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.


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.


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.


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. 


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

Insect abdominal fractures are a very common injury in both wild and domestic insects. Common causes of abdominal fractures include physical trauma like being stepped on, falling from too high, or being hit by an object. Other causes of abdominal fractures in insects can be due to the presence of disease or parasites that weaken their exoskeleton.

Symptoms of Insect Abdominal Fractures

Insect abdominal fractures can be quite difficult to identify, but there are several signs to look out for. One of the most obvious symptoms is hemorrhaging or bleeding from the area of the fracture. A fractured insect can appear to be immobile or lethargic, and could also have difficulty walking. In cases where the fracture is more severe, the insect might have signs of paralysis.


Insects are particularly susceptible to dehydration because their bodies are made up mostly of water. In order to survive in an arid environment, they must be able to conserve water and stop it from evaporating out of their bodies. To hold onto water, insects have several strategies for dealing with dehydration.

First and foremost, many insects have developed thick cuticle layers that help reduce the amount of water that is lost through evaporation. This cuticle layer is often made up of waxes, oils and other substances that act as a barrier to prevent water loss.

Insects also have mechanisms for controlling their water intake. Some insects are able to regulate their water intake by closing off the opening in their trachea when environmental conditions become too dry. This helps stop the insect from becoming dehydrated.

Molting Problems

Molting is a process where insects shed their exoskeleton in order to grow and develop. While this process is integral for insect survival, it can also cause some major problems. Insects can have molting problems due to environmental factors, diet or genetics. These issues can lead to incomplete molts, malformations, developmental delays and even death.

Incomplete molts are a common molting problem. If an insect does not shed its exoskeleton completely, the new one can become stuck. As a result, the insect will not be able to grow or develop properly. In some cases, the old exoskeleton may even suffocate the insect if it’s not removed quickly enough.

Diet can also play a role in molting problems. An inadequate or unbalanced diet can cause the insect to be unable to molt properly. Some insects are sensitive to certain foods or chemicals and these substances can interfere with the molting process.

Genetics can also cause molting issues. Some insects have genetic mutations that can cause malformations or developmental delays. These issues can lead to problems during the molting process and can even be fatal if the insect is unable to shed its exoskeleton completely or in time.

Oral Nematodes

Oral nematodes are a group of parasitic worms that feed on the tissues of insects. They are typically found in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach, as well as other internal organs. There are hundreds of species of these nematodes, which vary in size and shape. While most species are harmless to humans and other animals, some can pose a serious threat to crops and livestock. Some species of insect oral nematodes are known to be vectors for a number of diseases, including Bartonella, Onchocerca volvulus, and Thelazia californiensis.

Symptoms of Insect Oral Nematodes

Symptoms of Oral Nematodes vary depending on the species of nematode present. Generally, infected insects will have irritation and inflammation in their mouth, esophagus and stomach, which can lead to problems eating or drinking. More severe cases of infection can cause the insect to become lethargic and anemia caused by blood loss from the parasites. In some cases, the infection can even be fatal.

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.

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Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.