Approximately 55 species thought to occur in the US.
In North America, the only mygalomorphs that have claw tufts are the tarantulas (family Theraphosidae).
There are over 50 species of tarantulas native to the southwestern and central portions of the United States, including several undescribed species (unknown to science). They can be found in all or parts of (going in a circle): California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. Their eastern border is the Mississippi River and further to the north, the Missouri River. There is an introduced population of Brachypelma vagans in central Florida, but this species is indigenous to southern Mexico and Belize. (atshq.com)
Will not bite unless provoked - Their venom is no worse than most bee stings; however, some tarantulas can release a cloud of hairs that irritate the mucous membranes of mammals
The Beginner's Guide to Theraphosid Taxonomy
(a photographic guide to taxonomic terms and spider anatomy from the UK).
American Tarantula Society
- Images and information.