Mexican Red Rump Tarantula

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Other common names: Mexican Redrump Tarantula; Mexican Black Velvet

Scientific name: Brachypelma vagans

The basics:
The Mexican Red Rump is a terrestrial species which is native to scrublands in Mexico and south to Belize, El Salvador and Guatemala. They are a burrowing tarantula, and will opportunistically occupy any available burrow.

Brachypelma vagans are commonly kept as exotic pets, and are considered to be quite docile. However, handling can be a challenge, as they can be skittish and will throw urticating hairs when startled.

Appearance / health:
This tarantula can reach up to 5 inches. As their common name suggests, they have a red abdomen, caused by red hairs. The rest of the body has short velvet-like hairs and is primarily a dark brown or a jet black color, thus giving it it’s other common name.

Behavior / temperament:
Individuals of this species have been known to be very aggressive where others have been known to be skittish and shy. They have been known to be docile as well; temperament varies. They will flick hairs off their abdomens as well, if provoked enough. Like with most tarantulas, handling should not be done often and only as necessary. This may be used for a more experienced beginner, but not as a first time tarantula.

A 5-10 gallon tank is suitable for one adult tarantula. Floor space is more important than height and should have decent room for burrowing. Spiderlings and younger specimens can live in pill bottles or other clear plastic containers until they are large enough for the adult tank.

Temperature should be kept between 80-85F with humidity levels of 70-80%. Substrate must be 5-8 inches deep and should be a mix of potting soil, vermiculite, peat moss, or other substrates. Keep the substrate moist by misting the tank 2-3 times a week. Keeping a shallow water dish in the tank is a must, to help keep humidity up. Tank décor should be objects that will allow this species to burrow. Cork bark across the bottom, or half of a plant pot, etc will provide a hiding spot if it doesn’t burrow.

Mexican Red Rump Tarantulas will eat anything they can over power. This includes crickets, cockroaches, super worms, mealworms, etc. Larger adult specimens may get an occasional pinkie mouse or small anole lizard. Spiderlings and younger tarantulas may be offered mini mealworms, fruit flies, and pin head crickets.

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