Red-kneed Spider Meat-eater. And as big as an adult hand.
Type invertebrate
Leg span 14cm
Weight 14g
Diet carnivore

Mexican red-kneed bird-eating spider

Brachypelma smithi
  • Summary

    Mexican red-kneed bird-eating spiders have a leg span of around 14cm and are covered in fine black hairs. Their hairs are shed, particularly if the animal is disturbed, and can cause an allergic reaction. They are only mildly venomous to man but their large fangs can inflict a deep wound. The female is often bigger and has a longer life expectancy than the male.

    Despite having a total of eight eyes the Mexican bird-eating spider has very poor eyesight. 

  • Dietary

    The spider's diet mainly consists of insects, scorpions and other spiders; however when necessary the spider is able to catch and kill reptiles, frogs and even small birds and mammals.

    In the wild these spiders would sit and wait in their burrow ready to ambush a passing meal.

  • Habitat

    These spiders are found on hillsides or banks of earth in Mexico. Burrows are excavated in soft earth or natural crevices under rocks or tree roots. The burrow entrance is large and irregular, shaded and obscured by plant debris. The spiders are very territorial over their burrows.

    Animal Habitat Range
  • Conservation

    The Mexican red-kneed bird-eating spider is classified as Near Threatened. There was a decline in red-kneed spider numbers in the wild due to collection for the pet trade, but this has since been better controlled by laws and the spiders being placed on the CITES Appendix II.

    IUCN Red List species link

  • Did you know...

    Female Mexican red-kneed bird-eating spiders are capable of having over 200 babies in a single egg sac.

  • Where to find us at Bristol Zoo

    You can find our Mexican red-kneed bird-eating spider at Bug World, next to the Aquarium and above The Hide Café Restaurant

    Bristol Zoo Gardens Map

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