Animal Stories - Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula

Animal-World Information about: Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula

The Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula is a gorgeous, friendly tarantula that's great for beginners!
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Brett - 2010-06-01
How do you determine a tarantula's gender?

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  • marian miner - 2010-06-12
    the male will have hooks on the front of his legs you will notice them and they will not shed as much, they will be a little smaller, and they will spin a small area that they sit on like a blanket. They also will tap their front legs. females,they are larger,they spin the webs,thats all I can say about the females I hope that helps you.
  • poli - 2012-03-31
    You should wait until your spider is a good size. Once it molts spray the molt with a spray bottle until its moist enough so that it will unfold. Then looking at the molt, gently spread out the outer layer of the abdoman that would be the spiders tummy. The 2 white sacks are their book lungs. It's how they breath. The best way to tell if its a female or male is right in between the book lungs. There should be a large slit, an opening that if you were to take a toothpick you would be able to easily insert it into this slit and see it slide right through the skin and out the other side. This is characteristic is strickly FEMALE, its how she collects the male sperm. A male spider will not have this slit! Best to wait until your spider molts. Check youTube for a step by step video of this process!
Megan - 2010-06-07
I have just, today, purchased a mexican red knee. It is my first tarantula but my dad had one when I was really little. Due to it being a private sale, there was little information given out. She appears to have just molted as there was a skin in her tank. However, at the base of the abdomen, is an orange patch which should be black and has no hair on it. Should I be concerned or will this change as she appears to have just molted?

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  • Nate - 2011-02-08
    I can't say for sure, because I don't have a picture and your description is a little vague, but I believe what you are seeing is a "bald spot" on the abdomen where the spider has kicked off its urticating hairs. As this usually takes a while, I doubt that the tarantula has recently molted. Dealers often leave the previous "skin" in the container with the spider so the buyer can attempt to sex it from the previous molt. This "bald spot" should not be a problem and the hairs will be replaced during its next molt.
  • PF - 2011-10-12
    I'm not an expert yet but if your T has just molted it should not have a bald patch. If your talking about the cephalothorax that is orange, it's maybe a Brachypelma bohemei instead of a Brachypelma smithi. Heres a web site with pictures of Ts, you can look and see if this is what you see on your T:

    Good luck!
  • Josh - 2011-10-27
    My red knee does the same thing... About 2-3 weeks after she molts the hairs both black and orange fall right off of her. This has happened to me the last three molts. I'm wondering if it's temperature change or tank surroundings?
  • PF - 2011-11-03
    Hello, I know what you are talking about, if you click on the picutre of the Antille pink toe tarantula at the top of this page, does the bald patch look like the bald patch on the T? If yes, all my Ts have that, I thought my rosies had dandruf then I noticed that all my new slings have it, although my Ts still have hair on that spot. I haven't looked into it but I will. Here's a hypothesis: maybe the hairs on this spot has a more irritating effect on the skin since they are rougher and have more barbules. And when they are irritaded, they reach that spot specifically when they flick hairs. Maybe someone has an exact explanation.

  • PF - 2011-11-03
    I got the info. I was looking for and my hypothesis is right. The bald spot on the abdomen is due to the excess hair flicking. That spot contains rougher hairs with barbules that irritates the skin compared to the rest of the body. When a T is really nervous, it will flick it's hairs more up to a point that it becomes simply a bald spot.
Tammy Mansfield - 2010-09-19
I am currently babysitting a Texas Brown for a couple of weeks. I am extremely terrified of spiders but have become quite attached to this little guy. After doing a lot of research on the different species, my husband and I have decided to purchase the Mexican Red Knee. We have it ordered from a local pet shop and will picking it up next week. I can't wait to watch it grow. Thanks to all for sharing your experience with this beautiful spider.

noah - 2010-03-30
Can u plz let me know what food can I feed my spider?

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-03-30
    See care and feeding above. As for large insects, crickets are the most common large insect available at pet stores.
  • marian miner - 2010-06-12
    feed them crickits or pinkies, grasshoppers moths thats what I feed mine I hope that helps.
  • gary - 2010-07-10
    Crickets depending on the size of the tarantula, bigger species could eat locust but for slings and juveniles stick to crickets.
noahost - 2010-07-09
I also had rear my spider for a year. Just molt 3rd time...... look so beautiful and cute la.

Amber - 2010-01-06
I've had my redknee for a year now, she's molted three times. The first two were quick and easy, the third time took her a bit longer and she didn't shed her whole "skin" at once. She is at least twice as big, right now she's all skinny from just moulting and looks funny with her long, long legs. Her name is Black Magic, and she's got a feisty temperament. She flicks her bristles at me often, but it doesn't take much to calm her down. She's so brilliant she looks like a toy. I'm madly in love with her, she is the most evil of my 6 pets, lol. She's very easy to care for, I use potting soil for substrate. She doesn't burrow, but she wanders all over her cage (10 gallon). She hasn't escaped on me yet.

mark goddard - 2009-10-04
Hi, I have owned my red kneeded called tricky for nearly a year. He/she is called tricky due to the the way that it blasts it's hairs at me whilst trying to pick it up. He/she is a really good escapist, often finding it tricky hiding in my draws or climbing up my walls, lol.
These spiders are surprisingly strong when it comes to lids! I have now placed a weight on the lid of his\her enclosure.

Lennie W. Collins - 2007-07-16
If you are a "beginner" to the hobby or want a beginner tarantula that is a little more "colorful"(active) than the Rose Hair, this would be it! They usually kick "hairs" when you first try to handle 'em BUT they quickly calm down. They are for sure the most colorful of the Brachypelma Genus family. They are VERY rare to get these day so if you have a chance to buy one...DO IT, DO IT! Don't let the price scare ya away! But if you can't, any one from this family will make a excellent choice.

Sean - 2006-03-27
I have kept a red-knee for obout a year. I bought her when she was about the size of the top of a coke can, now she is about the size of a coaster. She has shed atleast five times, once i walked in on her in the process, i left the room to not disturb her and came back later after she was finished. Another time i walked in on her and out of the corner of my eye noticed her move strangly, this is because she had just flipped back over from molting!! Her entire legs were pink like crab meat and as soft as noodles!! her legs werent straight at all, she looked like a land octopus. Anyway, keeping her has been exactly like the care sheet said it would be, i guess you could say she has proved every part of it correct. I keep her in a 20 gallon. She has a unique anxious temperment.