Originating from the western reaches of Mexico, the Mexican Red Knee tarantula, known scientifically as Brachypelma hamorii, is a visually spectacular species that is highly prized by arachnid enthusiasts and hobbyists worldwide. Its distinctively bold appearance, relatively tranquil nature, and uncomplicated care requirements have earned it the status of a pet favourite among both novices and seasoned tarantula keepers. Adults of this striking species display a leg span averaging between 5 to 6 inches. The tarantula’s body is cloaked in an inky black hue, dramatically contrasted by vibrant stripes of orange-red adorning their leg joints and abdomen. These radiant patterns lend the species its memorable name—Mexican Red Knee—and contribute to its status as a captivating and sought-after pet. Noted for its relatively placid temperament, the Mexican Red Knee tarantula is typically calm and slow in its movements. This easygoing demeanour makes it an approachable species for handling, although it should be done with care. Like all tarantulas, the Brachypelma hamorii will resort to biting if it perceives a threat. The venom it produces, though mild, can trigger irritation and swelling in humans. Regardless, its overall demeanour combined with its stunning appearance makes it an appealing and popular choice among tarantula aficionados. The species has found a place in almost every long-term tarantula keeper’s collection at some point, and it’s easy to see why. The marriage of its striking colouration and easygoing nature positions the Mexican Red Knee tarantula as a species that’s both aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to keep. When it comes to care and housing, the Mexican Red Knee tarantula is a hardy species with manageable needs, making it an ideal beginner tarantula. For enclosures, a secure, ventilated habitat made of glass or plastic is recommended, with dimensions at least three times the leg span of the spider. Ideal temperature conditions hover around room temperature or slightly higher, between 75F to 80F (23C to 26C), and humidity should be kept around 60% RH to mimic its natural environment. To recreate the burrowing behaviour observed in the wild, provide at least 6 inches of loosely packed substrate like coco-fibre, vermiculite, or potting soil. This allows them to construct and maintain stable burrows in their enclosure. Feeding a Mexican Red Knee tarantula involves offering live food such as crickets, locusts, or roaches, depending on your preference, once or twice a week. Alongside this, always ensure a water dish is present within the enclosure, providing your tarantula with a constant source of hydration. The care for this species is straightforward and its low maintenance requirements, combined with its striking aesthetics, make the Mexican Red Knee tarantula a rewarding pet for those interested in arachnids.
Mexican red knee tarantulas are known for their docile temperament and are generally easy to handle. They are a slow-moving species and rarely bite unless provoked or threatened. This makes them a wonderful species for inexperienced or first-time keepers. They are usually less aggressive and defensive than some other species of tarantulas and are less likely to bite or flick their urticating hairs in response to perceived threats. Due to their calm demeanour, Brachypelma hamorii is an ideal choice for those that want to handle their tarantulas.
In the wild, Mexican red knee tarantulas are found in the scrublands and deserts of western Mexico. As a terrestrial tarantula, these arachnids require a terrarium with a substrate of at least 2-3 inches deep such as coconut fiber or peat moss. They prefer a temperature range between 68-78°F (20-25°C), and a humidity level of around 60-70%. These arachnids love to burrow deep, and will benefit from a semi-moist substrate at least 2x as deep as the spider’s diagonal leg span. A water dish should be provided.