Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula: Care Guide & Species Profile

Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula Introduction

The Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is an amazing species. It has red stripes on its legs, making it popular among exotic pet owners. When given the right care, these tarantulas can live up to 30 years!

You must make sure their enclosure is just like their natural habitat. This includes substrate, hiding spots, humidity and temperature levels. Plus, feed them live insects to make them healthy.

Remember, Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas have strong venom. So, handle them with care. Although they are usually gentle, they may bite if they feel scared.

These tarantulas have even made an appearance in popular culture, like in the horror movie Arachnophobia.

In summary, Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas are fascinating creatures. But, they need special care. In return, they show stunning visuals and behaviour. Don’t forget – they may be cuddly, but they can still give you nightmares!

Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula Care Guide

Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is a species known for its unique appearance and fascinating behavior. To keep this exotic pet healthy and happy, you need to follow a few essential care guidelines. Here are some tips that will help you care for the Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula:

  1. Habitat: Build a terrarium with at least five gallons of space per spider. Use a substrate of a 50-50 mix of peat moss and vermiculite. Provide hiding places and climbing surfaces like driftwood and rocks.
  2. Temperature and Humidity: Keep the terrarium at 75-85 F with a humidity level of 75-80%. Use a heat source like a reptile bulb during the day, and a heat pad at night to keep the temperature stable.
  3. Feeding: Offer live prey like crickets, mealworms, and roaches once a week. Feed adult tarantulas 2-3 prey items at a time.
  4. Handling: Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is not a pet you should handle regularly. They are delicate creatures, and any stress can cause them to become ill or die.
  5. Health Concerns: Maintain a clean environment to prevent parasites and diseases. Watch out for signs of stress, like loss of appetite or lethargy.

Interestingly, the Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula can live for up to 30 years. This long lifespan is due to their slow metabolism and minimal physical activity. According to National Geographic, these tarantulas have a toxic venom that can cause mild irritation for humans.

Give your arachnid amigo a home sweet home with the right size terrarium – just don’t forget to lock the doors before bedtime.


Choose the perfect ‘abode’ for your Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula. Use a glass or acrylic-based enclosure with adequate ventilation, and provide a deep substrate such as coconut fiber or peat moss. Add hiding spots using cork bark or artificial plants. Avoid reptile cages, as they don’t offer proper ventilation.

Check temperature and humidity daily with the proper tools. Overcrowding or improper housing can cause health issues. Clean the habitat weekly, and replace the soiled substrate with fresh. Also sanitize decor accessories like hides and water dishes.

Create a suitable living space with appropriate heating, lighting, and plenty of room. Choose carefully, so your pet spider doesn’t feel at home elsewhere!

Terrarium Size

For a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula, the right terrarium size needs to be considered. Ensure there are no unnecessary hazards in the environment.

The following table shows the terrarium size for Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula:

Terrarium Size for Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula Dimensions (inches)
Minimum 10L x 10W x 12H
Ideal 18L x 18W x 24H or larger

Include hiding places and climbing backgrounds. Also, maintain an ideal temperature. Re-create the spider’s natural environment in tropical and arid regions.

Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas live for up to 30 years. NCBI’s research says they are least allergenic. Make it extra special with coconut fiber and moss!


For the living environment of Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas, substrate is essential. It should help maintain the enclosure’s humidity and temperature. Coco fiber, peat moss, and potting soil are good options. Ensure there are no dyes or chemicals added, as this can be harmful.

Tarantulas need three times their leg span for digging depth. Plus, they need enough space for their tunnels.

Pro Tip: Quality substrate is key for tarantula health. Keep your tarantula warm, but not too cozy – otherwise, you’ll have a spicy red-knee salsa!


Maintaining the Optimal Habitat for a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula

The climate conditions for tarantulas in captivity should mimic their natural habitat to keep them healthy. The temperature range is essential to understand.

Daytime Temperature Range:

  • Juveniles: 24 – 28°C (75 – 82°F)
  • Adults: 22 – 27.7°C (72 – 82°F)
Also Read:  Cooter Turtle: Care Guide & Species Profile

Nighttime Temperature Range:

  • Juveniles: 21 -23°C (70 – 73°F)
  • Adults: 20 –25°C (68 –77°F)

Heat source like a heat mat or bulb should be on one side of the enclosure, not in the center. Make adjustments for climate changes.

Maintaining optimal temperatures is very important. Defying it can cause health issues or even fatalities. According to Reptilian Arts’ article “The Importance of Body Heat,” it’s essential for your tarantula’s health.

Humidity is also necessary for the Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula. It’s like a spa day for them, except instead of cucumbers, they get moisture.


Tarantulas need the right moisture level. This should be between 70-80%. Fill the water dish daily. Ventilation is also important. Spray water on one side of the tank. Moisture is important during molting – otherwise there could be stunted growth, deformed legs or death.

Who needs a nightlight when you have a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula? These creatures are noted for their defense mechanism of rubbing their hind legs against bristle tufts to release urticating hairs into the air. Irritation to predators’ eyes and skin ensues!


This section covers the lighting needed for a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula’s habitat. Natural sunlight or a UVB bulb of low to moderate intensity is suggested for 12 hours per day.

Tarantulas don’t depend on light too much. They rather stay in their burrows to avoid predators and heat.

An interesting fact is that they can see blue and green light, but not red light. Red light can be used as a helper when watching them in the dark.

Good lighting is essential for all species, including Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas. Bond with your tarantula by feeding them – just make sure you don’t become their meal!


Satisfy the Hunger of Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas!

Live prey: Crickets, mealworms, and waxworms.

Pre-killed prey: Pinkie mice or baby chicks.

Adult tarantulas: Feed once a week.

Juvenile tarantulas: Feed more often.

Remove uneaten food within 24 hours. Overfeeding? Obesity and health complications. Underfeeding? Malnourishment.

Ensure water and hideaway places.

Don’t be like your tarantula – picky eaters don’t have friends! Make sure they have enough sustenance for survival.


Nutrition is key for Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas’ wellbeing. Crickets, mealworms and roaches form the basis of their diet. Gut-load and dust with calcium powder before serving. Feeding frequency varies by age, from once a week to once every two weeks for adults. Fresh water must also be provided daily, in a shallow dish.

It’s not recommended to feed them vertebrates due to health risks. Pro Tip: Remove uneaten prey items to prevent contamination and flies/mites. Don’t let your guest overstay their welcome or your tarantula may feast on them!

Feeding Schedule

To keep your Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula healthy, a routine feeding schedule is key. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Feed adult tarantulas once a week; juveniles twice.
  2. Make sure prey is smaller than the tarantula’s abdomen.
  3. Choose between crickets, mealworms, or small rodents.
  4. Remove uneaten prey after 24 hours.
  5. Don’t overfeed; it can lead to obesity.

It’s best to stick with a consistent routine. Remember, tarantulas have special nutritional needs based on their size and stage of life. Regular feedings of the right size can help keep your pet happy and healthy.

When picking prey, some are nutritionally better than others. Gut-load crickets or mealworms, or offer multiple species at once. With attention to detail, feeding time can be enjoyable for both you and your Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula.

Feeder Insects

Feeding your Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is essential for its health. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Give it crickets and cockroaches, gut-loaded with nutrition.
  2. Live prey is preferred, but pre-killed insects can be offered too.
  3. Be sure to provide small quantities of food, as too much can cause mould and mites.

This species is sensitive to stress and molting, so they may refuse food. One pet owner found that their Red-Knee wasn’t eating, due to an injury from its previous home. After addressing the wound, their pet resumed eating.

Caring for a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula requires patience and consistency, much like tending to your own mental health. A healthy fear of spiders is probably a good idea too!


The Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula needs attention and care for its well-being. Ensure their health with the right lighting, temperature, humidity, and substrate. Check for signs of disease like lethargy and lack of appetite. Feeding them the right amount is important– avoid overfeeding. Monitor molting and injured ones, and give them a stress-free environment.

Also Read:  Scale Rot In Snakes: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Interesting fact: they fast for weeks to months before molting. Don’t attempt to handle them during this time.

Pro tip: consult a vet for exotic pets if any health issues arise. Problem with your Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula? Don’t worry, they’re not giant, venomous spiders!

Common Issues

Tarantula pet owners have unique challenges when trying to keep their pets healthy and comfy. These problems can be caused by environmental factors or diet. If not addressed, it may lead to physical issues.

The following are some of the challenges faced by tarantula pet owners:

  • Forgetting to keep the water dish full can cause dehydration.
  • Overhandling can cause stress, appetite loss or death.
  • Incorrect humidity levels could lead to dehydration and respiratory distress.
  • Incorrect feeding can lead to malnutrition or obesity.
  • Poor lighting and temp regulation will disturb their natural habitat.
  • Not cleaning cages regularly can cause bacterial infections.

Owners of Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas should watch out for these common problems, as well as their spider’s potting requirements. It is believed that the first discovery of this species was by E.G. Simon in northern Mexico in 1903. So, don’t stick your finger in its enclosure for a game of ‘got your nose’ if you don’t want a tarantula bite!


To care properly for your Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula, take all necessary precautions. Reducing potential risks is key.

  • Handle your spider gently, and avoid too much handling.
  • Create an escape-proof home with the right ventilation, moisture and temperature.
  • Clean its enclosure regularly, feed it once a week, and watch out for signs of illness.
  • Different situations or species may need different prevention methods. Female tarantulas should not mate too often – over-mating can be harmful to both mom and baby.

Check with Tarantula experts at local Pet stores for specific guidelines. Taking these measures can minimize hazards and create a happy home for your tarantula.

Remember: tarantula venom is not salsa, so don’t treat them the same!


When it comes to caring for a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula, medical attention is a must. Here’s what you need to know if your tarantula falls ill:

Treatment Description
Parasite Infections Lethargy, regurgitation, and loss of appetite are symptoms. See a vet for medicine.
Injuries Clean with saline solution. Don’t handle them while they heal.
Mites and Ticks If lethargy and scabs appear, isolate them and see a vet.

If no improvement is seen after treatment, visit the vet again.

Prevention is best. Keep their enclosure at the right temp, humidity, and provide clean food and water.

Tarantulas can fast now and then. If they refuse food for more than two weeks, seek help.

Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas have been taken from their habitat for pet industry sale. But, they are now protected under various nature conservation organizations due to their decline in the wild. Get to know them through our species profile. But don’t forget – they’ve got better fashion than you!

Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula Species Profile

Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is one of the most popular and coveted pet species. These spiders are native to Mexico and can grow up to 8 inches in size. They have a black body with bright red stripes on their knees, which makes them a beautiful sight to behold. The Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is a docile spider, making it an excellent choice for beginners. They require minimal care, with a diet of crickets and occasional locusts. These spiders are also nocturnal, preferring to hide in their burrows during the daytime.

As for their habitat, Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas can be kept in an enclosure of at least 3 times their size horizontally and vertically. The enclosure should have a hide box, a water dish, and enough substrate to burrow. The ideal temperature for these spiders is between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Substrate like coconut coir, peat moss, or vermiculite should be kept at a depth of at least 2 inches.

It is worth mentioning that Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas are long-lived, with a lifespan of up to 30 years in captivity. This makes them a great investment for pet enthusiasts who wish to have a long-term companion. Additionally, these spiders are active and entertaining to watch, especially during feeding time.

If you are a first-time owner of a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula, make sure to do thorough research and seek advice from an experienced keeper. Ensure that you purchase a captive-bred specimen to avoid harming wild populations. With proper care and attention, these spiders can be easy and rewarding pets to have in your home.

Also Read:  Greenbottle Blue Tarantula: Care Guide & Species Profile

Looks can be deceiving, but with its striking red and black markings, the Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is one spider you won’t want to underestimate.

Physical Characteristics

The Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula has some unique physical characteristics. It has a black body, bright orange-red knees, and can grow up to 5 inches long. Plus, it’s covered in tiny sharp hairs known as urticating hairs.

This spider has two body parts, a cephalothorax and an abdomen. The cephalothorax is black and the legs are covered in setae. And, its tarsi have hooks for climbing. It also has four pairs of eyes, but can’t see very well.

This species is known for its longevity in captivity. It can live up to 25 years in the right conditions. To keep a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula as a pet, create an environment with space, moisture, dryness, and hiding places. Make sure the temperature is between 72-80°F (22-27°C). Also, avoid handling them too often or roughly.

This spider prefers a warm and cozy habitat. It’s perfect for when its eight legs just need a rest from all the lurking and plotting.


The Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula’s Natural Habitat

This arachnid is found in Central and South America, including Mexico and Belize. These areas are warm and dry; temperatures range from 70-85°F with humidity at 60%. The spider prefers rainforests or scrubland that have sandy soil. It spends most of its time in burrows or crevices for shade and protection.

This species can adjust well to captivity as it’s a popular pet. Owners should provide similar conditions as in the wild. Ensure adequate ventilation and temperature control for its flourishing development.

Always take precautions when handling this tarantula. Avoid disturbing it during feeding times and handle it with care. Watch out, its mood swings put the Kardashians to shame!


Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas are docile and gentle creatures, making them ideal for beginner pet owners. Even though they’re calm, they can bite when threatened. A bite isn’t dangerous to humans, but it can be painful due to venom in their saliva.

In the wild, they don’t usually leave their burrows unless mating or hunting. In captivity, they eat a variety of insects, like cockroaches, crickets, and mealworms. They can live up to 30 years with proper space and care.

Also, they are fascinating to observe due to their unique behaviors. During the day, they are relatively inactive, but become active at night. Juveniles and males move more than females.

Once, a teenager’s pet Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula escaped its enclosure. It crawled into a guest’s bag, causing plenty of panic. After half an hour, the spider was safely returned to its home.

There’s no denying the captivating beauty of this deadly arachnid.


The Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is a great pet for arachnid enthusiasts. Low maintenance and full of unique characteristics, they boast a docile nature and striking appearance.

They need a warm, humid environment and a diet of live insects. And, with proper care, they can live up to 25 years in captivity! Before bringing one home, make sure to research their specific needs.

Fun fact: their scientific name, Brachypelma smithi, was given in honor of Andrew Smith. He collected the first specimens and made them available for study in the mid-1800s.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula?

A: The Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula is a species of tarantula native to Mexico. It is known for its distinctive black body and red-orange stripes on its legs.

Q: How big do Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas get?

A: Adult Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas generally reach a size of 5-6 inches, although females can grow slightly larger.

Q: What should I feed my Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula?

A: Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas are carnivorous and primarily eat live insects such as crickets, mealworms, and roaches.

Q: How should I set up my Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula’s enclosure?

A: A suitable enclosure for a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula should be at least three times the size of the spider and include a hide area, a water dish, and substrate for burrowing.

Q: Are Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas venomous?

A: Yes, like all tarantulas, Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas are venomous, but their venom is not considered dangerous to humans.

Q: How long do Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas live?

A: With proper care, Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas can live up to 20 years in captivity.