Mexican Fireleg growth study

Yep, still lurking around, despite the fact I’ve officially stopped playing games since early summer…

Anywhoo, on to the point of this thread… It has been speculated by many enthusiasts and arachnologists that the Mexican Fireleg isin’t as long lived as the Mexican Painted Red Leg and Mexican Red Knee. Given this species was officially described/identified in 1993, its likely no one has kept a specimen from egg to old age. So how long does a female of this species actually live ? Guesses are from 20 to 25 years. Red Knees are known to live up to 30 while there was a case of a Painted Red Leg believed to be in the excess of 35 years of age when it passed on.

Currently since I got her back in February, she has molted twice in my care and seems due for another in the coming days/weeks. She has refused food for the first time today in 4 months, so this is a sure sign she’ll be molting soon-ish.

Let’s have a look at her growth since I got her, shall we ?

This is Fireball during its first week in care. I was actually surprised when she caught a cricket when I wasn’t looking.

This is Fireball after the first molt in my care. She has grown and gained much color since.

And Fireball’s 2nd molt. She gets bigger and more colorful as she grows.

Not long after her 2nd moult, an infestation of mites was discovered. She was immediately transferred to a new, bigger cage.

Was she bothered by this sudden move ? Not so much. She was actually grooming herself on the first evening in her new cage.

So I’ve had her for more than 8 months now. It’s only recently that it was confirmed that she was 100% female. As with other Mexican Red-legged species, females are expected to live 20 years or more in captivity. How long will Fireball live ? Time will tell.

Words cannot express the joy of having this particular spider as the life-long pet to accompany me for the next two decades. So. Darn. Beautiful.

Does she spin web? And what care do you have to provide, besides getting her food, water and controlling temperature?

That’s awesome that this species can live 20 years.

I admire people like you. I really do.

Ren : This species, like a lot of North American tarantulas do not spin web except for two distinct occasions : To perserve their food and to molt. They don’t always web for these occasions, but usually do.

As far as caring for it, this is easier than a house plant :stuck_out_tongue: I usually feer her 2-3 crickets every week with the occasional mealworm for variety. I fill/clean the water dish once a week with fresh distilled water. As for temperatures, standard room temperature suits it fine. She has a small log she can hide under if she wants but spends most of her time sitting out in the open looking pretty. She is kept on dry coconut fiber that is packed firmly and as long as I remove the prey remains every week, the instances of mites are near inexistant. Unlike her Painted Red Leg and Red Knee cousins which are reknown to be unbelieavably docile, she tends to be slightly nervous and may kick irritating hairs from her abdomen of bothered too much.

Jettatura : I consider the Red Leg Group of Mexican tarantulas the absolute best appartment pets. They make no noise, don’t smell and don’t make much waste. Given their hardy and gentle nature, they are incredibly easy to care for.

To everyone else : You certainly recall I had at least 5 diffrent species in my care. I’ve recently sold all the others due to beginning to feel it was slowly becoming a chore to care for all of them. So keeping the one with the best lifespan potential was the most logical solution to my problem. I’m quite relieved now that I only have this pretty girl to look after, so I can enjoy her company to the max for years to come.

You should take a video when it starts to molt next time.

Given it may take several hours for her to molt and that she is likely to do this during the night, chances are I won’t be able to film it. If anything, her post-molt coloration is incredible and is quite worthy of being caught on video.

How do they come up with names like Fireleg? Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty cool, but it doesn’t make me think of spiders when I hear it. Then again, stranger things happen in biology: :smiley:

And smart decision of limiting your number of pets. My best friend’s family at one point had over a dozen cats (he should have listened to me when I told him to get them fixed.) They ended up having to give away like half of them. Oh and new cats keep showing up, probably attracted by the rest like teens to a rave. :stuck_out_tongue:

PS: you don’t have to play games to post here. Your articles are always fascinating.

Hi Wil,

unfortunately, common names quickly become problematic.

Red Knee (Brachypelma smithi)
Red Leg (Brachypelma emilia)
Fireleg (Brachypelma boehmei)
Flame Knee (Brachypelma auratum)
Orange Beauty (Brachypelma baumgarteni)
Red Rump (Brachypelma vagans)

These common names are too similar, yet they represent COMPLETELY deffirent species.

One tarantula to care for is more than enough. While I don’t expect it to live as long as B. smithi and B. emilia… I’ll enjoy what B. boehmei can offer me.

It’s believed that the tarantulas native to the U.S.A. live even longer. Probably more than 40 years for a female O.o

Edit : A few examples…

Aphonopelma hentzi (Oklahoma Brown)
Aphonopelma bicoloratum (Mexican Bloodleg)
Aphonopelma moderatum (Rio Grande Gold)
Aphonopelma chalcodes (Desert Blonde)

Yeah… common names are simply confusing for the most part.

I still think a video would be cool.

Here’s one sped up… This isin’t mine, btw.

Heh, that reminded me of those “Magical World of Disney” TV shows I saw as a kid, which often had nature documentaries following the lives of animals (even bugs) and gave them narrations and music. Pretty cool.

That was amazing. How did it even do that? What do you do with left over shell?

I have to admit, I am quite terrified of spiders (especially at that size) however that was quite an amazing video and your pictures are pretty awesome too! I did feel pretty uncomfortable watching the video… but an interesting pet none-the-less! :stuck_out_tongue:

My American Fireleg grew about 7.5 inches from reading this thread

It started molting too, didn’t it? Eeeew. You nasty.

Oh god… the verbal imagery is incinerating my brain! I’m going to go bang my head against a wall for a few hours

Oh for cryin’ out loud ! Zepp… what happened ? I don’t recall you being such a troll in the good ol’ days.

At any case… still no molt from Fireball. Guess she still ain’t in pre-moult. I’ll know for sure when I toss in a cricket or two later this weekend.

While we’re on this, this new novelty account is probably the worst one you’ve made yet, zep :frowning: The posts are like a billion pages long and while I’m sure you put a lot of effort into them I’m also pretty sure that 99% of us don’t even bother reading them

I appreciate that you think I put effort into anything, but they are all just copy/pastes from random conservative blogs

And here I am thinking you couldn’t get any more disappointing.