Let’s take a look at a few of the adaptations that these tarantulas have made in order to succeed and thrive in their environments!
B. vagans       Like all members of the phylum Arthropoda, Brachypelma vagans are Ecdysozoans, meaning they molt (Dor-2012). This adaptation allows B. vagans to shed their outer layer of skin, making room for further growth and better protection. This may take anywhere from 2-12 hours. During this time, B. vagans lay on their back and break free from their old exoskeleton. Following this process, the Mexican Red Rump Tarantula will typically avoid any interactions to deter from possible damage to their fragile, soft, newly formed exoskeleton. This usually means hiding in their burrow for a few hours, giving their new exoskeleton time to harden for optimal protection.
            Another adaptation that these quick, skittish spiders have made is a defense mechanism that a few other tarantulas possess also. When threatened by possible predators, B. vagans will kick these special urticating hairs off their back and onto their attacker (Edwards-2013). When these hairs come in contact with skin, eyes, or are inhaled, it presents a burning sensation that is harmful to the predator, scaring it off. This adaptation has allowed B. vagans, along with many other tarantulas, to not only survive, but thrive in their environments.B. vagans
          There are three main types of urticating hairs. The type the B. vagans and most other spider possesses is a true seta hair (Battisti et al. 2010). These hairs are designed to be removed easily since they have lost a neurological connection and are only held in by a thin layer of cells called Integument (Battisti et al. 2010).  The B. vagans does not always have these hairs however, the B. vagans only gets these hairs after it reaches maturity and leaves the parents nest (Battisti et al. 2010).

          These organisms also have fangs, called chelicerae, located under the eyes. The chelicerae have the ability to release poisonous venom into prey to kill it. Once the B. vagans attacks it’s prey with it’s quick, stealthy hunting technique, the tarantula with dig the fangs into the prey and release the venom into the organism. Although this venom will kill most of the prey, it is essentially harmless to humans. This is another reason why these spiders are ideal for domestic keepings.
            Another advantageous feature that the Mexican Red Rump Tarantula possesses are the pedipalps. These are located on the foremost part of the spider, slightly ahead of the front legs. Pedipalps are chemical detectors, allowing the B. vagans to smell and taste it’s food. These sensitive detectors are also used to carry sperm to the female during mating. This adaptation has allowed the B. vagans to survive the threats from potential mates, who try to kill off their male sperm providers.

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