nl fr

Mexican red knee tarantula Brachypelma smithi

Animals in our sanctuary

Date taken in

Juan was seized by the Animal Welfare Department from a private owner. A seizure only happens in case of serious animal abuse (neglect, too small enclosure, illegal keeping of an animal, no official papers, ...).

Where does it feel at home?

The Mexican red knee tarantula lives in semi-deserts and wetter areas of Mexico.

What does it like to eat?

The menu includes spiders, insects, worms, small rodents, snakes, lizards and young birds, hence the name.


The tarantula jumps on its prey from a short distance and paralyses it with poison. The poison contains a substance that liquefies proteins, causing the prey to dissolve, as it were. The liquid parts are sucked up by the spider. In humans, the bite has the same effect as a bee or wasp sting. More annoying are the hairs on the abdomen of the bird spider. It can fling them away as an irritating defence mechanism.

Life-threatening mating

The male has to drum his legs on the ground to get the female to mate. If he does not, she sees him as prey and eats him. Even after mating, the male has to get out of the way, otherwise he will be eaten. When, two months later, the youngsters are big enough to look for food themselves, they see everything that moves as prey, including other youngsters. That is why they immediately rush in all directions when they hatch.

Adopt this Mexican red knee tarantula