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Fire legs are best for viewing

   19 May 2017   l   Justin Steyn    l   Views: 152   l   41 days ago  


The Mexican fire leg tarantula is a beautiful red spider, best kept for viewing. Photo: exoticpets.com

There are many different types of tarantulas for collectors to choose from. 

These eight-legged large spiders range from arboreal (tree climbing) to burrowing (ground dwelling). Among the vast variety of tarantulas owners may have, no collection is complete without the Mexican fire leg.

Twanet van der Linde of the Jedtwa Wildlife Centre at Bela-Bela said that these tarantulas get their names from their bright red colouration and the severe stinging sensation its irritable hairs cause when flicked on human skin.

“The fire leg’s hair flicking defence mechanism, which is flicked from its hind legs, is slightly harsher than the other hairs all tarantulas flick. This mechanism mixed with the spider’s bright red colour is where its name comes from,” she said.

Van der Linde said despite it being related to curly hair- and white knee tarantulas, this tarantula has a slightly more agitated temperament and is best kept for viewing.

“The fire leg tarantula is a bit more aggressive than other spiders of the brachypelma genus and flick its hair when a person tries to handle it. This is as a form of defence and does not really pose any danger to humans. I would not discourage enthusiasts from purchasing one of these beautiful spiders, but they should rather be showcased than handled. This prevents stress on the animal,” Van der Linde explained.

She added that owners should consider purchasing fish tanks and beautify the living area of the tarantula before acquiring it. 

“Before placing your fire leg tarantula in its tank, make use of objects to make it more pleasurable to look at. Think of things like plastic plants, artificial skulls and wooden hides. These spiders are really beautiful and creating a pretty tank will make viewing more enjoyable.”




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