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Mexican Red Knee Tarantula Care Sheet

Common name : Mexican red knee 

Species name : brachypelma smithi 

Group or family :brachypelma 

PR keeper level : 3

PR handler level : 2

Species or background or natural history : this species is the most popular and well known tarantula in the hobby and is said to be the tarantula that made tarantulas popular as pets . This species has also been used in several films .

Physical description : this species is black with bright orange hairs on its carapace , patella , and metatarsus. This species gets to be around six inches as adult with makes being leggier than females. 

Distribution : this species is found along the central Pacific coast of Mexico.

Lifespan : males live 5 -6 years and die soon after reaching sexual maturity. Female live 25 - 30 years

Caging : You can keep this species in a 5 or 8 gallon enclosure as adults , Slings can be kept in a pill bottle and moved up to a deli cup as they grow. Enclosures that don't have mesh tops are recommended , because many tarantulas climb to the top and may get their tarsus caught and can potentially loose a leg . High levels of substrate are also recommended because tarantulas do climb and fall , and a fall from a few inches could be fatal. Eco earth or coco soft are both great substate choices .

Cage decor is any : this species requires a hide to minimize stress , the zoomed medium Habba hut is a great choice. Fake plants can also be added to enhance the enclosure.

Temp : this species should be kept at 78 - 84 degrees. 

Heating and lighting : this species doesn't need any heating or lighting as long as your house stays at 65°-80°F. If your house drops below that , a small portable heater is recommended to heat up the room. 

Humidity and water : the humidity should be kept at 60 - 70%. Half of the substate should be moistened and allowed to completely dry out. For an adult you can use a small exo terra kidney dish or a zoomed repti rock water dish as a water bowl , and a bottle cap for a smaller specimen. Fresh water should always be available. 

Diet and feeding : this species can feed on crickets , super worms , locust , and roaches as long as the prey item is of an appropriate size.

Supplements : tarantulas do not need supplements 

Breeding : This species breeds readily in captivity. You have to have a mature male and a mature female to breed. You must put the male in the females enclosure , if all goes well he will hold the females fangs with his tibial hooks and inject his sperm into the female. You must be ready to separate them once they are done mating , if not the female might try to eat the male. If the breeding was successful the female with produce an egg sack. When the time comes you will have to take the egg sack from the female , put in an incubator and cut the egg sack when its ready. You must then separate each sling and put them in individual containers. 

Handling your new pet : this species is known to have one of the most docile temperaments and is recommended as a great first tarantula . This species can be nervous and will not hesitate to flick urticating hair.