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Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) Zoology


Note: Make sure to read the General Zoology page before reading this section!

| Introduction & Description | Classification | Distribution | Natural Habitat | Natural Diet | Books | Related Topics | References & Further Reading |
| Email This Page | Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula Care Sheet |

Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula Introduction & Description:

Mexican Red-kneed (or Mexican Redknee, Mexican Orange kneed) tarantulas (Brachypelma smithi) are terrestrial / burrowing tarantulas native to Mexico. These tarantulas are well-fleshed, large and strong spiders. The species was first described by a collector named H. H. Smith in 1888. They are certainly one of the larger and more beautiful tarantulas. In the pet trade they have been collected as interesting pets since the 1970's and '80's and are certainly the most popular pet tarantulas kept today.

The Mexican Red-kneed tarantula closely resembles the terrestrial Mexican Red-legged (or Mexican Painted Redleg ) tarantula. They can be distinguished by the Red-legged having a dark triangle on a reddish cephalothorax.


Figure 1  Juvenile Mexican Red-kneed tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) one day after moulting. Note the well fleshed, dark brown body, distinctive reddish/orange patches on the legs and patella & the dark cepahlothorax.

Mature Mexican Red-kneed tarantulas are stocky-bodied, well fleshed dark brown tarantulas covered with hair. They have distinctive red/orange patches on the legs. The cephalothorax is dark and the patella / trochanter (second leg joint form the body) is often entirely red/orange in colour. Following moulting, the colours are more pronounced.

Adult females has a body of about 10 cm / 4 " long with a leg span of 15 - 18 cm / 6 - 7 ". Females weigh approximately 15 - 16 g. As with most tarantulas they do contain venom. Hatchlings measures about 1.2 cm / " across.

In captivity they take five to seven years to reach sexual maturity. Males can be as old as nine years and it is not uncommon to get females living for 25 to 30 years!

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Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula Classification:


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Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula Distribution:

Mexico, especially the southern parts, and some neighboring countries.

Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula Natural Habitat:

Scrubland and deserts.

Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula Natural Diet:

These tarantulas will consume almost anything moving that is small enough. Their natural diet includes most arthropods, small lizards and even small rodents and birds. They use their strong mouthparts to bite and inject their venom to paralyze their victim.

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Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula Books:

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"If you did not understand something or thought that I left a few things out, read the General Zoology page. If you think I should add more information to this section or think that something is incorrect, contact me and let me know. I would love to hear your ideas or methods you might use that is different than ours."

Last updated 17 May 2008 by Renier Delport

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"Always remember only to buy healthy animals from reputable pet shops and breeders. Make sure to buy animals that are captive bred in your own country and that it is not illegally imported or caught from the wild."

"If you've read something funny, or heard something that sounds out of place, use your common sense before applying. It is extremely important to do research from more than one source (before buying or accepting a new animal). Browse other internet pages, read related magazines and talk to experienced people."

Related Topics:

General Zoology
Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula Care Sheet
General Tarantula Care Sheet
Mexican Red-kneed Tarantulas For Sale
General Animal Bio-security & Quarantine

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References & Further Reading:

Bartlett, Patricia P. & Griswold, Billy, 2001 Reptiles, Amphibians & Invertebrates - An Identification & Care Guide. Barron's Educational Series U.S.

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| Introduction & Description | Classification | Distribution | Natural Habitat | Natural Diet | Books | Related Topics | References & Further Reading |
| Email This Page | Mexican Red-kneed Tarantulas For Sale | Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula Care Sheet |





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