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Brachypelma

The Brachypelma belongs to the tarantula family, indigenous to parts of Mexico and Central America.  According to the October 2017 records, there are 17 species in this genus divided into two distinct groups, namely the red leg and red rump tarantulas.

Brachypelma Spider

Spiders Belonging To This Genus

Red leg group

Red rump group

  • Curly Hair Tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum)
  • Brachypelma andrewi
  • Brachypelma aureoceps
  • Brachypelma epicureanum
  • Brachypelma fossorium
  • Brachypelma kahlenbergi
  • Brachypelma sabulosum
  • Brachypelma schroederi
  • Brachypelma vagans
  • Brachypelma verdezi

Physical Description & Identification

Adults

Size: They have an average size of 60 mm (2.32 inches), with the leg span also of a similar length. Certain spiders belonging to this genus are big enough. For instance, the B. smithi is 45 to 60 mm (1.77 inches to 2.36 inches) long with a leg span of about 70 mm (2.75 inches). The B. kahlenbergi, on the other hand, is smaller, with a size of about 30 mm to 40mm (1.18 inches to 1.57 inches). Females are mostly bigger than males, though with shorter legs.

Scientific Classification

Color: They have a bright body, mostly available in shades of yellowish-orange, bronze, and brown. The red leg tarantulas have markings of red on their legs.

Other Characteristic Features: They have a hairy leg and palp. The palpal bulbs of the males are flattened, also comprising of a spoon-shaped embolus. The spermathecae of females are fused into a flat cross-section.

Eggs

The eggs of most of the species are round in the size of a golf ball. They mostly hatch before the rainy season commences.

Spiderlings

In the initial months of their life, the spiderlings molt in two weeks.  

The Web

Like most members of the tarantula family, these spiders do not spin webs but capture their prey through hunting.

Are the Species of the Brachypelma Genus Venomous and Do They Bite

Most spiders of this genus are big and bite when provoked. However, their venom is not poisonous to humans, causing skin allergies and localized pain that would go away in a few days.

Quick Facts

Lifespan Males: 4-5 years
Females: 10 years
Distribution Throughout Mexico and Central America
Habitat Thorny forests, deciduous forests, scrublands, deserts
Predators Snake, lizards, large birds, and wasps
Diet Rodents, insects, small frogs, and other spiders

Did You Know

  • Species of this genus are popular as pets and live longer in captivity.
  • Because of the pet trade and habitat destruction, their numbers are reducing rapidly. Hence, many species of this genus are ensured protection under the international Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species.
  • . B. boehmei appears as the most beautiful species of this genus.
  • Brachypelma originates from the Greek words brachys and pelma translating to short and sole of the feet.
  • French naturalist Eugene Simon described this genus for the first time in the year 1891.
  • The larger species like the Brachypelma hamorii and Brachypelma Emilia have appeared in Hollywood movies because of their docile nature.

Image Credits: davethebugguy.org

The Brachypelma belongs to the tarantula family, indigenous to parts of Mexico and Central America.  According to the October 2017 records, there are 17 species in this genus divided into two distinct groups, namely the red leg and red rump tarantulas.

Brachypelma Spider

Spiders Belonging To This Genus

Red leg group

Red rump group

  • Curly Hair Tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum)
  • Brachypelma andrewi
  • Brachypelma aureoceps
  • Brachypelma epicureanum
  • Brachypelma fossorium
  • Brachypelma kahlenbergi
  • Brachypelma sabulosum
  • Brachypelma schroederi
  • Brachypelma vagans
  • Brachypelma verdezi

Physical Description & Identification

Adults

Size: They have an average size of 60 mm (2.32 inches), with the leg span also of a similar length. Certain spiders belonging to this genus are big enough. For instance, the B. smithi is 45 to 60 mm (1.77 inches to 2.36 inches) long with a leg span of about 70 mm (2.75 inches). The B. kahlenbergi, on the other hand, is smaller, with a size of about 30 mm to 40mm (1.18 inches to 1.57 inches). Females are mostly bigger than males, though with shorter legs.

Color: They have a bright body, mostly available in shades of yellowish-orange, bronze, and brown. The red leg tarantulas have markings of red on their legs.

Other Characteristic Features: They have a hairy leg and palp. The palpal bulbs of the males are flattened, also comprising of a spoon-shaped embolus. The spermathecae of females are fused into a flat cross-section.

Eggs

The eggs of most of the species are round in the size of a golf ball. They mostly hatch before the rainy season commences.

Spiderlings

In the initial months of their life, the spiderlings molt in two weeks.  

The Web

Like most members of the tarantula family, these spiders do not spin webs but capture their prey through hunting.

Are the Species of the Brachypelma Genus Venomous and Do They Bite

Most spiders of this genus are big and bite when provoked. However, their venom is not poisonous to humans, causing skin allergies and localized pain that would go away in a few days.

Quick Facts

Lifespan Males: 4-5 years
Females: 10 years
Distribution Throughout Mexico and Central America
Habitat Thorny forests, deciduous forests, scrublands, deserts
Predators Snake, lizards, large birds, and wasps
Diet Rodents, insects, small frogs, and other spiders

Did You Know

  • Species of this genus are popular as pets and live longer in captivity.
  • Because of the pet trade and habitat destruction, their numbers are reducing rapidly. Hence, many species of this genus are ensured protection under the international Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species.
  • . B. boehmei appears as the most beautiful species of this genus.
  • Brachypelma originates from the Greek words brachys and pelma translating to short and sole of the feet.
  • French naturalist Eugene Simon described this genus for the first time in the year 1891.
  • The larger species like the Brachypelma hamorii and Brachypelma Emilia have appeared in Hollywood movies because of their docile nature.

Image Credits: davethebugguy.org

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