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Folsom CA Tarantula inquiry

Posted: October 13th, 2021, 5:32 pm
by Porter
I heard recently that there was a new species or sub species of tarantula that was discovered existing somewhere near (within the foothills) Folsom prison. Not only is this awesome beyond belief, (and I’ve already got The Johnny Cash song picked out for the video I’m gonna make, if I ever get a car to drive out there to find one :lol: ), but this is extremely interesting to me for a number of reasons. Mostly because, one of the first stories I shared to a reptile forum (not FHF) About my friend Shane catching a tarantula in Roseville when we were kids, was Debunked and declared a Calistoga spider. Which definitely seemed logical and I adopted that analyzation and verdict at the time! Especially after finding a Calistoga spider a couple years later under a couch cushion in Cameron Park and another (2006) of what I’m sure was a Calistoga spider, just outside of Rancho Marietta. In fact I think the Rancho Marietta find was posted in a video with a Lateralis that was just under 6 feet (Tail touched the ground with it’s head at my nose) . So maybe I assumed that the tarantula that my friend Shane found in Roseville was actually Calistoga… Honestly I don’t remember how it went. Possibly even a member told me that there was thought to be tarantulas in Folsom. Honestly I don’t remember. It was 2010 when I posted the Calistoga and Lateralus video

But let’s not get sidetracked, I’m now wondering if it’s possible my friend Shane did in fact find one of these tarantulas. Which would’ve been within the foothills between Rocky Ridge Drive and sierra college Boulevard (before there were any houses or construction there).

So my questions are:
When was this tarantula population found & established?

Is it a different species/sub species of the blonde bay area Tarantula?

Native or invasive?

How long have they been thought to have been there? My friend found this when we were 12-14 years old-ish… so around the year 1990-ish.

Have they been discovered in Roseville or any other place outside of Folsom? Are they thought too exist anywhere else?

Basically any and all info would be appreciated! :mrgreen:

… I do remember the spider losing its hair while in captivity. Is that something unique to tarantulas or do Calistoga spiders do that as well?

Re: Folsom CA Tarantula inquiry

Posted: October 14th, 2021, 3:26 pm
by Jeff
Believe it or not, it's Aphonopelma johnnycashi, and here is a link to the monograph in which it is described, along with localities:


Re: Folsom CA Tarantula inquiry

Posted: October 14th, 2021, 10:48 pm
by Porter
Ahhh, The Man in Black:thumb: I did it. Thanks Jeff! I’m going to take a look at this when I get a chance :beer: