Skeleton Tarantula - What is It? Are They Dangerous? What You Need to Know.

Meet the Skeleton Tarantula!

What is a Skeleton Tarantula?

The skeleton tarantula (Ephebopus murinus) belongs to the Theraphosidae family and is also known as the “Yellow knee tarantula.” The scientific name Ephebopus is a Greek word means "youth" plus "foot", and the murinus is Latin meaning "mouse-colored" This tarantula’s legs are black with yellow stripes, the abdomen is brown, and the upper “shell” is coffee-colored or golden yellow.


The skeleton tarantula is native to South America, specifically in Brazil, Suriname, and French Guiana. They are uncommon in that they are not arboreal, and they prefer to make their home on the forest floor beneath branches, rocks, and debris.

How Big Do Skeleton Tarantulas Get?

Skeleton tarantulas can grow up to 4 inches although females grow larger than males and can grow to about 6 inches. Their legs span reaches between 11 to 12 centimeters.

What do Skeleton Tarantulas Eat?

Skeleton tarantulas prefer to dine on ground-dwelling insects, worms, and small mammals

How Long Do Skeleton Tarantulas Live?

Female Skeleton tarantulas have been known to live up to 14-15 years old. Males, unfortunately, have a much shorter lifespan and only live about 3 to 4 years. 



Unique Colors Of Skeleton Tarantulas

The Skeleton tarantula comes in a different variety of colorations:


  • Blue Fang Skeleton Tarantula
  • Emerald Skeleton Tarantula: Indigenous in the rainforests of Brazil. These tarantulas are more of an olive color and have a stronger green hue on their backends. The inside of their legs is a blue-ish purple color. 
  • Red Skeleton TarantulaThis species has a beautiful reddish color and they are mostly found in French Guiana.

Are Skeleton Tarantulas Venomous or Dangerous?

Yes, they are venomous, but typically they are not too dangerous or lethal for humans. They can and do bite, and the bites can be painful due to their large fangs.  However, their venom is rather minor and weaker than a typical bee's.


Do Skeleton Tarantulas Make Good Pets? 


The skeleton tarantula is not the most ideal pet. Because they are friendly or docile, instead they exhibit aggression and are very fast and active. So, this species of spider is one that should be appreciated from a distance. People who do keep skeleton tarantulas as pets are generally those who have extensive experience with exotic pets and arachnids. In those cases, they will remain calm and happy if they are fed well and kept in a healthy habitat.



Check out the YouTube video on the Skeleton Tarantula here!