City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

September 20, 2016

August 17th

Filed under: Dragonfly, Insects, Meadow Mile 1.3, Pleasant Valley, Tarantula — canopus56 @ 11:05 pm

Tarantula Legs

6:00 p.m. At mile 0.7, A lone tarantula is walking across the roadway. Most spiders move so quickly that the action of their legs cannot be clearly observed. In contrast, this 5 inch diameter specimen walks in slow motion. For its rear 6 legs and counting from the abdomen forward, an even-numbered leg on one side moves forward in concert with an odd-numbered leg on the opposite side. It uses its front two legs like antenna, probing the environment ahead. Its abdomen is covered in one of the tarantula’s defensive mechanisms: urticating hairs or irritating hairs. I spend a few minutes with the tarantula to assure that neither a car or a bicyclist ends it.

The canyon opens up after the first mile and dragonflies are evenly distributed over the meadow between mile 1.1 and 1.5. These are the same fifty or so dragonflies that were hunting in a close knit flock back on August 11th. A U.S.G.S. map describes this area as “Pleasant Valley”.


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