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Tarantulas start their massive, annual 'migration' through Colorado soon

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Posted at 9:20 AM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 09:58:58-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Colorado wildlife officials say thousands of tarantulas are expected to start their annual "migration" through the state soon.

The Gazette reported Wednesday that the "migration" is expected to begin this month through early October. Paula Cushing, an evolutionary biologist who studies arachnids at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, told Denver7 while it’s not a true migration, the animals are much more active and visible, so it's taken on that name.

Officials say the Oklahoma brown tarantulas "migrate" through La Junta, about 176 miles southeast of Denver.

READ MORE: Troops of tarantulas: Arachnids become commonplace in southeastern Colorado during mating season

Scientists say the majority of the spiders are 10-year-old males looking to mate with females hidden in Colorado's grasslands.

Officials say the peak time to view these animals is mid-September near Comanche National Grassland south of La Junta off U.S. Highway 109.

Officials say tarantulas are mostly harmless to humans, but have bites that can cause injury or allergic reaction and hairs that can be irritating to the eyes, mouth and nose.

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Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com