When you ask most people about
tarantulas, they tend to immediately describe the
'Red-knee' (B. smithi) that is a
frequent film star in such diverse films as
"Fierce Creatures", James Bond films
and those classic B movies! Indeed this
spider is on the Cites II list (endangered
species), only captive breed spiders are legal.
Taking this species from the wild is restricted.
The spider originates from Mexico
and Panama where it lives in semi-desert
scrubland. The abdomen is usually jet black in
colour . The legs are described as
"startling beginning with black toes and
having stripes of orange/tan/cream
variations". The carapace is usually
creamy/beige or with a distinctive black square.
This is a suitable starter
tarantula, due to it's forgiving nature and
relatively easy temperament. Be warned as it can
be a bit of a hair-flicker and tends to be a
This is generally considered a
docile species, handling is possible, but still
not recommended due to their urticating hairs and
sometimes skittish temperament.
The requirements in captivity
As for keeping them as pets, many
people keep these in large 12x12x12 (inches)
Like the other terrestrial
(ground living) species they require reasonable
humidity levels (above 65%).
As these are scrubland spiders,
you must make provision for a retreat, such as a
piece of cork bark or a flower-pot. Substrate for
the cage should be of peat/vermiculite mix,
should be at least 3 inches deep. These spiders
will dig burrows if the subtrate is suitable.
An open water dish is a must,
humidity must not fall below 55 percent!
Food: All standard invertebrates
Type: Terrestrial (Scrubland)
docile, but may be skittish!
Venom Effect: Unknown, expected
to be low-toxicity..
Geographic Range: Mexico
Requirements: 72-75 Farenheit
Substrate: 2 inches
Shelter: Cork bark or flower-pot.
Water: Open water dish.