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Care Sheet

Mexican Red-Knee (Brachypelma smithi)


brachypelma_smithiWhen you ask most people about tarantulas, they tend to immediately describe the 'Red-knee' (B. smithi) that is a frequent film star in such diverse films as "Fierce Creatures", James Bond films and those classic B movies!  Indeed this spider is on the Cites II list (endangered species), only captive breed spiders are legal. Taking this species from the wild is restricted.

The spider originates from Mexico and Panama where it lives in semi-desert scrubland. The abdomen is usually jet black in colour . The legs are described as "startling beginning with black toes and having stripes of orange/tan/cream variations". The carapace is usually creamy/beige or with a distinctive black square.

This is a suitable starter tarantula, due to it's forgiving nature and relatively easy temperament. Be warned as it can be a bit of a hair-flicker and tends to be a little skittish.

This is generally considered a docile species, handling is possible, but still not recommended due to their urticating hairs and sometimes skittish temperament.

The requirements in captivity are:

As for keeping them as pets, many people keep these in large 12x12x12 (inches) tanks.

Like the other terrestrial (ground living) species they require reasonable humidity levels (above 65%).

As these are scrubland spiders, you must make provision for a retreat, such as a piece of cork bark or a flower-pot. Substrate for the cage should be of peat/vermiculite mix, should be at least 3 inches deep. These spiders will dig burrows if the subtrate is suitable.

An open water dish is a must, humidity must not fall below 55 percent!

Food: All standard invertebrates

Type: Terrestrial (Scrubland)

Aggressiveness: Considered docile, but may be skittish!

Venom Effect: Unknown, expected to be low-toxicity..

Geographic Range: Mexico

Requirements: 72-75 Farenheit

Humidity: 65-70%

Substrate: 2 inches

Shelter: Cork bark or flower-pot.

Water: Open water dish.


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