When searching about this tarantula, you will get two different results as there are two different kinds which are referred with this nickname. Despite sharing some similarities (including some red spots in their legs) and the fact that they both are found in Mexico, they are very different and are found in different locations of the same country.
The two Mexican tarantulas we’re going to talk about this time are called Brachypelma hamorii and Brachypelma smithi; both of them share the place of origin, but they show different features and behaviors.
For a long time, both tarantulas were categorized as the same species under the name of Brachypelma smithi. However, around two decades ago, the differences between them were finally settled, and they started to be known as two different species. Most of the information from these tarantulas which first appeared doesn’t provide any differences between the two species.
They have extended longevity, and are a very popular choice among the breeders because of their extremely docile nature and their interesting, extravagant coloration. Taking care of them is very easy, and you won’t find too much troubles (and maybe none of them) while handling them.
The B. hamorii is native to the Jalisco, Michoacán, and Colima mountain regions. They are relatively big. Like any other anthropoid, they go under several periods of molting so that they can grow properly.
In the wild, they are commonly found in the tropical forest of the zones that we’ve already mentioned. As usual, the females are bigger than the males, reaching a maximum body size of 2.1 inches, while the males can grow up to 2 inches.
They are a terrestrial species. In the wild, they are commonly found in burrows which can have a depth of maximum 30cm. They are known to be docile but are capable of defending themselves with more than one way when feeling threatened.
The second species, the B. smithi, is commonly found in the state of Guerrero. Just as the other species, they’re known to be docile and live in tropical forests. Despite sharing several similarities with the B. hamorii, they are actually very different.
They are found on opposite sides of the same country. One of the main differences between them is that this species has less hair than the second one; despite that, they’re both capable of throwing urticating hairs from their abdomen.
Just as it’s common in tarantulas, they have slow growth and will reach the sexual maturity at age 6 or 7 –for females– and 5 years for males.
Lifespan and Physical Features
Both tarantulas have similar physical features and live for a long time. The most noticeable physical feature in them is the red rings around the legs, which made them gain the “Mexican Redknee” nickname. These tarantulas are very similar, but their physical features have some crucial differences that make each different from the other.
Adults of this species can reach a maximum size (leg span) of 5 inches (for the females, the males are usually a bit tinier). Contrasting their dark coloration, the red color around their legs makes them outstanding among other tarantula species; and like this, through time; they have become one of the most popular tarantula species to keep around the tarantula enthusiasts.
Just as many other tarantulas, both of them are capable of throwing urticating hairs from their abdomen, which will always aim for the foe’s eyes or their skin, causing a very unpleasant sensation; after this action is done, that zone of the tarantula’s body will be bald for a while until the hairs grow back again. They are also venomous, but their venom is not strong enough to cause any harm to humans.
Handling and Bite
This tarantula not only looks beautiful but also has a very docile nature which makes them perfect for those who are beginning to breed tarantulas. They let themselves be handled without any problem often, but over time, they will become much stressed and may use one of their defense mechanism if they’re feeling threatened. However, there are very high possibilities that they won’t bite you for the time they spend with you. After getting one, they will become very good friends with you in very quick time; you won’t find too many problems while taking care of them.
Tarantulas are still considered a bit “rare” as a pet by many people, but they are very easy to take care off than many other animals. All you have to provide them is a good terrarium and enough food. A tarantula’s feeding is very simple; they are usually fed with crickets, cockroaches and other kinds of insects. Some people even give small rodents to them, while others do not recommend this since the bones are very high in calcium and might become a problem for the animal after some time. Still, their diet is up to you, but they can comfortably live off cockroaches and crickets without any problem. A source of water in the terrarium where your tarantula can drink of is a must.
Mexican Redknee Care
They are easy to take care of, and due to this, they are recommended to novice enthusiast. As mentioned above, this tarantula (and tarantulas in general) don’t need too much space and taking care of them is not complicated. There are two things that you need to make sure your tarantula is getting so they don’t get stressed: good feeding and terrarium setting. The rest is really up to them, as they can easily take care of themselves in the wild; however, as it’s obvious, in captivity, their survival is up to you, so you need to make sure that your tarantula is comfortable in their new environment.
While tarantulas are very easy to keep as pets, they can become stressed easily. One of the main reasons why this happens is because they don’t feel something right about their terrarium, and you will easily notice this by the way they act. Sometimes, they will stop eating and will become underweight very quickly, and other signs might be them walking weird around or just lying in one spot doing nothing.
Mexican Red Knee Tarantula Shedding
However, sometimes, this strange behavior can mean that your tarantula is going through a molting; this means that they will stop eating and will remain in the same spot for a while until the process is done. After the molting process is done, you should remove anything that could cause harm to your pet since their skin will be very vulnerable for a while. As you might now, this is something that will happen more than one time during the tarantula’s lifetime.
These tarantulas like to dig burrows, in which all the action usually happens. You’ll know that your tarantula is going through the molting process when you see the entrance covered with their web and other things they found around the terrarium, such as rocks and leaves. As already mentioned, during the process they will abandon their old shell, and within a few days, they will replace it with a new one; this process will take some time, and your tarantula will be vulnerable until it’s all done. Giving them live food is not a good idea since the animals might cause harm to your pet.
This isn’t exclusive to the Mexican Redknee Tarantula; it’s something that all tarantula enthusiasts must take into consideration when they are trying to get their first tarantula. Make sure that you can take care of them and that you can provide them with the following conditions without any problem.
A tarantula’s habitat is a terrarium settled adequately so it can mimic the environmental conditions that they have while living in the wild. The first thing that you need to consider is the size of the terrarium, which can vary depending on the size of your tarantula. The Mexican Redknee Tarantula reaches a maximum size of 5 inches, so the size of their habitat should be between 5 and 10 gallons. Make sure the habitat is escape-proof. It’s very common for tarantulas to be on top of the terrarium, so you should be careful while cleaning it or when trying to feed them.
Regarding the substrate, there are many settings that you can use, but to avoid any accidents in case your tarantula falls from the top of the terrarium, it must be 4 in. thick.
The decoration of your tarantula is up to you, but you should provide enough spaces for them to hide during the daylight hours.
The Mexican Redknee Tarantula is a species that lives in tropical forests, so the temperature levels in which they are usually kept while living in captivity are between 75 and 80°F, and it can be settled by using a heater, however, there should be a space with no heat here your tarantula can cool off. Regarding the humidity levels, they should be around 60-70%.
Reproduction and Breeding
Once the mating is done, this tarantula is able to lay about 1,000 eggs in just one sack. The mating usually occurs after the male’s first molting, which is when they reach the sexual maturity.
This tarantula can be an excellent choice for novices. They are extremely docile and will not cause any harm at you when treated with kindness and love. Getting bitten by a Mexican Redknee is something very strange, as they are a very peaceful species. Handling them isn’t difficult at all, as well as taking care of them.
Tarantulas are excellent as a pet since they do not require too much space, too much care and are silent, making them excellent pets for those who have no time to take care of animals like cats, dogs or birds, which are the most common that people keep as pets. Everything you have to do is make sure that the temperature levels of the terrarium (and the overall conditions of it) are optimal for your tarantula’s survival and you must feed them every time is necessary.
Here, we will explain some of the main differences between the B. Hamorii and the B. Smithi:
• The main difference between them is their size. Although the size difference is not really that great, it is still important to know that the B. Smithi is actually larger than the B. Hamorii, reaching a size of maximum 2.3 inches while B. Hamorii is able to reach a maximum size of 2.1 inches. Weird enough for spiders, males have a larger leg span than females in the B. Smithi species.
• Other of the things that you should take into account is that they are actually found on opposite sides of the same country. Both are native to Mexico, but are found in totally different locations.
• The B. Smithi species is more popular than the B. Hamorii because of their docile nature. Despite being very similar in many aspects, it’s very likely that the Mexican Redknee Tarantula that you find in pet stores is actually a B. Smithi.
• Both species are venomous, but they can’t really cause any harm to humans. However, they are still able to throw urticating hairs at their foe when feeling threatened.
• Due to the fact that the B. Smithi is very popular among the tarantula enthusiasts, it has now become an endangered species. B. Hamorii is more likely to be found in the wild.
Many things make both tarantula special, but we are sure that they are outstanding among the rest of species because not only they look beautiful, but because they have a very kind nature and can be very friendly towards anyone.
The fact that they are a very popular species of tarantula isn’t something necessarily good. The Mexican Redknee Tarantula (specifically the Brachypelma smithi) is an endangered species, and the main reason for this is the popularity they gained through the years among the tarantula enthusiast. Don’t let this fact discourage you from getting one; they’re actually pretty common in captivity so you might find one around pet stores.