonde tarantulas, are a common sight in Northern New Mexico. They are often on Santa Fe Desert County Road 42, and you can even join a tarantula-spotting tour in Cerrillos Hills State Park.


Grand Canyon Black Tarantula

Grand Canyon black tarantulas are found in Colorado.


There are four types of tarantula in Colorado. Males take part in a migration or ‘walkabout’ every fall as they hunt for females. This has become a tourist attraction in La Junta.


Tarantulas spend most of their time under rocks in Utah.

©lightphoto/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

The genus of tarantula found in Utah (Aphonopelma) is not harmful to humans. At times, they are as far north as Cache County, but that is about the northern limit of their range.



During migrations, tarantulas are found on roads.

©Jared Quentin/iStock via Getty Images

The desert tarantula and its cousin, the western desert tarantula, can be found in Nevada. During their annual migration, tarantulas often outnumber the 100 residents of Gabbs, Nevada!


Black Tarantula in Topanga, CA

The Black tarantula lives in California.

©Adam Mustafa/ via Getty Images

The California tarantula is Aphonopelma californicum. However, there are other species in the state, including the California Black (or “Ebony”) Tarantula (Aphonopelma eutylenum).

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Couch

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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