Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Megaphobema mesomelas
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Common name: Costa Rician Red Leg
Indigenous: Costa Rica
Habitat:  Because Costa Rica is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the climate is tropical year round. Costa Rica's seasons are defined by how much rain falls during a particular period. The year can be split into two periods, the dry season known to the residents as summer, and the rainy season, known locally as winter. The "summer" or dry season goes from December to April, and "winter" or rainy season goes from May to November.
The air is driest around March, at which time the relative humidity drops below 37%; it is most humid around October, exceeding 96%. Humidity is also higher on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific side. The mean annual temperature on the coastal lowlands is around 27 °C (81 °F), 20 °C (68 °F) and below 10 °C (50 °F) on the summits of the highest mountains.
Temp/humidity: 65°-75°F (18.3°-23.9°c)/70-85% humidity
Enclosure: Adults should be given a large terrarium, I use a ten Gallon aquarium. I have found that, if you simulate their natural environment by decorating the cage with foliage, they tend to stay out and wonder more. But make sure the plants you use have no pesticide on it.
Substrate: I use four inches of substrate. (I use a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, coconut fiber and dirt for firmness, as the substrate).
Retreat/Hide: For a juvenile or an adult, I Place a bark for a starter burrow hide.
Food Consumption: I fed the spiderlings 1/8" (.30mm) baby crickets. My sub-adult Costa Rican Redled, I give one (1) adults B. dubia roaches or five (5) adult crickets weekly. This species is a excellent eater, and devour its prey. I also give her one pinkie-mouse or a house gecko once a year for variety.
Water Requirements: I keep a large water dish in her cage, even though after six years, I have never seen mine drink. I also dampen one-half of the substrate in the terrarium by overflowing the water dish and I never allow the substrate to dry out.
Growth Rate:The growth rate for this species is medium-fast. With proper heating and feeding it may attain a leg length of three inches in a year.
Adult Size: I read that this species may attain a leg length of five inches (20.32cm) My girl is only six inches (15.24cm)
Temperament: This is a shy tarantula, especially as a juvenile, but once it reach the four inch (10.16cm) mark, they become less skittish and the abdomen will become less bald, because of hair kicking. The Costa Rican Redled is not what I consider as an aggressive or defensive tarantula. It may use a defensive pose, by raising its abdomen, but would rather beat a retreat than stand and fight.
Comments: This is a reclusive yet aggressive eating T. They have never refused a meal unless near a molt. A must have to your collection. The legs are brick red, the carapace is black and the abdomen is black and covered with reddish-orange hairs. Beauty coupled with size, would makes this tarantula one of the better display species, whenever it is out.