Llama or Alpaca? And Why Do They Spit?

by Holly Peacock | Mar 27, 2018


Is it a Llama or an Alpaca? ​And why do they spit at you?

While both animals are members of the Camel family, they have both been bred very differently and have numerous easily spotted differences. The first and easiest way to tell a Llama and an Alpaca apart is their size. Llamas are nearly twice the size of alpacas! They can weigh in ​between 200-400 lbs. while alpacas stay around 100-175 lbs. See our lists below for more defining differences:


  • 200-400 lbs.
  • Long, banana-shaped ears
  • Elongated faces
  • 2 coats; one outer coarse coat and an inner soft coat
  • Independent, but can be herd animals if raised that way
  • Protective, can be used to guard other animals, incl. alpacas

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  • 100-175 lbs.
  • Short ears
  • Shorter "smooshed" faces
  • 1 fine layer of coat
  • Domestic, can be taught tricks
  • Herd animals
  • Tend to be skittish or shy





So, what about the spitting? Normally, these animals don't even spit that often! Llamas are more inclined to spit due to their ​protective nature, but they will only spit if they feel they are in danger. ​Alpacas will also spit if they feel they are in danger. Female alpacas will also spit at male alpacas if they are pregnant or have just given birth and don't want the male to make any moves. If a llama or alpaca ever does spit on you though, walk away. If you don't get the hint from the spit, you ​can expect vomit next, which the animals can project up to 10 feet away.

Our new customers at Wegener Farms just went LIVE with their new website which includes even more info on Llamas including the satisfaction of owning ​a show llama and info on their animal husbandry (plus, how you can own one yourself)!

Do you breed or show llamas or alpacas? We'd love to see your herd! If you don't currently have a website to show off your animals, we have multiple packages and custom software to fit your needs. Email Molly at to receive more information.

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