Mexican Red Knee (Brachypelma hamorii) is well-known for being one of the “Teddy Bear” tarantulas in the hobby. Not only is it super-docile, strikingly colored, will probably live longer than you, and a species that many consider handling, but it’s also truly famous thanks to all of its appearances in films and TV shows we’ve seen over the years, most notably in the film “ARACHNOPHOBIA.”
These tarantulas are one of the most commonly handled spiders in the hobby due to their calm and docile temperament. They have to be quite irritated before urticating hairs are flicked, and we’ve never heard of any protective behavior being demonstrated in the pastime at all. Individuals have been seen walking around pet shows with their Mexican Red Knee perched on their shoulder, handing them around to other people.
The Mexican Red Knee tarantula may live in a 20 gallon tank. As a general guideline, the tank should be two to three times wider than the spider’s leg span, and no taller than the spider’s leg spread if it were standing on end. Because tarantulas like to hang upside down at the top of the tank, the enclosure should be escape-proof; this will keep the spider from falling evicted.
Maintaining a constant temperature and humidity level is critical for Mexican Red Knee tarantula care. The recommended temperature for terrariums is 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be accomplished by placing a heat mat under one portion of the tank. While additional heating is advised for most terrarium habitats, it is equally critical to provide your spider with a non-heated space to cool off when they get too hot.
Mexican Red Knee tarantulas live in comfy burrows that they dig for themselves in their natural habitats. These tarantulas dig burrows in rocky areas near thorny plants, such as cacti. The presence of spider silk fiber near the burrow’s “entrance” indicates that the resting spot is indeed occupied. Between the months of July to October, which is the mating season for the species, adult females may have more silk than usual in front of their burrows.
To allow for burrowing and to dampen any falls, the substrate or bedding should be a mix of peat moss, dirt, and vermiculite that is at least 4 inches thick and loosely packed. The tarantula can find cover or a hiding location in wood, cork bark, or half of a small clay flower pot. A few synthetic plants might also help to simulate its natural environment.
Maintain a humidity level of 60 to 70%, which is normally done through evaporation from a water bowl. However, spraying the tank may be necessary in some dryer households. If you notice your spider lingering over its water bowl but not drinking, your environment is probably too dry. If it’s constantly hiding out in a remote part of the terrarium, your enclosure is obviously too humid.
Food and Water
Adult Mexican red-knee tarantulas eat live crickets as well as other large insects such as locusts and cockroaches. This means that you must raise and feed insects in addition to your spider. Grasshoppers and other large bugs can be collected from your yard for feeding; however, pesticide-laden plants should not be included in their diet.
A pinky mouse or a small lizard can be fed as a protein supplement on occasion, but the leftovers must be removed from the tank promptly. Remove any uneaten live insects as well, as their persistent movement may cause stress in your pet spider once it is full. Mexican red-knee tarantulas eat once or twice a week and may take a molt break once a year.
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