Tliltocatl vagans

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(Redirected from Brachypelma vagans)

Tliltocatl vagans
In habitat in Belize
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
Family: Theraphosidae
Genus: Tliltocatl
T. vagans
Binomial name
Tliltocatl vagans
(Ausserer, 1875)[1]
  • Brachypelma vagans (Ausserer, 1875)
  • Eurypelma vagans Ausserer, 1875
  • Eurypelma dupontii Becker, 1879

Tliltocatl vagans (synonym Brachypelma vagans) is a species of tarantula known commonly as the Mexican red rump. It ranges predominantly in Mexico (including the Yucatán Peninsula), but is also found in Central America.[1] They are terrestrial, burrowing spiders. The reason for the name red rump is because of its distinctive red hairs on its abdomen. Like most tarantulas, they will eat anything they can overpower, which is usually insects, but small lizards and rodents may also be consumed. They can grow up to a solid 6.5 inch leg span, with males typically being smaller and thinner than the females. They prefer shrubland habitats.

In 1996, Tliltocatl vagans was discovered in the wild in St. Lucie County, Florida. It is now considered an established non-native species in that state, where it is thought to have been introduced through either accidental or intentional releases of specimens imported via the pet trade, although their numbers have been dwindling due to many T. vagans eating insects poisoned by pesticides.

Distribution of confirmed specimens of Tliltocatl species[2]
Tliltocatl vagans


The genus Brachypelma was split up, with this species moving to become Tliltocatl vagans.[3] The move is accepted by the World Spider Catalog.[1]

In captivity[edit]

T. vagans is frequently kept and bred in captivity. They are typically docile, though they can be skittish and prone to releasing urticating hairs. Females are long-lived, potentially reaching 25-40 years of age. Due to its popularity in the pet trade, T. vagans is listed under appendix II of CITES (under its former name) to prevent illegal removal and international trade. This trade, combined with habitat destruction and a high rate of mortality prior to sexual maturity, means that T. vagans is considered vulnerable to extinction.[4]

In traditional Mayan medicine[edit]

The Ch'ol Maya consider these spiders to be positive, and use them medicinally. A hierbatero kills it, then crushes it, mixes it with spirit alcohol and strains out any irritating hairs with a traditional cloth. The beverage is used for the treatment of "tarantula wind", the symptoms being chest pain, coughing and asthma. The venom peptide GsMtx-4 is being investigated for the possible treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, muscular dystrophy and glioma.[5]



  1. ^ a b c d "Taxon details Tliltocatl vagans (Ausserer, 1875)". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  2. ^ Mendoza, Jorge & Francke, Oscar (2020). "Systematic revision of Mexican threatened tarantulas Brachypelma (Araneae: Theraphosidae: Theraphosinae), with a description of a new genus, and implications on the conservation". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 188 (1): 82–147. doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz046.
  3. ^ Mendoza, Jorge & Francke, Oscar (4 November 2019), "Systematic revision of Mexican threatened tarantulas Brachypelma (Araneae: Theraphosidae: Theraphosinae), with a description of a new genus, and implications on the conservation", Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz046
  4. ^ "Mexican redrump tarantula (Brachypelma vagans)". Arkive. Wildscreen. Archived from the original on 2015-07-14. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  5. ^ Salima Machkour-M'Rabet; Yann Hénaut; Peter Winterton & Roberto Rojo (2011). "A case of zootherapy with the tarantula Brachypelma vagans Ausserer, 1875 in traditional medicine of the Chol Mayan ethnic group in Mexico". Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 7: 12. doi:10.1186/1746-4269-7-12. PMC 3072308. PMID 21450096.

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