Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Missouri, United States
Posted Sep 21, 2014
While not one of the more colorful species, the Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is one of the more prevalent in the pet world, and is fairly attractive. Rosa was a rather large female, although this probably had more to do with her diet as a captive animal. Tarantulas can live up to 30 years in captivity, so if you're going to get one, plan on having it around for a lifetime. Rosa was very docile, easily handled, rarely aggressive. With that in mind, every tarantula is different. I do not recommend these for high strung individuals, people with allergies, or fidgety people. Tarantulas will react to the their handlers, and sudden reactions will frighten them, causing them to rear, flick, or (rarely) bite. Flicking of the abdominal hairs is the most common defense mechanism, and these tiny hairs can get lodged in the eyes, nose, and throat, which is why I do not recommend them for people with severe allergies. Tarantulas are also extremely fragile animals, making it very easy to kill them on accident. Unlike some other arthropods, their exoskeletal structure is rather soft. This means that they can easily die from internal injury if dropped from only a mere 12 inches or more. In addition, when injured, these animals can regenerate broken limbs by molting. This can sometimes appear as though they have died, since during the molting process they will become rigid and often lay on their sides for days at a time. Red-Knees are desert animals, and need to be kept warm, on a rock or sand substrate, and with a "cave" or other decoration in which to hide. Their excrement is small and relatively odorless, making the cleaning of their habitats rather easy. They enjoy crickets as their main food source, and the occasional "pinkie" (thawed baby mouse). As a whole, Tarantulas make great pets for people who don't want to cuddle with their pet too often, but want something easy to care for that they can show off.