Animals & Habitats
Mexican Red-legged Tarantula
Scientific Name
Brachypelma smithi
Central Pacific Coast of Mexico
Conservation Status
Near Threatened

Burrow Dweller

This tarantula’s favored habitats include underground burrows located in deserts, forests or tropical deciduous forests. They are typically found in dense vegetation and rocky, craggy areas. This habitat choice allows the spider to easily detect predator smells and vibrations through its sensitive legs.


Arachnids have eight appendages and eight eyes on the top of their carapace. These adaptations, coupled with a sensitivity in their legs, allow them to detect their environment and mobilize quickly and efficiently to retreat from danger. When unable to avoid a predator, they have a venomous sting along with the ability to kick body hairs off of their abdomen with hind legs to evade danger.


Due to over-collection of thousands of wild red-legged tarantulas since the mid-1980s for the pet trade, this species is in trouble in their native habitats. The species can now only be obtained through trade permits and has focused protections.