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Red-knee bird - description, occurrence, breeding, practical advice

The name of this tarantula tells us a lot about its appearance. It has a beautiful coloration on the legs, and is also gentle, so it is a suitable species for a beginner terrarist. The red-kneed birdcatcher, because we are talking about him, will be the protagonist of today's text. What is the area of ​​the spider's occurrence in nature? Is his breeding problematic? What terrarium will be suitable for a spider and what is its price? We bring the silhouette of the spider closer. In the text you will find a description of the species along with breeding guidelines.

If you're looking for more advice and information, check out the tarantulas articles here as well.

Why does the red-kneed birdcatcher have a striped color, characteristics of the red-footed birdcatcher

The origin and appearance of the red-legged bird (Brachypelma smithi)

What does the red-knee bird look like? Where does the spider come from? Description of the species

The first thing you notice when looking at a spider is the beautiful red color on its limbs. They are located on the bends of the joints and this is also the source of the Polish name of the bird spider. The spider itself is black or brown - only the carapace has a red border. An adult female reaches a length of 8 cm, while the spacing of the legs can reach 17 cm - the spider is considered a medium-length tarantula (for comparison - the Australian tarantula with legs is 7 to 9 cm). The female of the tarantula, just like the female of the Australian tarantula, can live up to 20 years in captivity. The male, like most spiders, lives several times shorter.

In the nature of the red-legged tarantula, we can meet in Mexico. The spider is found along the Pacific coast. The habitat of the species is hilly deciduous forests. The Red Knee Tarantula is a terrestrial tarantula that builds burrows under rocks and tree roots or uses those left by small rodents. It is a night spider.

The burrow serves as a shelter from predators such as coats - if the animal gets too close, the spider will brush out the stinging hairs, which irritate the intruder's eyes. In addition, the burrow serves as an ambush site - insects or rodents passing by are caught and dragged into the burrow, where they are then eaten.

How much is a red-legged tarantula? Where to buy a spider and what is its price?

The price of a red-legged bird is PLN 20 for stage L1. The higher the stage, the higher the price:

  • The red-legged bird in the L2 stage costs approx. PLN 26, and for comparison, the multicolored tarantula will cost approx. PLN 50,
  • You will pay 30 zlotys for a tarantula in stage L3, and a multicolored tarantula will cost 60 zlotys,
  • The price of a red-legged bird in the L4 stage is PLN 40, and a multicolored bird-bird will cost approx. PLN 70.

It is best to buy a spider in a farm that breeds tarantulas. In such a place, we can usually count on practical tips from the breeder, which result from extensive experience. Many breeders offer their specimens via their website, Facebook or online store.

Together with the spider, we should receive a CITES certificate confirming its origin. Ptasznik is covered by the Washington Convention. Due to the massive capture of spiders and their export from Mexico, the population of this species in the natural environment has significantly decreased.

Red-kneed tarantula at home - how to prepare a terrarium? Tank description for Brachypelma smithi

Terrarium for a red-legged bird - dimensions and decor

The dimensions of the terrarium for a red-legged bird should be 30x30x20 cm (length x width x height). It is a ground spider, so the height of the tank will be of the least importance. The most popular are glass terrariums - the price of such a tank is approx. PLN 40-100 depending on the producer. There are many Polish companies that build and sell such ready-made terrariums. We will get them the cheapest on terrarist markets, it is also worth searching for offers on advertising portals.

The terrarium for the tarantula should be ventilated by gravity, which will enable the exchange of air. If we are afraid that the spider will run away, there are special guillotine terrariums that open from the top and prevent the tarantula from opening the tank on its own.

In addition to the appropriate terrarium, it is also important to supply it, we should take care of the following elements:

  • Substrate - as with other species of tarantulas, coconut fiber, peat or a mixture of both substrates will work best,
  • Hideout - this is where the spider will spend the most time. It may be a natural hiding place, such as e.g. coconut shell, and we can also buy ready-made hiding places in a terrarium shop,
  • Decor - preferably roots, artificial plants, twigs,
  • A bowl of water - it will provide adequate humidity in the terrarium.

Of course, for younger spiders, we use smaller transitional tanks, which we replace after subsequent moulting. The size of the container should be 3 times the size of the spider. The young are kept in a cliche or urine containers (vent holes should be made in them) and such containers are also properly arranged.

What to feed a red-legged tarantula and how to care for a tarantula, how big a terrarium does a tarantula need

What conditions should prevail in the terrarium? What to feed the spider? Whether his venom is strong?

If we have a suitable terrarium that is fully equipped, the next step will be the daily routine of taking care of the microclimate in the tank. The two most important elements to focus on are temperature and humidity. What parameters will be correct?

  • Temperature - it will vary depending on the time of day. During the day it should be 25-27 degrees, and at night it should be 22-23 degrees. For heating, we can use a heating mat connected to a thermostat. It should be placed under the terrarium so that the spider does not have access to it.
  • Humidity - it will be easiest to keep it by spraying the walls of the terrarium every day or putting a bowl of water. We can also regularly water the substrate, which will absorb water for a long time. Humidity should be 60-65%. We can use a hygrometer to measure it.

The final step in caring for your spider will be feeding it. We feed young spiders with flies, fruit or mealworms cut in half. The insect should not be larger than the spider, as the roles of prey and predator can reverse. We feed the little spiders once every few days, approximately every 3-5 days. We can feed adult spiders with crickets, locusts, mealworms and cockroaches once every 1-2 weeks. Occasionally, the spider may starve itself and refuse to eat. In such a situation, remove the uneaten insect from the terrarium so that it does not bite the tarantula.

Spider venom is not dangerous to humans, so we do not have to worry about an attack while feeding. Even if he did bite us, his venom is comparable to that of a bee. The Australian tarantula is much more dangerous, the venom of which can even kill a person. Or maybe you will also be interested this article on breeding royal tarantula?

Red-legged tarantula reproduction - breeding of spiders

Home reproduction of the red-legged tarantula should not be problematic. You should only remember to admit only sexually mature individuals, because pregnancy in the case of a too young female may lead to her death.

It is assumed that the female is ready for reproduction after 4-5 years of age, the male will need 3 years. Before allowing the spiders, we should feed them both well, so that the female does not try to attack the male after intercourse. Although it is rare in the case of this species of tarantula, it is still better to eliminate the risk. During the release, we should provide the male with an escape route - he will instinctively know to leave after copulation.

Several weeks after mating, the female Brachypelma smithi weaves a cocoon in which she lays eggs. After about 2 months, the young begin to hatch.

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