Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Brachypelma emelia
Common name: Mexican Redleg
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 (7.62cm) of substrate for burrowing and four inches (10.16cm) as sub-adult-adult.
Substrate: I use three inches (7.62cm) of substrate in vial and four inches (10.16cm) 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 (7.62cm), 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" (1.27cm) I introduced baby crickets. I give my Mexican Redleg (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 my girls as spiderlings of 1/4" (0.635cm) in size. After the first year she had 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 (7.62cm) within three years.
Adult Size: I read that they grow to six (15.24cm) inches. My oldest girl is ten (10) years old and is only a solid five inches (12.7cm).
Temperament: I have read that this species can be skittish, but mine is docile. I can't remember it ever kicking hair at me, nor posing a defensive mode.
Comments: This is a colorful, long lived species, that is easy to care for. I have own several Mexican Red Legs tarantula. The species that were sold in the 1980's and 90's, color was not as intensed as the species that I see on the market today. My youngest B. emilia I purchased three years ago, is larger than my ten year old girl. With that being said, I think they are the same species but from two different locations in the wild. Here is a picture of my older girl and my young girl.
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