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Care Sheet

Mexican True Red Leg (Brachypelma emilia)


brachypelma_emilia_1.jpg (3267 bytes)This is one of the most commonly found spiders in the pet trade, this is mainly due to its similarities to the CITES listed B. smithi that is a frequent film star in such diverse films as "Fierce Creatures", James Bond films and those classic B movies!  Indeed this spider is now also listed on CITES due to its popularity.

The spider originates from Mexico and Panama where it lives in semi-desert scrubland. The abdomen is usually a mahogany brown colour with distinct red hairs. The legs are dark with distinct red hairs on the patella and tibia, and the colour varies from light pink/rose to dark rose/red. The carapace is usually beige with a distinctive black triangle with the apex pointing towards the abdomen and the base towards the pedipalps.

This species was my first introduction to the fun of spiderlings. I've had mine for over seven years now and it has grown from less than a 1 inch to five inch legspan. This is a suitable starter tarantula, due to it's forgiving nature and relatively easy temperament. Be warned as it can be a bit of a hair-flicker and tends to be a little skittish.

This is generally considered a docile species, handling is possible, but still not recommended due to their urticating hairs and skittish temperament.

The requirements in captivity are:

As for keeping them as pets, many people keep these in large 12x12x12 (inches) tanks.

Like the other terrestrial (ground living) species they require reasonable humidity levels (above 65%).

As these are scrubland spiders, you must make provision for a retreat, such as a piece of cork bark or a flower-pot. Substrate for the cage should be of peat/vermiculite mix, should be at least 2 inches deep.

An open water dish is a must, humidity must not fall below 55 percent!

Food: All standard invertebrates

Type: Terrestrial (Scrubland)

Aggressiveness: Considered docile, but may be skittish!

Venom Effect: Unknown, expected to be low-toxicity, although some suggest that this spider may be more venomous than other Brachypelma species.

Geographic Range: Mexico and Panama

Requirements: 72-75 Farenheit

Humidity: 65-70%

Substrate: 2 inches

Shelter: Cork bark or flower-pot.

Water: Open water dish.


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