Scientific Name: Brachypelma smithi

Found In: Desert and scrubland habitats in Mexico

Size: Body spans up to 2.5 inches, with a leg span of up to 4 inches

Diet: Tarantulas prey on insects and small animals. They carve burrows into the soil from which they ambush passing prey.

Threat Level: Near threatened – Over-collecting by the pet trade has severely reduced this species in the wild

Facts: Tarantulas must molt (shed their skin) in order to grow. They can also regrow a lost leg during a molt. Fangs are shed with the skin.

Mexican Red Knee Tarantula at the Virginia Zoo.