Mexican Fireleg (Brachypelma boehmei) Care Sheet

Brachypelma boehmei, the Mexican fireleg tarantula, is one of the most colorful pet tarantulas available on the market. This detailed care sheet discusses every element of keeping Mexican fireleg tarantulas as pets.

Brachypelma boehmei, commonly known as the Mexican Fireleg or Mexican Rustleg is truly one of the most beautiful tarantulas in the world.

Hailing from the Western Pacific coast of Mexico, this is a “chunky” looking spider with brilliant orange legs and carapace, contrasted against black femurs and abdomen.

Originally described by taxonomists Schmidt and Klass in 1993, this is a slow growing and long lived tarantula, which is rightly popular in the pet trade.

Brachypelma boehmei Natural Habitat

The Mexican Fireleg naturally inhabits the thorn forests of south-eastern Michoacan and north-western Guerrero state.

Here two distinct seasons are experienced; firstly the drier, cooler winter, where temperatures average around 25’C running from November to May. Following on from this comes a wetter, warmer summer with temperatures up to 32’C.

It is in this moister period of the year that the Mexican Fireleg breeds, with males often migrating over great distances to locate a suitable female. The eggsac is laid later on in the season with several hundred spiderlings being produced.

Brachypelman boehmei is a terrestrial species, often found in subterranean burrows of its own design, or alternatively thriving in scrapes under rocks or fallen trees. Here the temperature and humidity is more modest, with less impact from the more extreme weather experienced here.

It is interesting to note that Mexico is considered one of the tarantula hotspots of the world, second only to Brazil in terms of species. At the time of writing twenty different species of Brachypelma alone are known to science.

Related:  Do Tarantulas Make Noise?

Cages for the Mexican Fireleg Tarantula

The Fireleg tarantula is reasonably easy to accommodate in captivity, as it is slow-moving and reaches a modest 5-6″ in legspan. As with all tarantulas, a cage should be designed in such a way as to prioritize as much natural behaviour as possible.

brachypelma boehmei photo

While a range of plastic or glass containers have been used successfully in the past, a specialist tarantula tank measuring a minimum of 8″ deep by 12″ long is recommended for adults. This provides adequate space for the spider to move around, hunt or hide away during daylight hours.

My personal favorite type of tarantula cages are the Exo Terra and ReptiZoo ranges, which offer a very attractive yet practical solution.

They offer, among other things, variable ventilation (important to prevent mould build-up in a humid tank), a “lip” of glass below the door which helps to keep both substrate and spider in during routine maintenance, and a slightly raised base, allowing for easy heating.

REPTIZOO Glass Mini 8 Gallon Reptile Terrarium 12" x 12" x 12", Small Habitat Cage Breeder Enclosure for Leopard Gecko Tarantula Young Lizard Insects, Top Screen Ventilation & Feeding
  • Features with full view glass, this small Patend Design 8 gallon glass terrarium is convenient for feeding and having fun with your reptile or small animal pets.
  • Compact and flat-packed design mini reptile tank with top opening to prevent escape and easy feeding. With a transparent PVC tray in the bottom for holding water and substrate
  • The full screen top ventilation with thinner mesh wire allows more UVA UVB and infrared heat penetration.

Into this cage should be placed a suitable substrate which should be chosen both on its ability to moderate humidity and to facilitate a degree of burrowing.