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Friday, November 16, 2007


Above is another potential pet: the Mexican Red-knee Tarantula (Brachypelma smithi). It is a specie of burrowing tarantula native to Mexico, but might be found in small numbers in neighboring countries. This is among the most popular tarantulas available in the pet trade because of its impressive size and attractive color. An adult female has a body roughly 4 inches (10cm) long, with a legspan of 6–7 inches (15 to 18 cm), and a weight of approximately 15 to 16 grams, and usually contains a large amount of venom. A mature Mexican redknee has a dark-colored body with orange patches on the joints of its legs. Following moulting (shedding of skin), the colors becomes more pronounced. The dark portion is very black while the orange-red portions will be far more on the reddish side.

You know, I found out that a tarantula moults (sheds its skin). I thought only snakes can shed skin. After moulting, it will emerge from its exoskeleton, leaving the old skin behind, often fully intact, and almost looking like a second spider. Isn’t it interesting! It is also capable of kicking urticating hairs from the rear of their abdomen. Most tarantulas do that to protect themselves. These hairs are irritating to the skin, causing itching and sometimes blistering. If they are introduced to the eye, they can cause damage to the vision.

In the wild, it eats small lizards, or small rodents that it can overpower and immobilize with its venom. In captivity, you can feed a baby tarantula with small flies like Drosophila. When it has grown to around half a centimeter in size, you can start feeding it with small crickets. There are commercially available crickets you can use for feeding, about 2–3 per week for an adult and about 3-4 per week for a younger one. It will also eat other easily catchable insects, such as mealworms, locusts, or waxworms. Water can be provided in a shallow non-metallic dish. Adults like to eat large insects or mice, but with a large meal, it may take several months before it needs to eat again.

If you want to keep one, you can adequately house it in a terrarium that measures approximately 30cm × 30cm × 30cm (11.8 in × 11.8 in × 11.8 in). They can be kept on a substrate of fairly dry peat, sometimes mixed with vermiculite. Being a terrestrial specie, the substrate should be fairly deep. It is not typically known for its burrowing. It will instead often make use of a provided hide area, like a flower pot half buried in the substrate. Live plants are typically discouraged from tarantula enclosures, as they can often attract pest insects.

Picture and Information courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. how do i go about the venom thing i want to get one but i don't know what to do about that i have a pet snake like i take her to the vet


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