Mexican Red-Kneed Tarantula

Citron Crested Cockatoo

Scientific Name: Brachpelma smithii
Wild Status: Near Threatened

About Me:

Along the Pacific Coast of Mexico

Brachypelma smithi (Common name the Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula), is a terrestrial tarantula native to the western faces of the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre del Sur mountain ranges in Mexico. They are a large species.  Like most Tarantulas, they are very long lived.

Their natural habitat is in deciduous tropical forests in the hilly south-western Mexico, especially in Colima and Guerrero.

In 1985 the species were listed as endangered by CITES because the wild-caught specimens shipped for the pet market were decreasing in size. The smaller sizes were suspected to be a consequence of a declining population due to excessive export. The export is not the only threat however; some local people have reportedly made a habit of killing these spiders in a nearly systematic way using pesticides, pouring gasoline into burrows or simply killing migrating spiders on sight.

Like most New World tarantulas, they will kick urticating hairs from their abdomens and their back legs if disturbed, rather than bite. They are only slightly venomous to humans and are considered extremely docile, though, as with all Tarantulas, allergies may intensify with any bite