Mexican redknee Tarantula | Brachypelma smithi

Invertebrate Interests is authored & photographed by Lillie Nyte of Inverts Unlimited 

Mexican redknee Tarantula | Brachypelma smithi

Mexican Red Knee

Mexican Red Knee Tarantula Courtesy of Lillie Nyte

General Description

Synonyms: Euathlus smithi. Eurypelma smithi, Mygale smithi

Common name(s): Mexican redknee

Keeper experience: Beginner

Adult size: 5+ inch leg span

Growth rate: Slow to medium (Males reach maturity in 4 – 5 years, Females in 6 – 7 years)

Lifespan: Males – 5+ years, Females – 25+ years

Type: Terrestrial (Spiderlings are opportunistic burrowers)

Temperament: Tolerates handling but many will readily kick hairs

Venom: Mild (Reluctant to bite)

Urticating hairs: Yes

Natural distribution: Central Pacific coast of Mexico especially on the western faces of the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre del Sur mountain ranges

Natural conditions: Hot and arid savanna and scrubland regions with little vegetation where this species will live in burrows near thorny scrubs or cacti

Conservation status: Lower risk/near threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, also listed on CITES appendix II since 1985. All Brachypelma species listed on CITES since 1995

Captive Care

Brachypelma smithi

Brachypelma smithi Tarantula

Courtesy of Lillie Nyte Mexican Red Knee Tarantula B. smithi

Temperature: Room temperature (Low 70’s to low 80’s Fahrenheit)

Humidity: Mid to low

Substrate: 3 – 4 inches of relatively dry coco fiber. Dampen substrate on one side of the enclosure approximately once a week and allow to dry.

Prey items: Not picky and will readily consume appropriately sized crickets, roaches, mealworms, and superworms. Prey items should be no bigger than the tarantula’s abdomen.

Miscellany: Good display species as adults will utilize a hide but often remain in the open visible to observation.

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