What Is The Size Range Of The Giant White Knee Tarantula, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?

Have you ever wondered about the size range of the giant white knee tarantula? Or perhaps you are curious about how to care for this fascinating creature in captivity? Well, look no further! In this article, we will explore the size range of the giant white knee tarantula and provide valuable insights into its care requirements when kept as a pet. So, whether you’re a tarantula enthusiast or simply looking to expand your knowledge, this article is sure to offer you an informative and friendly guide to understanding these amazing arachnids.

Size Range of the Giant White Knee Tarantula

Natural size in the wild

In the wild, the size of a female Giant White Knee Tarantula can range from 4 to 5 inches in body length, with a leg span of around 10 to 12 inches. Males, on the other hand, are typically smaller, measuring around 2 to 3 inches in body length. These tarantulas exhibit sexual dimorphism, with females being significantly larger than males.

Size in captivity

When kept in captivity, the size of the Giant White Knee Tarantula can vary depending on various factors such as diet, habitat conditions, and overall care. With proper nutrition and suitable living conditions, these tarantulas can reach their maximum potential size. In captivity, females can grow up to 6 to 7 inches in body length, with a leg span of approximately 12 to 14 inches. Male tarantulas usually attain a body length of 3 to 4 inches.

Physical Characteristics of the Giant White Knee Tarantula

Coloration and patterns

The Giant White Knee Tarantula is named after its distinct white markings on its knees. Its body is primarily covered in black or dark brown hair, with contrasting white stripes or patches on the knees. These white markings extend to the tips of the legs, creating a visually striking appearance. In addition to the white knee patches, some individuals may also display various patterns and color variations, such as shades of orange, yellow, or red.

Body structure

This tarantula species is known for its robust body structure. It has a large, heavy abdomen with a rounded shape. The cephalothorax, which houses the spider’s head and thorax, is well-segmented and covered in dense hair. The legs are long and strong, enabling the Giant White Knee Tarantula to move swiftly and skillfully across various surfaces.

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Leg span

The leg span of the Giant White Knee Tarantula is one of its most impressive physical attributes. As fully grown adults, these tarantulas can boast leg spans ranging from 10 to 14 inches, depending on their size and gender. The lengthy legs serve multiple purposes, including hunting, climbing, and defense mechanisms.

What Is The Size Range Of The Giant White Knee Tarantula, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?

Habitat and Distribution

Native habitat

The Giant White Knee Tarantula is native to the rainforests of Central and South America. It primarily inhabits the tropical regions of Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia. These tarantulas are found in diverse habitats, including densely forested areas, often near rivers or streams. The lush vegetation provides them with an abundant supply of prey and various hiding spots.

Geographical distribution

Due to their appealing appearance and popularity among tarantula enthusiasts, the Giant White Knee Tarantulas have been introduced to different parts of the world beyond their native range. They can now be found in captivity in numerous countries, including the United States, Europe, and Asia. However, it’s important to note that the majority of individuals found outside their natural habitat are captive-bred specimens.

The Giant White Knee Tarantula’s Behavior in Captivity


The Giant White Knee Tarantula is generally known for its docile nature. It tends to exhibit a calm and relaxed temperament, making it a popular choice among tarantula enthusiasts, including beginners. These spiders are not particularly aggressive and are less likely to bite or display defensive behavior unless they feel threatened or provoked.

Activity level

While the Giant White Knee Tarantula can exhibit moments of activity, especially during feeding or mating, it is more commonly a sedentary creature, spending most of its time in its burrow or hidden among foliage. These tarantulas are nocturnal, which means they are most active during the night, preferring to hunt and explore their surroundings under the cover of darkness.

Feeding habits

Being carnivorous predators, the Giant White Knee Tarantula feeds primarily on insects and other small invertebrates. In captivity, their diet consists mainly of appropriately sized live prey such as crickets, roaches, and mealworms. The frequency of feeding can vary depending on the tarantula’s age and size, with adult individuals typically being fed once every one to two weeks.

Mating behavior

Mating in the Giant White Knee Tarantula typically occurs when the male reaches sexual maturity, which is around five years of age. The male will perform elaborate courtship rituals, including tapping and drumming on the female’s enclosure to attract her attention. If successful, mating will take place, and the female will lay eggs within a few months following the breeding process.

What Is The Size Range Of The Giant White Knee Tarantula, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?

Enclosure and Housing Requirements

Terrarium size

Providing adequate space is essential for the overall well-being of the Giant White Knee Tarantula. A suitable terrarium for a single adult tarantula should have a size of at least 15 to 20 gallons. This allows for proper ventilation and enough room for the spider to move around comfortably.


The substrate in the tarantula’s enclosure should mimic its natural habitat and provide a suitable substrate for burrowing. A mix of peat moss, coconut fiber, and vermiculite works well as a substrate for the Giant White Knee Tarantula. The depth of the substrate should be at least 2 to 3 inches to allow for burrowing and creating a sense of security.

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Temperature and humidity

Maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity levels is crucial for the well-being of the Giant White Knee Tarantula. The terrarium should have a temperature range of 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 29 degrees Celsius), with a slight drop at night. The humidity level should be around 70% to 80%, which can be achieved by misting the enclosure regularly and providing a water dish for the tarantula to drink from.


The Giant White Knee Tarantula does not require any special lighting, as they are nocturnal creatures. However, ambient lighting in the room can help to establish a natural day and night cycle, which can benefit their overall well-being. Indirect natural sunlight or a low-wattage incandescent bulb can be used for the terrarium.

Decor and hiding spots

Creating a suitable environment for the Giant White Knee Tarantula includes providing various hiding spots and decorations. This can be achieved by incorporating pieces of cork bark, rock formations, or artificial plants into the enclosure. These hiding spots not only offer security for the tarantula but also provide a stimulating and enriching environment for them to explore.

Feeding and Nutrition

Appropriate prey

The Giant White Knee Tarantula is a carnivorous hunter and feeds on a variety of small invertebrates. In captivity, their diet mainly consists of live prey such as crickets, roaches, mealworms, and occasional pinky mice for larger individuals. It’s important to provide appropriately sized prey that is not bigger than the tarantula’s body length to avoid potential injuries.

Feeding frequency

Feeding frequency for the Giant White Knee Tarantula varies depending on its age and size. Adult tarantulas usually require feeding once every one to two weeks, while juveniles may need smaller meals more frequently. It’s important not to overfeed or underfeed them, as both can have negative impacts on their health.


In addition to their regular diet, it’s vital to ensure that the Giant White Knee Tarantula receives appropriate supplementation. Dusting or gut-loading the prey with calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals can help provide a balanced diet for the tarantula. Consult an expert or a veterinarian for guidance on proper supplementation.

What Is The Size Range Of The Giant White Knee Tarantula, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?

Handling and Care

Safety precautions

Handling the Giant White Knee Tarantula should be done with caution and care. It’s important to remember that these spiders are delicate creatures with fragile exoskeletons. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling them to avoid transferring any harmful substances or chemicals. Additionally, always ensure a secure and controlled environment to prevent any accidental escapes.

Handling techniques

Although the Giant White Knee Tarantula has a generally docile temperament, it’s advisable to limit handling to a minimum. Frequent or unnecessary handling can cause unnecessary stress and increase the risk of injury for both the spider and the handler. If handling is necessary, it’s recommended to use a soft paintbrush or other gentle tools to guide the tarantula rather than directly touching it.

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Interaction guidelines

Observing and interacting with the Giant White Knee Tarantula can be an enjoyable experience as long as it’s done safely and responsibly. Instead of handling, spending time near the enclosure can allow you to appreciate their fascinating behavior and activities, such as web-building and feeding. Remember to respect their space and minimize disturbances to promote their health and well-being.

Common Health Issues and Treatment

Molting difficulties

One common health issue for tarantulas, including the Giant White Knee Tarantula, is molting difficulties. During the molting process, tarantulas shed their old exoskeleton to allow for growth. Occasionally, tarantulas may have difficulty shedding, which can result in partial molting or unsuccessful molting. Providing a suitable humidity level and avoiding excessive disturbances during this time can help prevent complications.

Burns and injuries

Burns and injuries can occur if the Giant White Knee Tarantula’s enclosure is not properly set up. Extreme temperatures, excessive humidity, sharp decor, or incorrect substrate can all contribute to accidents. Regularly inspect the enclosure for any potential hazards and ensure that the tarantula’s environment is safe and secure.

Respiratory problems

Respiratory problems can be caused by high levels of humidity or poor ventilation within the tarantula’s enclosure. Properly maintaining the recommended humidity levels and ensuring adequate airflow can help prevent respiratory issues. In case of respiratory difficulties, seek veterinary assistance to provide appropriate treatment.

Parasitic infections

Parasitic infections, although relatively rare, can occur in tarantulas. Parasites such as mites or ticks can infest the spider’s body, causing various health issues. Regularly inspecting the tarantula for any signs of parasites and promptly consulting a veterinarian for appropriate treatment is crucial.

What Is The Size Range Of The Giant White Knee Tarantula, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?

Breeding and Reproduction

Maturity and reproductive readiness

Giant White Knee Tarantulas reach sexual maturity at different ages depending on their gender. Females typically become sexually mature at around 5 to 6 years of age, while males mature earlier, around 2 to 3 years of age. It’s important to allow the female to fully mature before considering breeding to avoid any potential health complications.

Courtship rituals

Mating in the Giant White Knee Tarantula involves an intricate courtship ritual performed by the male to impress the female. This ritual can include tapping, drumming, and leg-waving displays. The female’s response determines whether mating is successful, as she may accept or reject the male’s advances based on her receptivity.

Egg-laying process

Once successfully mated, the female Giant White Knee Tarantula will undergo the process of egg-laying. This usually takes place within a few months after mating. The female constructs an egg sac and deposits fertilized eggs inside. She will then carry the egg sac with her until the spiderlings are ready to emerge.

Caring for spiderlings

Caring for spiderlings requires careful attention to their environmental and dietary needs. After hatching, the spiderlings remain inside the mother’s egg sac for a period of time before dispersing. Once they disperse, they can be kept individually in small enclosures with suitable substrate and provided with appropriately-sized prey to ensure their growth and development.


Summary of size range and care

The Giant White Knee Tarantula is a visually stunning tarantula species known for its unique white knee markings. Females can reach impressive sizes, with body lengths of 4 to 7 inches and leg spans of 10 to 14 inches. In captivity, they require proper enclosure setup, suitable diet and supplementation, and limited handling to ensure their overall well-being.

Final thoughts on keeping the Giant White Knee Tarantula in captivity

While the Giant White Knee Tarantula can be an intriguing and rewarding pet, it is important to thoroughly research and understand the specific care requirements before deciding to keep one in captivity. Their captivating appearance, docile temperament, and fascinating behavior make them an ideal choice for tarantula enthusiasts of all levels. By providing a suitable habitat and proper care, you can create a thriving environment for this remarkable arachnid species.

What Is The Size Range Of The Giant White Knee Tarantula, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?