Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula (Acanthoscurria geniculata)

The Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula is a very vibrant type of tarantula on both the inside as well as the outside.

These fascinating creatures can make wonderful and rewarding pets, but they require proper care and handling.

In this guide, we’ll cover all the essential care considerations for Acanthoscurria geniculata, from housing and feeding to temperature and humidity to handling and general care.

Read on to find out the best ways to take care of your beloved eight-legged companion.

Common Name Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula
Family Name Theraphosidae
Scientific Name Acanthoscurria geniculata
Use Pets
Temperament Non-aggressive
Lifespan Males: Up to 4 years / Females: Up to 20 years
Diet Carnivore
Adult Size Up to 8 inches
Breeding Type Egg Layer
Care Level Moderate
Minimum Tank Size 5-10 gallons
pH 6.0-7.5
Hardness Moderate
Temperature 75-85°F

What Are Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas?

The Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula, scientifically known as Acanthoscurria geniculata and its family Theraphosidae, is a species of tarantula found in South America.

This tarantula typically has a light brown to grey-colored hair on its body, and a distinctive white pattern along its legs, which gives it its common name.

In captivity, A. geniculata can live for many years and can grow up to several inches in length.

It is an arboreal tarantula, meaning it prefers to climb and hunt from trees or branch-like structures, and is, therefore, a popular pet for spider enthusiasts.

What Do Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas Look Like?

The Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula has a unique appearance due to its intricately patterned legs and white bands.

Males can grow up to be between 6 and 7 inches in length while females tend to be a bit larger and can grow up to 8 inches in length.

These tarantulas tend to have a dark brown or black body with white stripes running along their legs, from their shoulder area down to their tarsi.

They also have distinctively thick, sturdy legs that can be up to four times thicker than other tarantula species.

Their abdomen is fairly hairless and glossy, often displaying bright yellow and orange coloration on their underside.

Benefits Of Using Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas

Acanthoscurria geniculata is increasingly popular in pet vivariums.

They are easy to care for and make wonderful additions to any home environment.

They are very docile and can be handled safely, and they are a great way to teach responsible pet care and ownership. 

Whiteknee Tarantulas can also act as a natural form of pest control.

They will feed on live food such as crickets, mealworms, and other small insects, helping to keep pests out of your living space.

Their burrows and webs also help create interesting displays and habitats for other small animals in your home.

Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas make great conversation starters and can add an educational element to your habitat as well.

Acanthoscurria geniculata: Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula Care

Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula Facts

Acanthoscurria geniculata are a species of Neotropical tarantula native to South America.

They usually feed on small invertebrates in the wild, though they accept a wide variety of food items in captivity.

On average, they have a lifespan of around 4 to 20 years, depending on sex, and are popularly known to be docile and friendly.

Female Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas are very good at mother responsibilities and have high reproductive rates when in ideal conditions.


The Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula is native to the warm, tropical climate of Brazil.

It is widely found throughout the northern, central, and southern regions of the country, as well as parts of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay.

These tarantulas prefer humid and warm environments and are generally found in well-vegetated areas near streams and lakes.

In the wild, they commonly build their silk-lined burrows in the leaf litter, which offers protection from predators and excess humidity.

They usually take rest in the deeper portions of their burrows or else at the bottoms of trees.


In the wild, Acanthoscurria geniculata feeds mainly on insects, such as crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, and caterpillars.

It also has a taste for spiders and other small invertebrates, and will occasionally scavenge for carrion.

These tarantulas usually hunt by lying in wait until prey passes within range, then using their powerful legs to seize and subdue the insect.


 Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas tend to be quite docile and often naturally avoid contact with humans.

However, it is good practice to give them time to acclimate to their new environment before handling them.

When threatened, Acanthoscurria geniculata generally prefer to retreat rather than bite, and if they do bite it’s usually only to defend themselves.

As far as other animals are concerned, it’s best to keep them away from anything that could be dangerous to the tarantula.

This includes but is not limited to, cats, dogs, birds, and other larger insects.

The Whiteknee Tarantula should be housed separately from other animals, and if you’re keeping it as a pet, make sure everyone who comes in contact with it is aware of this.


Most Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula males have an average life span of up to 4 years, while females can live up to 20 years with proper care.

These arachnids go through several stages in their life cycle, including egg, spiderling, pre-adult, and mature adult.

The eggs are laid in a silken nest and hatch into spiderlings within 4-9 weeks; the young spiders then molt several times until they reach the pre-adult stage.

This stage takes anywhere from 1-2 months to complete, and then the tarantula is ready to mature into an adult.

Once they have become adults, they will have reached their fullest size and potential lifespan.


The mating process for Acanthoscurria geniculata begins with the male and female conducting an elaborate courtship dance.

During this dance, the male will signal his interest with vibrations and special scents from special organs located under his abdomen, and the female will either accept or reject his advances by turning in a different direction.

If the female is receptive to the advances, the male will deposit a packet of sperm into the female’s genital opening.

When the Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula is ready to lay her eggs, she will spin a silky egg sac and deposit her eggs within it.

The egg sac is then typically attached to the back wall of her enclosure and will contain hundreds of eggs.

Where To Find Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas

Acanthoscurria geniculata can be found in their natural habitats in South America, most commonly in Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, and Venezuela.

They are known for their rugged terrain and stellar temperate climate, making it the perfect area for them to thrive.

If you are looking to get a Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula as a pet, it is best to purchase from a reputable breeder or exotic pet supplier.

You can also find them at animal conventions, online classifieds, and pet stores.

Be sure to always ask questions about the tarantula you are interested in and ask for paperwork that provides evidence of its health and age.

Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula Care

When caring for a Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula, it is vital to provide a suitable enclosure, feed the animal a nutritious diet, maintain the proper temperature and humidity, and handle the animal with care.

Additionally, it can be helpful to understand the social behavior and specific needs of the species when providing care.

Tank Requirements

For Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas, it is essential to consider the type of vivarium that they will be kept in.

An appropriate, well-ventilated enclosure is necessary and should be as deep as possible.

It is best to use glass terrariums, or a plastic container with a secure lid.

The pH of the enclose should stay between 6.0 – 7.0, with a hardness level around 3-5 GH.

The temperature of the enclosure is best controlled by a thermostat and should remain between 78 – 84 degrees Fahrenheit, with a slight drop to 75-85 during the night.

The terrarium substrate used in the tank should be humidity-absorbing and should be able to retain moisture.

Peat moss, vermiculite, coconut coir, and mosses are the recommended substrates.

An appropriate terrarium lighting regime should be observed in accordance with your specific species of A. geniculata.

What Do Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas Eat?

Feeding your Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula is vital to keep them healthy and strong.

They are carnivores and their diets should consist of a variety of insects such as crickets, roaches, moths, mealworms, waxworms, and superworms.

You can feed Acanthoscurria geniculata as often as once a day or as little as once a week, depending on their age and size. 

When feeding your tarantula, it is good to make sure that the insects you are providing are small enough for them to eat.

Make sure to remove the leftover insects that your spider does not eat.

It is also helpful to make sure that the insects you are feeding your tarantula are clean and free of pesticides and other chemicals. 

If you want to properly provide your arachnid with all the essential nutrients it needs, you can provide a calcium supplement on a regular basis.

This can help ensure that they are getting the vitamins and minerals they need.  

If you’re looking for a more detailed approach to feeding these arachnids, be sure to check out my ultimate DIY tarantula food guide. I give a more in-depth explanation of the best foods and my favorite recipe.

What Do Tarantulas Eat? | Best Pet Tarantula Food & Feeding!

Best Tankmates For Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantulas

When it comes to selecting tankmates for Acanthoscurria geniculata, it’s best to pick animals of smaller size and similar temperament in order to prevent any potential aggression.

Good tankmates for the Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula include pet snails, millipedes, and isopods may be suitable tankmates for the tarantula, as they are also an adequate food supply.

Closely monitor your Whiteknee’s tankmates, as they may become a source of stress, disease, or aggression.

Furthermore, ensure that A. geniculata has enough space to establish a feeding territory and retreat within its enclosure. 


The Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula can make a wonderful and rewarding pet with proper care and handling.

This guide has provided all the essential information you need to care for Acanthoscurria geniculata, from housing and feeding to temperature and humidity to handling general care.

Following these guidelines will help ensure a long, fruitful, and happy life for your beloved eight-legged pet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can handle a Brazilian whiteknee tarantula. Make sure to use slow and gentle movements when doing so. It is important to give the tarantula enough time to acclimate to your hand before attempting to pick it up.

Yes, Brazilian whiteknee tarantulas are generally easy to care for and are a good choice for those new to tarantula keeping. They require minimal specialized equipment and do not require as much attention as other tarantulas.

No, Brazilian whiteknee tarantulas are generally not considered aggressive. They may threaten to bite in a defensive manner, but it is very rare for them to actually bite. They are better known for their docile and reclusive behavior.

The average lifespan of a Brazilian whiteknee tarantula is up to 4 years for males and up to 20 years for females.

While Brazilian whiteknee tarantulas possess venom, their bite is not considered medically significant or dangerous to humans, causing only mild discomfort similar to a bee sting.

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