Apologies to all you arachnophobes out there! But it's tarantula mating season right now in the East Bay, and we thought you'd want to know.
Though the burrowing creatures live "a solitary, nocturnal life" (insert SFGate commenter joke here), when male tarantulas hit 8-12 years of age and mating season arrives, the young gentlemen venture out of their homes in search of a female, with whom they breed. Six months after mating, KQED reports, the males die, but the females will live to 30-40 years of age. I'll just let you process that for a second.
That's the kind of amazing scene that's currently being played out at Walnut-Creek-adjacent Mount Diablo State Park, which is known for its vibrant population of the furry-eight-leggers. According to KTVU, many of the males have already been spotted out and about, crossing roads and seeking ladies.
But there's even more drama! According to ABC7, the spiders have to move a little faster this year than in previous, because there's a smaller food supply due to the drought, leaving the males less in the tank to get. It. On. Time is of the essence, guys! It's like 24, except most spiders seem taller than Kiefer Sutherland, and there will presumably be less torture.
Speaking of getting it on, here's how they do it, per KQED:
Roaming at dusk and after dark, sometimes in large numbers, the males go in search of a willing female. They hunt to find her silk-lined burrow marked with a scent indicating she’s looking for a mate. To prevent being accidentally trapped for a future meal, he uses his front legs to drum on her doorstep.
Want to see this for yourself (perv! Just kidding. Maybe)? Well, the video below of some Mount Diablo tarantulas meeting and greeting is a nice start, but the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association also offers tarantula walks so you can check them out up close and personal.
And don't be scared! Though venomous, a bite from a tarantula has never caused a human fatality. Yet.