Other common names: Mexican Painted Tarantula; Mexican Blackcap Tarantula; True Red Leg Tarantula
Scientific name: Brachypelma emilia
The Mexican Red Leg Tarantula is a terrestrial species which is native to arid semi-desert scrublands in Mexico.
Appearance / health:
The overall color of these tarantulas is a dark mahogany brown. The legs and abdomen are usually red to a red-orange like color. The back carapace is a beige or tan like color that has always has triangle facing to the abdomen. They can grow up to 5 inches including leg span.
Behavior / temperament:
Mexican Red Legs are a docile and calm species, however they can be skittish at times. If threatened or uncomfortable, they will flick hairs off their abdomens. This is a beautiful spider and commonly sought after because of their docile temperaments making them easy for beginners. Handling can be done, but the handler must take much care not to drop or let the tarantula run away.
A 5-10 gallon tank is commonly used for this species. Since they are terrestrial, floor space is more important than height.
The temperature requirement for this tarantula is 70-75F. Humidity levels should be around 65-70% and never falling below 55%. Keep an open shallow water dish inside the tank and clean it frequently. Spraying the tank once a week or more will also help keep up the humidity. The substrate should be a mix of peat moss and vermiculite that should also be moist and at least 2 inches deep. Provide hiding areas and other tank décor.
Any type of insects including crickets, locusts, cockroaches, and grasshoppers. Larger adults may have an occasional pinkie mouse as well.
beginner spider, great spider, gentle giants, stunning display, coloration
defensive action, gluttons, hairs
relatively placid temperament
Surprisingly great pet
We've owned many different species of tarantulas over the years as a family. Some of them have worked out for us, and others have not.
The Mexican Red Leg is one that has been a really good choice for us. A non-aggressive species, along with it's being a slow-moving tarantula, makes it a very easy to handle pet.
Tarantulas are an endless source of entertainment in your own living room. Provide a few live crickets in the enclosure and the spider will almost always come right out of hiding and begin to hunt them down, one at a time. It's a little like having a live National Geographic movie playing just for you.
Our 5 year old daughter used to love to handle the Mexican Red Legs. They would slowly crawl across her hand and up her arm and she would watch with a big smile on her face and a squeal.
One of the most interesting things about raising tarantulas is that they molt about once a year, shedding off their entire exoskeleton and crawling out from inside of it with a brand new vividly-colored body. The exoskeleton looks identical to the old tarantula, so one day you wake up and it looks like there are two twin spiders in the terrarium. If you aren't aware that they molt, it can be a real mystery as to where the second spider came from.
I can recommend the Mexican Red Leg for tarantula enthusiasts who would enjoy having some hands-on time with them without worrying whether or not they will bite. They will not, unless you mistreat them. They are not a scary species, as far as tarantula go..
From thegunslinger Jul 19 2015 10:13PM
When I was younger, my dad was obsessed with owning exotic pets. He wanted to have a tarantula, so, being a loving daughter, I bought him one. Tarantula upkeep this extremely simple. They require nothing more than an aquarium and some water and some food. Our tarantula ate crickets and mealworms, and it was a little disturbing keeping the mealworms in the refrigerator with our family's food. I only held it a couple of times (my dad never held it), and I always felt extremely nervous. I was never written, nor do I know anyone who has ever BEEN bitten.
One of the most interesting things I got to watch, while owning the tarantula, was watch it molt. How surprised we were in the morning, Coming down and looking in his cage, and seeing a second tarantula in the cage with him! Of course, it was just his exoskeleton, but it was still a little creepy.
Tarantulas make fine pets if you have very little desire to watch them do anything. He stayed hidden the vast majority of the time, and never came when we called him (I didn't expect him to, i'm just joking here). Of course, cleaning his cage, and feeding, are relatively effortless. You just have to be willing to handle the little crickets and worms that he'd eat. My dad wanted it to keep on his desk at work, but ultimately decided that someone would eventually play a prank on him and let it out to roam. That was something that my dad really didn't think he could handle well. So the spider stayed home, and every now and then I try to hold it, but after thinking about it's fangs, I would decide better of that decision was to just leave him be.
As far as having a tarantula as a pet, I would certainly rate them as easy to care for, but if you want an animal to hold, or really respond to you, there are definitely better options out there. The best part of owning the tarantula, was the fact that he was so intriguing..
From malsmom2796 Oct 14 2014 2:32PM