Mexican Red Rump Tarantula – Brachypelma vagans
This species has the widest range of all Brachypelma species, from the Yucatan peninsula to northeastern Costa Rica. As a result, they are very adaptable to a variety of environmental conditions.
B. vagans reproduces easily, grows more quickly than the more “desert-oriented” species of Brachypelma, and is therefore readily available as captive bred.
Range: Huge. Most of southern Mexico, from Oaxaca east to Campeche. Probably as far north as Tampico, and maybe as far south as Central America, into the northeastern lowlands of Costa Rica.
Habitat: Varies greatly. Thrives in the soft earth of tropical forest as well as semi-arid, rocky scrub. B. vagans was able to establish itself in the sub-tropical, sandy and damp soil of Central Florida.
Size: Medium tarantula. Fully grown, they’re about 5″ to 5 3/4″ in legspan.
Attitude: Usually very docile and slow-moving, but prone to occasional fits of hair flicking or skittishness.
Dwelling: Opportunistic burrowers that may use a provided shelter. Many well-acclimated captive individuals simply reside in the open, whether or not a shelter or deep substrate is provided. I have noticed that spiderlings burrow more readily.
In the wild, B. vagans spends the majority of its life in burrows.
Ideal Setup: A variety of containers will work. If desired, a shallow enclosure with just a thin layer of substrate is fine, even for breeding. Standard room humidity is fine. Keep the temp around 75-80 degrees F if possible. For breeding, I have found it helpful to raise temperatures to 80-85F and increase humidity after mating.
Food: Any bugs that haven’t been exposed to pesticides (3-5 crickets a week for adults). B. vagans is not a shy feeder and will readily consume larger prey.