Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula – Everything You Need to Know

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Over the years, tarantulas have become increasingly popular as pets. One of the most common on that list is the Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula, which encompasses both Brachypelma hamorii and Brachypelma smithi. As the name implies, the Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula can be differentiated from other spiders by the bright orange to red coloring of their joints. When most people picture a tarantula in their minds, this is the exact species that they are thinking about.

If you’ve been considering getting a tarantula of your own, check out our article on which tarantulas make the best pets. It’s quite possible that the Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is the perfect pick for you.

What Do Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas Cost?

Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas typically cost between $70 to $100 at pet stores, but this price can vary based on gender and size. Female tarantulas tend to live longer, between 20 to 30 years, while male tarantulas generally live for only 10 years. It’s important to keep this in mind while purchasing one, as they are definitely a long-term commitment.

Another option is to search online for breeders in your area, who may have tarantulas selling at other price points. You can check local forums online to ensure you’re getting the best price.

Personality Of The Red-Knee Tarantula

The Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is a popular pet to own due to its docile and easygoing personality. This is a great species for beginners and rarely, if ever, bites. They are slow-moving and do not get agitated while being handled for long periods of time.

If it does feel threatened, however, a tarantula ejects hairs from its abdomen or legs which can cause mild allergic reactions or swelling after coming in contact with human skin. While you don’t usually need to worry about this, the symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to a couple days.

How To Care For A Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula

If you’re thinking of purchasing a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula, there are several items you’ll want to have at your disposal to ensure proper care of your new pet. For enclosures, we recommend a 30 gallon tank. The general rule is to pick a tank that is 2 to 3 times as wide as the leg span of the tarantula and limit the height to the leg span as well. Adult tarantulas will generally grow to about 5-7 inches in length. Because tarantulas love to dangle from the top of their cage, it’s best to have a side-opening tank so you don’t disrupt the tarantula when you need access. Feel free to read our article on our recommendations for tarantula enclosures here.

In the wild, Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas dwell in drier areas with little to no vegetation, such as deserts, deciduous forests, and scrublands. It’s important to replicate this habitat when you choose to domesticate one.

For bedding, use at least four inches of peat moss, soil, and vermiculite. Make sure the substrate isn’t packed too tightly, as you want to ensure your pet can burrow. It’ll also lessen the impact if your tarantula falls from the top, keeping them nice and safe. You also want to place some hiding spots in the tank, which could include wood, bark, or fake plants. Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas are known to be more visible pets, which makes them great for pet owners who want a pretty display, but they still need some privacy every now and then.

Your tarantula’s terrarium must be maintained at a consistent humidity and temperature. Keep the humidity level between 60 and 70 percent. You can usually maintain this by simply keeping a water bowl in the habitat, as the water will evaporate and humidify the air. However, if your home is generally drier, you may need to mist the tank a couple times a week as well.

In terms of temperature, we recommend keeping the terrarium between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Most owners will choose to use a heated mat for this. Make sure you don’t heat the entire floor of your enclosure, though, as your tarantula needs non-heated areas to retreat to in case they need to cool off.

Mexican Red Knee Tarantula
Mexican Red Knee Tarantula

What Do Red-Knee Tarantulas Eat

For the most part, Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas survive off insects like crickets, locusts, and cockroaches. It’s preferable to feed them live insects, so most people will elect to breed and feed crickets themselves. This is both cost efficient and allows you to control the nutrition given to the crickets, which is ultimately the same nutrition that will be feeding your pet.

If you choose to feed your tarantula insects from the wild, you need to make sure their diet did not consist of any plants affected by pesticides. This could be very harmful if ingested by your tarantula.

Occasionally, you may feed your tarantula a heartier meal with more protein such as a pinky mouse or a small lizard. Make sure you monitor your pet during feeding times to ensure they’re not getting stressed out or injured.

Feeding your tarantula is a pretty low maintenance task. They only need to be fed once or twice a week. While molting, they will generally not want to eat.

While feeding can be spaced out, a water bowl should always be available. As mentioned before, it helps keep the habitat humid, but it also serves as a drinking source. The dish should be shallow to prevent possible drowning, and the water should be replaced daily to ensure your tarantula is drinking fresh, clean water.

Conclusion

Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas are a perfect pet for beginner and expert handlers alike. They’ve got great personalities and are relatively low-maintenance to maintain. With the right preparation and supplies, anyone could learn how to care for and love their tarantula.

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