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Mexican Redknee Tarantula

Spot rare red-and-black tarantulas while they are roaming in the wild

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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The Mexican Redknee Tarantula, as well as the related Mexican Fireleg Tarantula, are among the most iconic spiders in the world. These spiders are often kept as pets or displayed in zoo terrariums due to their dramatic black, red, and orange coloration.

These tarantula species are native to Mexico, and both can be observed along the Pacific Coast of the country, especially in the Balsas River basin. Fireleg tarantulas are frequently seen in the states of Colima, Jalisco, Guerreras, and Michoacán. Spiders prefer dry rocky surfaces as well as deciduous tropical forests where they make their burrows under logs and tree roots. Redknee tarantulas can be easily spotted along the western faces of Sierra Madre del Sur and Sierra Madre Occidental mountain ranges. They often burrow in dry scrubland and are also seen along the highways. The best time to look for tarantulas is their mating season from July through October. That's when the males leave their burrows and wander off searching for females.

Both Mexican tarantula species are quite large, reaching 6 inches (16 cm). They have eight eyes and can flick urticating hairs when threatened. Despite a scary appearance, these tarantulas are quite harmless to humans. They have fallen victim to their own popularity as many tarantulas got smuggled out of the country to be sold for private terrariums and zoos. That's why there isn't that many of them left in the wild.

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