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Q's about Mexican redknee

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by CritterLover, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. CritterLover

    CritterLover Arachnopeon

    Hello all! I have always been facinated with tarantulas and the other day I rescued one from the high school where I teach. I was afraid that some idiot kids would squish him/her or find other horridly "amusing" thing to do to it. So I took him home to set him free in the vacant lot next to my place. It was cold and rainy though so I used that as an excuse to keep him for a day or so. WOW!!! What an amazing animal!!! Now I think I may want one.

    I want a tarantula that is colorful and good for a beginner. It would seem that a Mexican redknee (aka smithi, yes?) fits that description. I still have a bit of research to do, but I am curious to hear from people who have experience with this type of tarantula.

    I dont' mean to start anything...it would seem that the handling issue is one of those never ending debates here. I would like to be able to handle my tarantula - on occasion. I know that smithi's have a reputation for the hair flicking defense, but how easy is it to set them off? Do they tend to calm down and get used to handling? I know that if handling a tarantula there is always the risk of getting bit, but how prone are the redknees to biting?

    Have any of you gotten bombarded with the hair flicking defense? What was it like and how did you deal with it? Has anyone been bitten? I have heard that it is similar to a bee sting...is this correct?

    Am I correct in thinking that a Mexican redknee would be a decent first tarantula? What would be the pros/cons to this? What have been your experiences with Mexican redknees? Problems that you have encountered? Personal advice that may not be found in caresheets?

    Andy suggestions and/or advice that you all have to offer would be great! Thanks so much!
  2. Personally note that again Personally , i would want an A. anax or A. hentzi for one that you want to be able to handle as a rookie :D i have never seen one kick hair or bite a human lol
  3. Alice

    Alice Arachnoangel


    i'd say, go for it. smithis are not hard to keep because they don't require much humidity and are a hardy species. that doesn't mean you don't have to read up on them first, though.

    as for the bite: most smithis are hard to provoke into biting, but if you get bitten nothing serious ought to happen as long as you're not allergic. quite like a bee sting, but it hurts more (information thanks to a friend who got frequently bitten by his :D). i havn't been bitten in five years of tarantula owning and occasional handling, and as long as you're careful and don't get a 'psycho' the problem of bites need not arise ;).

    urticating hairs are a more frequent problem with smithis... again, if you're not allergic, you'll be fine. a bit of itching for a few hours maybe, but nothing serious. if you're allergic though, you might be in for a world of itchy misery with added red blotches - i know what i'm talking about:rolleyes:.

    most smithis tolerate a moderate amount of handling well. if you move slowly and don't get them scared, they might nor even flick hairs - mine for example doesn't, as long as you don't frighten her.

    so get a stable juvenile with a moderate temper and you'll not regret your choice.
  4. B. smithi is an excellent first tarantula. Like you said, there are many pros and cons to handling and it's good that it seems like you have already read through some of the threads on that and have a sense of the various opinions. That said, B. smithis will readily flick hair when disturbed and even if they don't flick at you, it's easy to come in contact with the hairs just from holding one or doing tank maintenance. Everyone who has ever owned a T for any amount of time will inevitably come in contact with urticating hairs eventually. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's not pleasant either. It causes little red bumps that burn and itch like mad. Some people say that taking benedryl helps, but I tend to just let it run its course. It tends to be better in a few days. All spiders can and will bite if they feel threatened. B. smithi tends to be one of the less aggressive T's, but there is always a chance. You might want to check out the bite report section to read more about people's experiences. However, being bitten isn't a regular thing. Though I don't handle unless it's necessary, I've never experienced a bite, and it's mostly an avoidable thing. All in all, B. smithi is a great T and has very straightforward care - you can keep it at room temp with dry substrate and no concerns about monitoring humidity and they have long lifespans. I'd highly recommend them.
  5. Mike H.

    Mike H. Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Did you release the spider or do you still have it ??

    Regards, Mike :?
  6. Tegenaria

    Tegenaria Arachnodemon Old Timer

    I just think its really cool that you can find a T on the way home from work-you guys are so lucky to have such animals on your doorstep!

    B.smithii is certainly a good looking T-I think its underrated because its so common, everyone seems to have one(apart from me!)
    A Chile Rose (Grammostola rosea) is another good beginner T(I have one) but its probably not as attractivre as a B.smithii.
    How a bout a Giant White knee(Acanthoscuriia geniculata)
    I have no experence with these but theyre getting more popular. Supposed to be docile, quick growing, and are quite atractive!

  7. Mr.Scorpion

    Mr.Scorpion Arachnobaron Old Timer

    B. Smithi is excellent. Usually, you can handle it on occasion without hving hairs flicked. It will only flick them if you are truly irritating it, therefore if you gently coax it on your hand are careful, nothing should happen. As others mentioned, they are good beginners because they are from dry regions. As a bonus they have very desirable colours for a tarantula that demands so little and isnt dangerous. I have never been bitten but, I have had the hair expierience-NOT FUN. It is only fair that I mention it was my fault I had been urticate by my Rosea: A week ago I noticed "pink fluff" stuck on my G rosea's abdomen. I feared mites or fungus so I removed her from her tank and placed her on my bed. With a pair of tongs, I gently rubbed the fluff off her abdomen. Oddly enough it appeared to be multiplying. I kept rubbing more and more off. Eventually I got frustrated. I gently blew her abdomen and all the "fluff" dispersed. It revealed a big bald spot on her abdomen. I then got very bad itches in my neck. Immediately I realized how stupid I was. The fluff was urticating hair patches I kept rubbing off. The hairs itched for about two days. It was tolerable but very irritating. Again, even with me rubbing her abdomen she did not kick the hairs proving how docile she was. I urticated myself.
  8. Mushroom Spore

    Mushroom Spore Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Woah there. Fast-growing and pretty, yes, but as I understand it they're anything but docile. :)
  9. Alice

    Alice Arachnoangel

    lol, nice story mr. scorpion {D.

    i wouldn't exactly recommend a. geniculata for a beginner who wants to occasionally handle his t. ALL genis i know are little devils, flicking hairs like mad and biting....
  10. GartenSpinnen

    GartenSpinnen Arachnoprince Old Timer

    B. smithi was my first tarantula and they make an excellent first. Mine is one of my most docile species, i feel more comfortable around her than even my G. roseas, which is saying a lot because they both are like pet rocks. They also are one of my most colorful species, and they may be docile but certainly not to any crickets you drop in with them! I would definately keep that tarantula, it is a win situation any way you look at it. As for hair flicking, some individuals flick more than others, but mine only flicks if she is close to a molt, and i would much rather deal with my B. smithi flicking hairs than my OBT... ANY day!!!! I hope you keep her, you will like her...
  11. Tegenaria

    Tegenaria Arachnodemon Old Timer

    Oh so i was misinformed. Every site i go on promotes them as ideal starter Ts-and i dont just mean commercial sites.
    I nearly got one too, anyone else have anything to add on this species?
    (With apologies for hijacking this thread)
  12. Windchaser

    Windchaser Arachnoking Old Timer

    I would be interested in the answer to this as well. Unless you live in the native habitat of the B. smithi releasing it to the wild was a very irresponsible thing to do for a variety of reasons.
  13. CritterLover

    CritterLover Arachnopeon

    LOL {D Cute story about urticating yourself! Oops!

    I think I was a bit misunderstood about the T I found. The one I found was a Texas brown (I think) - definately NOT a smithi. I would NEVER even consider releasing an animal in a place where it is not native! Goodness, that leads to all kinds of problesm for the animal released and for the other animals/eco-system that is not prepared to deal with it. No no no...I live down in the South Padre Island/Mexico area of Texas so T's are native down here. I've seen one or two before and watched them for a while, but I wanted to relocate the one I found at school for it's own safety. Yes, I set him free yesterday...I am very much against taking a wild animal into captivity unless necessary. Hence, I am looking into purchasing a CB smithi.

    Thanks for all the feedback! It sounds like I am on the right track thinking of a smithi for a first. Does anyone know of any good online breeders that I could check out? Scott's tarantulas seems to be the only one that I can find. Looks like a good site, but I like to look around and see what my options are.

    One other question...I have read that the females can live up to 25-30 years. What about the males? I know that they have shorter lifespans, but haven't found any resources saying how much shorter.

    Again, thanks for all your feedback. Seems like you all have a good group here!
  14. Mushroom Spore

    Mushroom Spore Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    They ARE good starter species. Just not a species for handling. :) Just like C. cyaneopubescens and L. parahybana.
  15. Kriegan

    Kriegan Arachnobaron

    Check out the arachnolinks section under us dealers, you'll see there a lot of reputable dealers to purchase T's from.
  16. Windchaser

    Windchaser Arachnoking Old Timer

    Male Brachypelma spp. will tend to mature between five and seven years old. Depending on the conditions they are kept, they can mature a little sooner. It would be extremely rare to have a male live longer than ten years old.