Mexican Redknee Tarantula

A Close Look At The Mexican Redknee Tarantula

Even those who have a fear of arachnids in general, and the tarantula specifically, will often give the Mexican Redknee tarantula a closer look. Although most of us don't view spiders as being particularly attractive, in fact we consider most spiders as quite scary looking, the Mexican Redknee tarantula offers something different. As tarantulas and spiders go, the Mexican Redknee could almost be described as beautiful, or at least handsome. That, together with its gentle disposition, makes the Mexican Redknee a favorite for those who would like the experience of owning a pet tarantula.

The Mexican Redknee tarantula is well-named, having a large dark body featuring orange patches on the "knees" or joints of its legs. That, together with the second segment of the legs being orange-red in color, makes this species a very attractive one indeed.

This is a fair-sized creature with the female being slightly larger than the male, having a body length of approximately 4 inches and a leg span of 6 inches. A female Mexican Redknee tarantula is believed to have a life span approaching 40 years, 3 to 4 times longer than the male usually lives. As a pet, one of these species could be a companion for many, many years.

A Docile Creature - One of the more attractive features of the Mexican Redknee as far as having one for a pet is concerned is its extremely docile nature. This tarantula will rarely bite, although given the size of fangs, it could deliver a very painful one, and while it is venomous, its venom is not considered harmful to humans. If threatened, the Mexican Redknee will likely rear up and show its fangs, which often will be enough to discourage a predator. Its primary means of defense are the hairs which grow on its abdomen, which it can shake free, much as a porcupine might to. Like a porcupine's quills, the tarantula's hairs are barbed, and will stick into and irritate skin.

A Danger To Some - The main danger the Mexican Redknee tarantula poses to humans is that some people could be overly sensitive to either its venom or to the irritants found on the abdominal hairs, which are also toxic. Those who might be overly sensitive should not have this species as a pet, not should they attempt to handle one.

Native Habitat - The Mexican Redknee tarantula makes its home in the deserts and scrub lands of southwestern Mexico in an area close by the Pacific Ocean. It has been listed as an endangered species, partially because so many have been captured for the pet trade, and also because this tarantula has been indiscriminately killed by humans, probably out of misplaced fear as much as anything. Often the Redknee has been mistaken for other and more aggressive members of the tarantula family, which, given its distinct markings, is somewhat surprising. Fortunately the species seems to be doing very well being bred in captivity.

Care - The favorite food of the species is the cricket, although adults will also eat small lizards, certain species of mice, and other large insects. As pets they are easy keepers, and will do quite dine in a well ventilated tank with a substrate of potting soil or peat moss. Besides food, crickets being the best choice, the Redknee also needs a source of water, and is usually capable of drinking from a shallow dish. A female spider would prefer having the substrate thick enough to burrow in, but as she tends to spend much of her time in her burrow, too thick of a substrate could result in a pet tarantula one would seldom see.