A large hairy male desert Tarantual climbs over a granite boulder in the Santa Catalina Foothills, Tucson, AZ. Tarantulas are native to the Arizona Sonoran Desert. Tarantulas are ground dwellers and nocturnal hunters, so this male might be out in the daytime looking for a mate. Male desert tarantulas are lankier than females and have blacker legs. They feed primarily on insects like grasshoppers, beetles, other small spiders and arthopods. Male tarantulas can live as long as 10 to 12 years, females twice as long. If threatened a tarantula can 'throw' irritating barbed hairs from its abdomen known as urticating hairs.