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  • Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula - (Euathlus smithii)

    Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula - (Euathlus smithii)

    The endangered Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula is protected by international laws so it can remain a part of its natural ecosystem for generations to come.


    Picture of Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula


    Staff Writer (1/24/2014): Tarantulas are magnificently large and extremely hairy. Including legs, some can grow as long as 150 mm. This particular species has bright orange patches on its "knee" joints and lower legs joints as well and it is this unique coloration has led to their decline.

    Orange-Kneed Tarantulas became popular 'pets' and were taken from the wild and sold in stores. Their trade has now become illegal and they are protected as an endangered species by being placed on the CITES list.

    Males are generally smaller and thinner than females, though their legs are longer. They are territorial and aggressive with other intruding males. Females are larger and live longer by an average of 10-20 years longer. Males generally live about 10 years, when they become sexually mature, and then die.

    North American tarantula venom is not lethal, but bites can be as painful as a bee sting. Also, the bristles on their abdomen break off easily and can penetrate skin, causing irritation and redness to prey (mice) or people trying to handle them. This is a 'look, but don't touch' species.

    Nocturnal in nature, they are most active at night and are hunters, not spinners. They may use their silk to line their daytime hideouts, but not to catch prey.

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    Details of the:
    Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula


    Category: Spider
    Common name: Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula
    Scientific Name: Euathlus smithii

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Arachnida
         Order: Araneae
          Family: Theraphosida
           Genus: Euathlus
            Species: smithii

    Size (Adult, Length): 35mm to 60mm (1.38in to 2.36in)

    Identifying Colors: black, orange, gray, white

    Additional Descriptors: hairy, orange, knees, biting, venomous


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Arizona; Nevada; New Mexico; Texas; Mexico


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.