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Red-kneed tarantula

Brachypelma smithi

CHARACTERISTICS

Family
Theraphosidae

Habitat
dry forests and dry savannahs in Mexico

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Beauty Under Threat

Red-kneed tarantulas are best-known from Hollywood films and through their on-screen presence these placid and peaceful spiders have become much-loved household pets. The sad consequence is that the population in their native Mexico has shrunk considerably. 

In a bid to protect them they were the first breed of tarantula to be added to the Washington Species Protection Agreement in 1985. Since then their export from their homeland has been regulated.

To protect themselves from attack these spiders throw out urticating hairs. Their poison glands are small and their bite is not very poisonous - similar to a bee sting.

Conservation status