U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The tallest peaks of North Carolina and Tennessee seem like a very unlikely place to find a tarantula but, remarkably, one can be found there. The Spruce-Fir Moss Spider, Microhexura montivaga, is one of the smallest tarantulas on Earth and is only about the size of a BB gun pellet.
The spider’s common name provides a specific habitat description of the species, since it lives under moss that grows on north-facing rocks that are scattered throughout high-elevation Fraser Fir/Red Spruce forest. Here, it constructs a tube-shaped web that it uses to catch its prey, which scientists assume to be mainly springtails.
One would think that the highest forests in remote parts of North Carolina and Tennessee would safeguard this tarantula from most threats, but that is unfortunately not the case. …read more of The Endangered Unknown: Spruce-Fir Moss Spider here