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Mexican Red-Kneed Tarantula

The Mexican red-kneed tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) is a venomous nocturnal spider that is easily recognized by the bright red hairs on its knees.

Size: 4-5 inches long with a legspan of 6–7 inches; weight is usually about half an ounce.

Life Span: Females have been known to live 25 years and longer.

Color: Black with bright red or orange hairs on the knees

Continent: North America; South America

Range: Mexico

Habitat: Desert scrublands and coastal lands

Food: Mexican red-kneed tarantulas eat insects, small birds, frogs, mice, and even other spiders. They are unable to digest their food, so they inject their prey with venom from their fangs. The venom kills the prey and liquifies it, which the tarantula then sucks up.

Reproduction: After mating during the summer months, females lay up to 1000 eggs into a silk cocoon. Young hatch eight weeks later and are able to live on their own after three weeks.

Fun Facts: Mexican red-kneed tarantulas use their front two legs to fight prey and their back six legs for mobility. Tarantula legs are made up of seven parts plus a claw. They have the ability to regenerate a lost leg when they molt.