Mexican Fire Leg Tarantula (Brachypelma Boehmei)
The Mexican fire leg tarantula (Brachypelma boehmei) is a mid size new world tarantula. It is a commonly found in Mexico. The Mexican fire leg tarantula is a stunning and chunky species with spectacular colouration. It grows to around 5 or 6 inches. This makes a terrific showing spider due to its gorgeous black and orange colouration, hence the name. Its legs and body are covered in ginger hairs that give it a lovely fuzzy look. They are not really a beginner’s spider due to its aggressive tendencies and habit of kicking up irritating hairs into its owners face.
This species creates its own burrows in the ground or in any nook and cranny it finds appropriate.
Anything it can get its fangs on. This species is a fantastic eater but it is always best to let your tarantula lead you. If nothing is left in the enclosure in the morning then consider feeding more. Meal worms, cockroaches, crickets etc.
The female of the species can live a whopping 25 years with the proper care. The males live a very respectable ten years.
The mating ritual is very similar to most species in this respect. It is not unknown for the male to rush the female once he has caught her attention after tapping outside her burrow. This rushing in and raising her up could be translated as a tactic to get in an out as soon as possible without being turned into a meal.
As this species is terrestrial a twelve inch long enclosure will be suitable. This provides the Mexican fire leg plenty of space to explore and run around, not that they do that often, but they will appreciate the additional room for chasing live pray.
Four or five inches of substrate should cover the base of the enclosure. It is tempting to give your tarantula logs, branches, hollow skulls etc for hiding; however they are burrowers so they could make any additional ornaments to the enclosure. However due to their burrowing this could make the substrate unstable and cause ornaments to collapse into the substrate and crush your tarantula. So use additions with caution. However a small hideaway would be appreciated as they can burrow underneath it. This may seem like conflicting advice however both sides need to be considered. Your Mexican fire leg will generally be found out in the open and makes a great display species.
It is generally agreed among enthusiasts that this species is a fairly slow growing spider. It can take around a year to grow an inch. So if you own this tarantula from a spiderling it will take around three years to grow to around three inches.
Creating a heat gradient for your tarantula will be much appreciated but only on the side rather than underneath. To escape the sweltering desert heat this tarantula would burrow to escape such conditions. It would be counter productive and damaging to you tarantula to place a heating pad underneath. This means that a heat pad or similar placed at one side of the enclosure will give the Mexican fire leg the option to choose the most appropriate spot for itself. A temperature of around 28 degrees centigrade is a safe bet. A degree above or below shouldn’t matter too much, but no further. A very shallow dish containing water may be placed in the enclosure if you tarantula is around four inches in size. However placing a branch or similar can be used as a safety mechanism in case it falls into and can use it to crawl out. Due to coming from such dry and arid conditions a medium humidity will suffice. Mid 50s is a good bet. A light misting will be more than sufficient.
This can be an aggressive species but this can differ. Some enthusiasts report a perfectly docile specimen that will tolerate handling, which others suggest leaving this beauty to its own devices. It will not feel neglected by not being handled. This species will not hesitate in kicking up plenty of irritating hairs into your face if it feels disturbed or cranky. If in doubt leave your exotic beauty to its business.
If the mating ritual has been a complete success, the female with produce an egg sac that should contain over 200 spiderlings.