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Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula (Euathlus smithii)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Mexican Orange-Kneed Tarantula.

 Updated: 2/13/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




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.



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, and it is this unique coloration has actually 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 now protected as an endangered species after 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, an age about when they become sexually mature, and then they die.

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. North American tarantula venom is not lethal, but bites can be as painful as a bee sting. Also, the bristles on the spider's abdomen break off easily and can penetrate skin, causing irritation and redness on both prey (i.e. mice) and people trying to handle them. This type of spider is generally best left as a 'look, but don't touch' species.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Theraphosida
          Genus: Euathlus
            Species: smithii
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Euathlus smithii
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 35mm to 60mm (1.37in to 2.34in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, orange, gray, white
Descriptors: hairy, furry, orange, knees, big, huge, biting, venomous
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Spider Anatomy
Graphic showing basic parts of spider anatomy
1
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
2
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
3
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
5
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).