Mexican True Red
Leg (Brachypelma emilia)
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
The requirements in captivity
As for keeping them as pets, many
people keep these in large 12x12x12 (inches)
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)
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
Geographic Range: Mexico and
Requirements: 72-75 Farenheit
Substrate: 2 inches
Shelter: Cork bark or flower-pot.
Water: Open water dish.