The species are native to Mexico and some parts of Central America. Habitat destruction and pet-trade collection has led these spiders to be among the few arthropods protected under the international CITES laws (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species). They are docile tarantulas which are easy to keep in a terrarium. The most famous species in this genus are the Mexican redknee tarantula B. smithi, curlyhair B. albopilosum, and the Mexican redrump B. vagans. They feed on almost anything smaller than themselves, but while insects are the norm, they may also eat anoles or frogs if they are offered. These species, like most tarantulas are cannibalistic, so individuals must be kept singly, though brief captive introductions of a mate for breeding purposes can prove unproblematic, so long as they are separated once they have finished.
B. verdezi was previously misidentified as non-valid B.pallidum.
These spiders are exceptionally slow growers and have impressive life spans of around 20 years for females. After hatching from a clutch that may vary from 100 to 600 eggs, the spiderlings will molt every two weeks for the first few months, then less and less frequently as they mature. A full-grown Brachypelma may molt as infrequently as once a year. These tarantulas reach sexual maturity at the age of around five years.
Large spiders used in Hollywood movies (e.g. Indiana Jones, The Mummy Returns) are often Brachypelma smithi or Brachypelma emilia because they are very docile, though the much less expensive and only moderately more aggressive Chilean rose tarantula is frequently used as well. While it is almost unheard of for a Brachypelma to bite a human, they are quick to kick urticating hairs in self-defense, though their hairs are reportedly less irritating than those of other species, especially the goliath birdeater
- Brachypelma albiceps Pocock, 1903 — Mexico
- Brachypelma albopilosum Valerio, 1980 — Costa Rica
- Brachypelma andrewi Schmidt, 1992 — Unknown
- Brachypelma angustum Valerio, 1980 — Costa Rica
- Brachypelma annitha Tesmoingt, Cleton & Verdez, 1997 — Mexico
- Brachypelma auratum Schmidt, 1992 — Mexico
- Brachypelma aureoceps (Chamberlin, 1917) — USA (probably introduced
- Brachypelma baumgarteni Smith, 1993 — Mexico
- Brachypelma boehmei Schmidt & Klaas, 1993 — Mexico
- Brachypelma embrithes (Chamberlin & Ivie, 1936) — Panama
- Brachypelma emilia (White, 1856) — Mexico
- Brachypelma epicureanum (Chamberlin, 1925) — Mexico
- Brachypelma fossorium Valerio, 1980 — Costa Rica
- Brachypelma hamorii Tesmoingt, Cleton & Verdez, 1997 — Mexico
- Brachypelma kahlenbergi Rudloff, 2008 — Mexico
- Brachypelma klaasi (Schmidt & Krause, 1994) — Mexico
- Brachypelma sabulosum (F. O. P.-Cambridge, 1897) — Brachypelma schroederi Rudloff, 2003 — Mexico
- Brachypelma smithi (F. O. P.-Cambridge, 1897) — Mexico
- Brachypelma vagans (Ausserer, 1875) — Mexico, Central America
- Brachypelma verdezi Schmidt, 2003 — Mexico