Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Brachypelma smithi [formally B. annitha]
Common name: Mexican Giant Red knee
Indigenous: Central America, Mexico
Habitat: savanna, scrubland
Temp/humidity: 70°-85° (21.1°-29.4°C) degrees/65%-80%  humidity; I keep this species temperature at 80° (26.6°C) and the humidity at 65-70%. I wet one half side of the terrarium where the water dish is then allow it to dry out completely.
Enclosure: Use a spiderling vial that will allow at least three inches of substrate for burrowing and four inches as sub-adult-adult.
Substrate: I use three inches of substrate in vial and four inches in terrarium. (I use a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, coconut fiber and dirt for firmness, as the substrate).
Retreat/Hide: Place a bark for a starter burrow hide. This is an opportunistic burrower. When they reach  three inches, they stay out in the open more than in their hide, which make them a good display tarantula
Food Consumption: I first fed her fruit flies, than when she reached 1/2" I introduced baby crickets. I give my Mexican Giant Red Knee (2) B. dubia roaches or seven (7) - adult crickets weekly. This species is a excellent eater.
Water Requirements: I keep a water dish in the tank. I have never seen mine drink.
Growth Rate: The growth rate of this species is medium. I purchased these gems as spiderlings of 1/4" (0.635cm) in size. After the first year they have grown to one and a half inch (3.81cm). With constant feeding and with temperatures in the low to mid 80's, they reached a size of three inches (7.52cm) within three years.
Adult Size: I read that they grow to seven inches (17.78cm). After four years mine are six inches (15.24cm).
Temperament: This is a docile species, but is a hair kicker. They hves not given a threat pose since I had them.
Comments: This species looks like the Brachypelma hamorii except for the carapace and the intense orange color. The B. hamorii carapace is almost completely black, where as the B. smithi carapace has little or no black on the carapace. The B. annitha appears to be more leggy also. This ia an easy to care for species and a collectors tarantula.
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