Why is my Brachypelma smithi so aggressive?

Sageweast

Arachnopeon
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Aug 29, 2016
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8
Hi guys! I've been reading some threads on here regarding temperament of tarantulas and whether or not holding them can calm them down a bit and the answer seems to be "definitely not". So, that being said, my Mexican red knee is so aggressive and ornery it's almost funny sometimes. Handling her is certainly out of question, but I'm just wanting to know why she is like that. From what I understand, the Brachypelma smithi are supposed to be really docile and I would like to know what went wrong with her!!! Just out of plain curiosity, I know there's no changing Petunia.. Lol. Thanks so much!
 

kooky

Arachnosquire
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Aug 4, 2016
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91
well each t is different. As for handling, it definitely does not calm a t down from my knowledge. They don't get any pleasure from being handled, its only for the owners pleasure. Some people can get quite docile OW species and defensive NW. Every t is different. If a T doesn't feel secure in its environment it can become much more defensive also.
 

TownesVanZandt

Arachnoprince
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May 12, 2015
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Individual specimens varies in temperament and I don´t believe something "went wrong" with your spider. You might just have a more than average defensive specimen, that´s all ;). Nothing to worry about, just avoid handling her (as you should avoid handling any tarantula).
 

Nephrite

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Mar 1, 2016
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148
The term docile is overused and overrated in this hobby. The most "docile" T could whip up a threat posture the next second. Yes, Brachypelmas, are more of the calm side of T's but it all depends how they're feeling that day. All T's have react differently and have different personalities. My "docile" G Rosea is calm one day when I'm cleaning her waterbowl, and trying to bite my tongs the next day. It depends on what T's think has touched them; They either don't care, think it's a predator and show their fangs, think it's prey and bite whatever moved, or might just stand still scared to death, hoping we don't see them when they don't move. As for your T, there are many reasons he might be skittish/defensive.
1: He might be in premolt
2:One of the thing I mentioned before
3: Or he might be just scared for his dear life, that a huge five fingered hand is inside their enclosure trying to eat them.
Smithi's tend to be skittish and hair kickers at young ages, and tend to calm down when they're older. (Atleast in my experiences)
 

Goodlukwitthat

Arachnoknight
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Mar 10, 2015
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Could also be the fact it feels safe in it's home and anything that comes near is a threat and that it's just defending it's "safe place"
 

REEFSPIDER

Arachnobaron
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May 6, 2016
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412
Someone once said if your docile t is for no reason acting like a crazed maniac you've done a good job because the t is now defending its enclosure as its territory. So you did a good job caring for it and setting up its habitat.
 

Storm76

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Despite what many think tarantulas do have their very own personality traits - and once you start keeping some you quickly realize that for yourself. However, that T isn't "aggresive", if at all it's defensive and doesn't like to be disturbed. That being said...exactly why do say this about here? What kind of situations does she react in a way that makes you ask this in the 1st place? Prodded her, touched her? Please elaborate.
 

Estein

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Feb 11, 2016
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154
Besides having individual personalities, Ts' moods can also vary day to day, as others have alluded to. Sounds like you're lucky enough to have a T that will always be interesting!
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
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Sep 22, 2015
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385
I would just say yours gets terrified more easily is all. I don't like to use the term 'scared' when it comes to T's because of the perception we have with the word. We use the term for things that we do not consider life threatening for ourselves, to use that term for T's seems as though it really doesn't drive the point home to the effect that we can have on our T's when they become defensive. Generally when a T produces it's defensive behavior it's because it's put into a terrified state where it fears for it's life. Your's simply jumps to the 'terrified for it's life' state more so then others do.
 

magicmed

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
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403
Just because I didn't see anyone mention this as a possible cause, sometimes husbandry being off can affect a T's temperament. Can you post a picture of the enclosure? If it's too humid it may be uncomfortable, if it doesn't have a hide or enough substrate it could feel vulnerable which will cause stress.

Aside from that as others have mentioned, personality varies specimen to specimen.
 

Poec54

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Could also be the fact it feels safe in it's home and anything that comes near is a threat and that it's just defending it's "safe place"

+1. The cage is the tarantula's territory and the spider owner is an intruder every time they open the lid. Their reactions are to run, hide, kick hairs, stand up in a defensive pose, etc. They do everything they can to tell you you're not welcome in their home.
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
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Apr 8, 2016
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Because its a badass. Maybe an OBT in disguise?


I joke.

Sometimes you will get a more bold specimen than the norm. Just watch your fingers
 

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
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Because its a badass. Maybe an OBT in disguise?


I joke.

Sometimes you will get a more bold specimen than the norm. Just watch your fingers
True my man :)

Time for nonsense, now:


Imagine the badass 'Brachy' with Gomez & this epic theme :-s
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
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Jul 27, 2016
Messages
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My Brachypelma Smithi doesn't move much. I keep mine with dry substrate and full water bowl and a hide (that it rarely uses). I will find it in a different spot each day from the day before, but it will stay in the same position for quite a few hours. I know mine also drinks a lot of water. I try not to bother it much other than to admire it's beauty. It gets natural lighting through closed blinds and enjoys quiet peaceful days until the next cricket arrives. Considering this one came from Petco as an adult T, I wasn't sure what to expect.

Edit* Mine will move to the opposite side of the container when I drop in the cricket. Beyond making sure you have all the basics set up it is probably just a personality (behavior) difference for each T.
 
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AphonopelmaTX

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Hi guys! I've been reading some threads on here regarding temperament of tarantulas and whether or not holding them can calm them down a bit and the answer seems to be "definitely not". So, that being said, my Mexican red knee is so aggressive and ornery it's almost funny sometimes. Handling her is certainly out of question, but I'm just wanting to know why she is like that. From what I understand, the Brachypelma smithi are supposed to be really docile and I would like to know what went wrong with her!!! Just out of plain curiosity, I know there's no changing Petunia.. Lol. Thanks so much!
Out of curiosity, what is it doing that makes you think it is being defensive/ aggressive? I ask because I have seen many tarantula videos on YouTube of feeding and rehousing and in most cases the person preforming the action is misinterpreting the behavior. For example, some poke and prod their tarantula's front legs and when it raises them in an attempt to get away from the prodding device (tweezers, stick, etc.), it is wrongly interpreted as a defensive posture. It would seem anytime a tarantula raises it's legs off of the ground when being prodded, it's considered a defensive posture. Also I have noticed, again when being poked and prodded, a tarantula will head to the water dish and the owner will say "it's going for a drink" when in actuality it is trying to get away from the prodding. Then yet aggressive feeding responses are sometimes confused as defensive behavior when watering as the tarantula mistakes the water for food. The point is sometimes a keeper misinterprets behavior wrongly. Perhaps some keepers want their spiders to be more interesting than they really are. Sometimes I feel I got the most defensive B. smithi out there since it is very easily agitated, but the most it does is run around kicking hairs in the air.
 

Giles52

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
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One of the main reasons I wanted a B. Smithi for my first T was because they were toted as being so "docile". I wouldn't call mine aggressive, but he didn't really fit my (probably very unrealistic) idea of what docile means. He's never attacked me (tweezers or paint brush) but he'll usually kick some hairs for the first few seconds, and then it's like he gives up. Like, oh yeah...you again. Aren't you done messing with my stuff yet? After those first few seconds, he usually (begrudgingly) moves where I need him to, or he goes into his hide until I leave. So I think the others are right when they say that every T has its own temperament, and mood swings. How long have you had yours? Maybe it's a matter of just getting to know that individual T and what it will and won't put up with.
 

Jeff23

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Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
One of the main reasons I wanted a B. Smithi for my first T was because they were toted as being so "docile". I wouldn't call mine aggressive, but he didn't really fit my (probably very unrealistic) idea of what docile means. He's never attacked me (tweezers or paint brush) but he'll usually kick some hairs for the first few seconds, and then it's like he gives up. Like, oh yeah...you again. Aren't you done messing with my stuff yet? After those first few seconds, he usually (begrudgingly) moves where I need him to, or he goes into his hide until I leave. So I think the others are right when they say that every T has its own temperament, and mood swings. How long have you had yours? Maybe it's a matter of just getting to know that individual T and what it will and won't put up with.
I think mine would probably be the same way on the hairs if I started messing with its environment. But the only time I saw mine get scared was when I accidentally bumped the container a little to hard one time. I usually do the swap of the water bowl when I drop a cricket in the container. So far this seems to have worked to keep the spider partially distracted. I haven't needed to do any major maintenance yet.
 
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