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Mexican Redknee Tarantula Care Sheet

Updated on February 8, 2013

Pet Tarantula Care (Mexican Redknee Tarantula)

The Mexican Redknee Tarantula is probably the most popular of all pet tarantulas. It has been collected since the 1970s and 1980s. It was originally discovered by a collector named H.H. Smith in 1888. The Mexican Redknee Tarantula was one of the first species to enter the hobby and has been used as scary props in many films. This tarantula has been in films such as "Raiders of the Lost Ark", a couple James Bond series, and many others. The Mexican Redknee Tarantula is known to be one of the longest living tarantula species, with females living up to 30 years, which is an advantage over many other tarantula species. Whether you're a beginner, or an advanced hobbyist, you can't go wrong with a Mexican Redknee Tarantula. Due to this creature's gentle nature, colorful appearance, large body size, and long life, it is easy to see why the Mexican Redknee Tarantula is such a desired animal in the hobby.

Mexican Redknee Tarantula Care Sheet

Mexican Redknee Tarantula


The Brachypelma smithi can be found in scrublands and half deserts in Mexico in a habitate with moderate humidity. They live in deep burrows where they hide for predators and unfavorable conditions.

General information

The Brachypelma smithi is a very docile species, very well suited for beginning tarantula keepers. Besides being docile, they are relatively easy to keep, and bear an attractive coloration. When feeling threatened, they kick around urticating hairs from the back of their abdomen. When this occurs frequently, it leads to a bald spot on their abdomen, which turns black when the spider is about to molt. They grow very slowly, and female specimens can live for up to 25 years.


These spiders appreciate the possibility of digging a burrow, so a thick layer of peat on the bottom of your tank is ideal. It shouldn't be to wet, as dry peat is less vermin friendly. Providing a spot with a somewhat higher moisture content leaves the choice up to the spider. Even though it is known that Brachypelma species can live very long without fresh water, it is a good idea to make sure they can always find water. If available, they might take their residence in a hideout, and leave the burrowing to the more hard-working. They are no good climbers, so the tank shouldn't be to high. Avoid sharp things they can fall on if they do decide to venture on a climbing trip.


Like all large spiders, P. camridgei can have and handle anything up to large locusts without any problem. As with all spiders, crickets can be dangerous during and after moulting.


B. smithi is known to be hard to breed. After a seemingly successful mating, chances on a fertile egg sac appear to be still relatively slim. If the breeding attempt was successful, however, a large egg sac can be the result, producing hundreds of spiderlings.

Handling My Mexican Red Knee

Top 10 Care Tips

Keeping the Mexican Red Knee (Brachypelma Smithi) tarantula is very simple. Remember these 10 top tips and refer to them as a care sheet. They come from the Spiderman's Blog website.

1. The Mexican Red Knee spider does not like light. Ensure the spider has a place to hide.

2. Remember to keep the Mexican Red Knee's habitat clean and remove any food which has died or the spider has not eaten.

3. Feed the Mexican Red Knee tarantula as often as required. Avoid over feeding as this can reduce the life of the spider.

4. Vary food between crickets and locusts.

5. Remember to keep the Mexican Red Knee tarantula's tank warm! Buy a professional heat mat for this.

6. Avoid keeping the Mexican Red Knee tarantula near any sources of vibration. They do not like this and it will stress them out.

7. Spiderman's blog also suggests that you if your Mexican Red Knee (Brachypelma Smithi) spider has turned on it's back, do not pick it up! It might be shedding it's skin!

8. If you see any white mites (little white dots) in the Mexican Red Knee tarantula's tank, clean it straight away.

9. Sometimes the Mexican Red Knee tarantula will not eat for long periods of time. This might be due to the Mexican Red Knee tarantula imminent shedding (this can be up to a month)!!

10. Do not keep Mexican Red Knee tarantula's together (unless you are mating them) as they will probably kill each other.


While Mexican Red Knee (Brachypelma Smithi) spiders are hardy creatures they do need looking after and can live for a long time. Female spiders can live as long as 25 years, whereas males will live for only a couple.

Mexican red knee tarantula feeding on a toad


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