Posted Aug 10, 2015
The Mexican Red Knee tarantula is a beautiful bug. Their rust-colored, intensely colorful markings make them much more aesthetic than most spiders. A female can live for over 30 years, although males live much shorter lives (mine is a male, and I think he's about 7), which makes the red-knee a sort of heirloom pet - you can pass your spider onto your children, if you want. Most of these spiders are very docile, and can be held fairly easily - although they don't love it, and if you hold them too frequently or too roughly, you'll soon be covered with rashes from your tarantula's urticating hairs.
There are some difficulties with the Mexican red-knees. First, if the spider is vexed, it'll frequently shoot urticating hairs (bristles that cause irritating reactions on the skin). If you know you're very sensitive to urticating hairs, don't go for a Mexican red-knee, as they are extremely prone to using these as a weapon. Second, these are burrowing tarantulas. My spider spent a lot of time in a den he dug, which made him slightly less fun for kids.