The Insect Zoo is excited to announce that tarantula feedings will now happen every day of the week! Our three new Monday tarantulas have made their debut, but we need your help to name them. Meet our new stars below, and then vote for your favorite names on our Facebook page.
True to its name, the Mexican Fireleg tarantula (Brachypelma boehmei) is native to Mexico. Firelegs prefer dry scrubland areas, where they live in self-made or adopted burrows. Males are exceptionally long lived for tarantulas, reaching maturity after 7 or 8 years, and females can live to be 20. Our Fireleg still has some growing to do until it reaches full size, so we still don’t know if it’s a boy or girl! Do you think (s)he is a Lava, Pyro, or Flash?
Native to Bolivia and Argentina, Bolivian Salmon Pink tarantulas (Acanthoscurria chacoana) are relatively large, growing to 7 or 8 inches in legspan. Covered in black-brown hair, they also have long pink hairs on their legs and abdomen. Aside from their wonderful fashion sense, these urticating hairs can be kicked off the abdomen as a defense, irritating skin and soft tissues. Would you say our tarantula’s an Urti, Webster, or Flash?
Fast growing and good eaters, Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas (Acanthoscurria geniculata) reach maturity in as little as three or four years. Native to the forests of Brazil, these tarantulas are terrestrial, hiding out under leaves and logs. With its flashy black and white striped legs, is Stripes, Rio, or Pouncer a good fit?
Go vote for your favorite names! The winning names will be announced on Monday, July 21.
Update: our winning tarantula names are Pyro (Mexican Fireleg), Webster (Bolivian Salmon) and Rio (Brazilian Whiteknee). Thank you for voting!
By Anne Jones, Insect Zoo and Butterfly Pavilion, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
Images by Rosa Pineda, Smithsonian Institution