When it comes to feeding a pet Mexican red-knee tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) properly, the amounts of food these big spiders require are very low compared to human standards. Some zoos feed these captive red-knee tarantulas on a "once a week" basis. The Mexico red-knee tarantula is an insectivorous creature -- no plants are required.
Feedings Every Week
Keep your Mexican red-knee tarantula in optimal health by feeding him anywhere from one to three times per week. Some tarantulas may be willing to accept only one sampling of live prey at once, while others may be able to manage a little bit more. Go by what works with your specific pet. Feed your tarantula about 4 to 5 pieces of food each week, and make sure the food always is roughly 50 percent as long as the tarantula's full physique -- nothing more or less than that.
Wild Diet of the Red Knee Tarantula
Free roaming red-knee tarantulas prey on bugs, bugs and more bugs. Although the basic diet of the wild Mexican red-knee tarantula consists of insects, they also occasionally do eat reptiles, frogs, birds and smaller mammals, such as baby mice. Red-knee tarantulas eat mice and bugs both in the wild and in captive environments, as well. If any of these types of creatures accidentally find themselves in a wild tarantula's burrow, they just may end up as part of his diet that week. These spiders spend the bulk of their time in burrows.
Pet Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas
Mexican red-knee tarantulas that are kept as pets frequently eat diets made up of live invertebrates. Some examples of these include gut-loaded crickets, cockroaches, king mealworms, waxworms and locusts. In situations of wee spiderlings, you also may offer flightless fruit flies, as well.
Drinking Water for Mexican Red-Knee Tarantulas
Tarantulas in general aren't always the most enthusiastic of water drinkers, but it still is important to ensure that your pet constantly has cool and clean water in front of him. Replenish the water necessary, and keep it in a bowl that doesn't exceed about half of one inch in depth. If your Mexican red-knee tarantula isn't big on getting his H20, remember that these guys receive a lot of their hydration through food.
- ARKive: Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula Fact File
- A-Z Animals: Red-Knee Tarantula
- Nashville Zoo: Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula
- Spider Room: Examine a Tarantula
- Tennessee Aquarium: Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula
- WAZA: Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula
- Reptile Rescue: Tarantula Tips
- The Reptilian: Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula Care Sheet
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images