Mexican Red Knee Tarantula

Latin Name Brachypelma smithi
Class Arachnida
Family Theraphosidae
Habitat Deciduous tropical forest
IUCN Status Near Threatened
Distribution Pacific coast of Mexico

General Information

Brachypelma smithi is found to the south of Mexico, in the state of Guerrero. The natural habitat of the species is in hilly deciduous tropical forests. They construct deep burrows under rocks and tree roots, among dense thickets.  The deep burrows keep them protected from predators, like the white-nosed coati, and enable them to ambush passing prey.

The females spend the majority of their lives in their burrows. The burrows are typically located in or not far from vegetation and consist of a single entrance with a tunnel leading to one or two chambers. The entrance is just slightly larger than the body size of the spider. The tunnel, usually about three times the tarantula's leg span in length, leads to a chamber which is large enough for the spider to safely molt.