Mexican Redleg Tarantulas

a close up of a Mexican Redleg Tarantula standing on a plant

Are you looking for a unique pet that will bring joy and entertainment to your home? If so, the Mexican Redleg Tarantula may be the perfect choice for you.

Mexican Redleg Tarantulas, also known as Brachypelma emilia, are a species of tarantula native to Mexico. They are a popular choice among first time pet owners due to their docile nature and ease of care.

Mexican Redleg Tarantulas are native to Mexico’s Pacific coast, are relatively large spiders, with an average length of 6 inches long. They are not venomous, and will only bite if provoked.

Mexican Redlegs are very docile, and are usually very calm and relaxed. They are also very curious animals, and will actively seek out food. They are very territorial, and will defend their homes against intruders. They’re very fast runners, and catching them if they escape may be difficult.

Mexican Redleg Tarantulas are very docile insects, and are generally considered safe for children, as long as they’re not holding them. They are also very easy to care for. They don’t require much food, and will eat insects and smaller living food. They are also very easy to care for. They can be housed in terrariums and they will thrive in a home environment.

Mexican Redleg Tarantulas are known for the red on their legs. You can find them in a number of different pet stores near you. Redlegs are one of the more expensive Tarantulas, expect one to cost between $100 and $150.

When it comes to handling, Mexican Redleg Tarantulas are generally docile and can be handled with care. It is important to remember that they are still wild animals and should be treated with respect. If you do decide to handle your tarantula, make sure to use gloves and be gentle.

Overall, Mexican Redleg Tarantulas make great family pets. They are low maintenance, easy to care for, and can provide hours of entertainment. If you’re looking for a unique pet that will bring joy and excitement to your home, the Mexican Redleg Tarantula may be the perfect choice for you.

Mexican Redleg Tarantula Information

  • Average Length: 6 inches
  • Average Weight: half an ounce
  • Skin Appearance: Rigid exoskeleton
  • Skin Colors: Brown to Green. 
  • Grooming Needs: Low 
  • Shedding: Several times before adulthood
  • Sensitive to Touch: No
  • Biting Tendency: No
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: No 
  • Good Pet: Yes
  • Safe with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: No
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Weight Gain: Normal
  • Health Concerns: Abdominal Fractures, Dehydration, and Problems with Molting
  • Average Life Span: Females – 30 years, Males – 5 years


Mexican Redleg Tarantulas are found in Western Mexico in the foothills of Sierra Madre Occidental in Sinaloa and Nayarit. They live in dry and arid areas with less vegetation.

Mexican Redleg Tarantulas are large spiders that are closely related to the Mexican Red-kneed Tarantulas. The scientific name of this species is Brachypelma Emilia.

Physical Appearance of Mexican Redleg Tarantulas

a Mexican Redleg Tarantula on the bottom of their enclosure looking for food

Mexican Redleg Tarantulas have a black abdomen covered with brown urticating hairs. Urticating hairs are bristle-like and can get lodged on the skin of other animals or humans. The hair causes irritation and is the primary defense mechanism of Tarantulas.

Their carapace (the part that joins their head and body) is brown and has a black square or triangle on it. They have orange to dark-red leg joints and that is how they get their name.

They can have a leg span up to 6 inches long. Males are slightly smaller than females. Apart from this males and females look similar and it’s difficult to tell them apart.

Temperament of Mexican Redleg Tarantulas

Mexican Redlegs are calm and easygoing spiders. They spend most of their time sleeping in their cage and are active mostly when they eat. While Tarantulas are known to not like handling, these spiders are an exception. Mexican Redlegs let their owners handle them. They will not try to run away like most other Tarantula species. Their toleration of humans makes them a popular Tarantula species for beginners.

Young spiderlings can get a little excited while being handled and should be handled with care. When scared or threatened Tarantulas will release urticating hairs. Their urticating hairs are not harmful but can cause skin or eye irritation in humans. They should be handled with care.

Mexican Redlegs usually don’t bite and the rare times that they do, the bite won’t be serious.

They are solitary and should be housed alone.

Their Compatibility with Children

a Mexican Redleg Tarantula climbing up a tree stump

Mexican Redlegs are calm and children can be allowed to handle them while under supervision. One thing to remember is that all Tarantulas release urticating hairs when they feel threatened. These hairs can be unpleasant for children because they can cause skin or eye irritation.

Have children wash their hands if they interact with your Tarantula’s cage. By washing their hands, children should wash away any urticating hairs that they could have come in contact with.

Living Space for Mexican Redleg Tarantulas

Because of how small they are and their hardy characteristics, setting up an enclosure for Mexican Redleg Tarantulas is easy.

A plastic or glass tank can make a great living space for your Mexican Redlegs. Because of how long these spiders live, many families will get a glass tank because they are more durable. These spiders can live up to 30 years

The tank should be tightly secured from all sides and should have a secured top with a mesh screen. The mesh screen will keep the tank ventilated and keep your Tarantulas from escaping.

Cage Size

The cage size should be between 5 to 10 gallons. Anything larger than 10 gallons can make it difficult for your Tarantula to find their food.    Mexican Redlegs are terrestrial spiders and don’t climb. A one foot tall cage is tall enough for them.

Substrate

a Mexican Redleg Tarantula standing on a rock

Mexican Redlegs like to burrow and will need a 4 to 5 inch deep substrate. A mixture of peat moss, soil and vermiculite is good because it’s easy to burrow through.

Decorations

Several hiding spaces should be created using natural materials like wood, bard, bamboo or rocks. Hiding spots should be added on both sides of their tank.

Water Source

A shallow water bowl should be placed inside their tank. The water bowl will let your Tarantulas drink water and keep the tank humid.

Best Climate for Mexican Redleg Tarantulas

Tarantulas are hardy and usually don’t need artificial heating and lighting equipment. If your home is a bit cool you will want to use heating equipment like an under tank heat mat. Many homes will be on the lower end of their heating needs and may not need to use any heating equipment.

Temperature

They prefer a temperature kept between 75°F and 85°F.  If your house is a little too cool for them, placing an under tank heat mat on one side of their cage will make enough heat. 

Humidity

The humidity should be kept between 65 to 70 percent. Placing a water bowl inside their tank should help keep the humidity in this range. Because they need a higher humidity their tank should be misted regularly to maintain the humidity.

The Attention a Mexican Redleg Tarantula Needs

Mexican Redleg Tarantulas don’t mind being handled. Handling should not be done too regularly because Tarantulas are solitary species. Too much handling can irritate them or stress them.

The only other attention needs has to do with keeping their cage clean and keeping their tank warm enough. Having a few thermometers and a hygrometer in their cage will make it easy to check the temperature regularly.

Health Issues

Common health issues in Tarantulas are:

Abdominal Fractures

If your Tarantula falls, there is a chance that they could rupture their abdomen. If their abdomen has ruptured you’ll see a clear or yellow looking fluid leaking out of them. Essentially this is them bleeding.

There are a number of tricks that Tarantula owners will use to try to stop the bleeding. Flour and cornstarch are very popular as is super glue. Super glue dries fast and will help stop the external bleeding. Depending on how bad the internal injuries are, it might not matter though.

Make sure that your Tarantula has access to all the water they need, and depending on how they appear, you may want to wait to feed them. If they live beyond a few days they should recover. Just remember this is why it’s best not to handle Tarantulas.

Dehydration

Tarantulas need water to survive, but they don’t need to drink water everyday. Spiders can live for weeks, possibly months without food and for three weeks without water. 

Tarantula dehydration symptoms you’ll see: 

  • They’ll be lethargic 
  • Their body will look shriveled or shrunken 
  • Their body may look wrinkled.

A mildly dehydrated Tarantula will usually have a shrunken abdomen and be inactive. A severely dehydrated Tarantula will usually have some degree of leg curling underneath their body.

The treatment for dehydration is water. It’s best to keep a water dish in their enclosure to keep your Tarantula hydrated. A mildly dehydrated tarantula will usually recover within 24 hours, but if they’re very dehydrated a couple of days might be needed.

If you think that your Tarantula isn’t rehydrating contact your vet immediately.

Molting Problems

For insects that molt, molting is the most dangerous time for them. If the conditions are not right during the molting process they could die from being trapped in their old body.

Signs your Tarantula is having problems molting:

  • Stuck in the old carapace
  • One or more legs fail to release from the carapace

Humidity is very important to molting. If you know that your Tarantula is about to molt it’s always a good idea to raise the humidity level within their enclosure. If your Tarantula is dehydrated it can also make molting difficult.

If you notice that your Tarantula is stuck and unable to free themselves from their old carapace there are a few options. With a wet paint brush or Q-tip you can try to help moisten the area where the problem is.

If they have a leg that they can’t free and water isn’t helping get it out you can try to pull the old carapace off with tweezers. Be careful and don’t try to pull too hard because pulling too hard could damage or remove part of the leg. If the leg becomes damaged and doesn’t fall off on its own in a few days it should be removed. If left in place it’s very likely to cause problems in the next molt.

Oral Nematodes

Usually by the time nematodes are noticed it’ll be too late to save your Tarantula. By the time they’re coming out of your Tarantula’s mouth, they’ve already done a lot of damage inside of their digestive system.

Still some people have reported success using treatments to kill the nematodes, and a veterinarian can remove the nematodes while a Tarantula is under anesthesia. If you think your Tarantula has nematodes it’s very important to talk to your vet as soon as possible. Tarantulas that are born in captivity are less likely to be affected by this disease.

Tarantulas don’t need to eat very often. Because the nematodes don’t kill Tarantulas directly, death by starvation can take months.

Tarantula Oral Nematode symptoms you’ll see:

  • White material around mouth parts
  • Decreased or non-existent appetite

It’s important to remember that Tarantulas can fast for weeks at a time and this is normal. If you start to see anything white appearing near their mouth you’ll want to immediately contact your vet. Of the 2 medications that have reportedly been used to kill the nematodes, Cefotaxime will require a prescription from your vet. Pyrantel should be available over the counter, but used alone it doesn’t seem very effective at killing nematodes.

General Mexican Redleg Tarantulas Care

Mexican Redlegs are clean spiders and need little care. Uneaten food should be removed after a few hours and the substrate replaced completely once a month.

Clean their tank completely by removing everything every 6 months and cleaning the decorations with hot water. Keep your Mexican Redleg in a secure holding box while their tank is cleaned.

Feeding A Mexican Redleg Tarantula

tarantulas love eating crickets

Mexican Redleg Tarantulas like to eat live food. Crickets are best for them because they are rich in protein and available at most pet stores and online. Smaller insects like roaches, mealworms or silkworms are good for them as well.

The quantity and size of their food depend on your Mexican Redleg’s size. Twice a week two crickets should be fed to your adult Mexican Redleg.

The food you feed them shouldn be smaller than your Tarantula. If you’re feeding your Tarantula insects you won’t have a problem, but if you feed them a pinky mouse this will be important. If you’re raising live bugs, gut load the prey insects before feeding them to your Tarantula. Gut loading involves feeding the bugs nutritious food so that it can pass on to your Mexican Red Legs.

The best time to feed your Mexican Redleg is in the evening because that’s when they are active.

Sometimes your Tarantulas will go a few weeks without feeding, especially when they are molting. It’s normal if they decide to stop eating for a while. Keep offering them the food at their twice a week feedings and eventually they’ll eat it.

Related Questions:

Do Mexican Redleg Tarantulas Grow Fast?

These Tarantulas have a moderate growth rate. A female spiderling at a quarter inch can grow up to 1.5 inches within a year. With proper care and feeding they can grow to their full size in about 3 years.

Do I have a Male or Female Mexican Redleg?

Mexican Redleg males and females look alike and there are only slight differences. Adult males have a hook in their front legs that helps keep a female’s fangs away while mating. Females are aggressive and usually eat males after mating and this is why they shouldn’t be housed in pairs.