Tarantula, New World

Mexican Red-Knee – Mexico.
Chilean Rose-Haired – Chile, South America.

Live in burrows in semi-desert to desert regions.

Body length is 1.2 to 2.75 inches, with leg span of 5 – 6 inches.

Both sexes take 10 – 12 years to mature. Male lives one year after reaching maturity. The female may live 10 – 15 years longer.


  • Breed in September and October.
  • In both the male and female, the genital opening is on the underside of the abdomen. In addition, the male has a pair of sex organs on the end of the pedipalps which are used to transfer sperm to the female.
  • Female lays 500 to 600 tiny eggs which remain in the silk sac for 91 days.
  • No maternal care beyond hiding and camouflaging the egg sac.

Wild: Insects, insect larvae, baby birds and mammals.
Zoo: Crickets and baby mice


  • Nocturnal.
  • Hibernate through winter where there is a cold season.
  • Fairly inactive; may be motionless for days.
  • Line their burrows with silk but do not make webs.

Threatened throughout its ranges due to pet trade.


  • Tarantulas are the largest and most primitive of all living spiders.
  • The exoskeleton does not grow with the spider, but must be shed from time to time. This process is called molting. For a short time after molting the spider cannot run and is in danger from its predators.
  • They are able to regenerate missing appendages during the molting process.
  • Hairs are highly sensitive and serve as organs of touch.
  • They are not considered poisonous. The bite is painful but not fatal to humans.
  • Spider resting heart rate is 30 – 40 beats per minute. After 30 seconds of activity it may increase to 200 per minute.