The Mexican Pink tarantula (Brachypelma klaasi) fits the standard Brachypelma tarantula profile; chunky appearance, docile temperament and bright colors.
As the common name suggests, the Mexican Pink is clothed in bright hairs over a black background. While keepers disagree about whether these really look pink, nobody would deny what a beautiful tarantula species this is.
Many of these factors help to make Brachypelma klaasi an ideal pet tarantula for many people, being easily handled with a very attractive appearance. They can also be quite forgiving in terms of captive environment.
At the same time, however, it is worth highlighting that this is considered one of the rarest Brachypelma tarantulas – both in the wild and in the hobby. Specimens are only rarely available and can be expensive.
If you’re serious tarantula hobbyist who is lucky enough to stumble across a Mexican Pink then you’d be well-advised to snap it up before someone else pips you to the post. But before you do that let’s look at how to keep this beautiful species in our detailed care sheet…
Wild Habitat of Brachypelma klaasi
The Mexican Pink tarantula is named Brachypelma klaasi after Peter Klaas, who originally collected this species in the wild. The Mexican Pink is found in a very small range in Mexico, just south of the area where the Mexican Red Leg is encountered. According to scientific investigations it is found in the coastal areas of Colima and Jalisco.
Rick West reports in an article that this fossorial species is typically found in burrows or “under fallen logs, large rocks, inside old tree stumps and large tree roots”. It is believed that this species is just as likely to modify an existing burrow built by small mammals as it is to build one from scratch, and field studies suggest their burrows tend to vary between 20cm and 60cm in overall length.
It is interesting to note that scientists have recorded Brachypelma klaasi mating occurring in the wild. They found that males may lay web around the female’s burrow, over her own web.
It has been theorized that this helps to “disguise” the female burrow, as it has been noted that other males on the hunt for a mate will wander straight past oblivious to the large adult female resting in a nearby hole. This may help to ensure that the successful male guarantees the progeny will be his own, rather than having to compete against other males.
Mexican Pink Tarantula Housing
For example, up until a year or so I used plastic Really Useful Boxes for all my terrestrial tarantulas. These are sturdy containers with handles that “lock” the lid shut. With a few holes drilled they make ideal housing for ground-dwelling tarantulas.
More recently, however, I have moved house and now have a dedicated “animal room” with more than enough space for rather more practical and appealing housing. Now I house all my large Brachypelma specimens in Exo Terra or ReptiZoo glass vivariums which offer much better visibility and ventilation. The front-opening doors also speed up my feeding routine as I don’t need to constantly unstack piles of plastic containers.
- 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.
Alternatively Kritter Keepers can be used safely for Brachypelma klassi, and permit a generous depth of substrate for burrowing.
- Rectangular Kritter Keepers have self-locking lids with hinged viewer/ feeder windows
- Capacity: 5.90 GAlarge. Size: 15 3/4-inch large by 9 3/8-inch width by 12 1/2-inch height
- Kritter Keepers have well-ventilated lids in assorted colors
Brachypelma klaasi is a medium-sized tarantula as an adult, achieving a legspan of around 5”. This means that a huge cage is unnecessary, with a cage of just 8”x8” being quite acceptable for this species.
On the other hand, in recent years I have moved ever more towards naturalistic setups. For these I use cages of roughly 30cm x 30cm floor space, in which I can add suitable hides and burrowing opportunities. Fortunately Exo Terra make a 30cm cube cage which is now my “go to” housing for all but the largest ground-dwelling tarantulas.
Heating & Temperature
The areas of Mexico where the Mexican Pink tarantula is encountered gets quite warm, and so a temperature of around 24-28’C seems to suit this species well.
It can be useful to pay close attention to your tarantula’s behavior. If you find that your spider spends their whole life pressed flat against the hottest part of the cage then you should assume that they would benefit from increased warmth.
The reverse is also true; if you find that your Mexican Pink tarantula is squashed up in the coldest part of the cage then you may want to reduce the temperature in their cage.
It goes without saying that a thermometer can be useful for monitoring the temperature in your Brachypelma klaasi cage. As the weather warms up you may also want to consider investing in a suitable thermostat which allows you to control the internal temperature of your tarantula cage with more accuracy.
This can be particularly beneficial as winter starts turning to spring, and the temperature begins to rise. A good quality thermostat will gently turn down the warmth produced by your heater, preventing your spider from overheating on hotter days.
Water & Humidity
I recommend that you provide juvenile and adult Mexican Pink tarantulas with a low water bowl from which they can drink. In contrast to some “experts” I don’t advise that you fill the water bowl with cotton wool, moisture beads or anything fancy. Fresh water alone is enough; after 20+ years of keeping tarantulas I have yet to experience one that drowned in a shallow water bowl.
At the same time it is important to consider the ventilation of your Mexican Pink cage; thanks to holes or a mesh grille the moist air should gently escape, allowing the cage to dry out between sprayings. In the warm environment of a Brachypelma klaasi cage this is only necessary once or twice a week.
While the Mexican Pink will naturally burrow in the wild, in captivity this species seems just as happy to hide away from sight under a piece of cork bark or suchlike. Providing at least one hide is therefore recommended.
Even better, provide two different hides. One can be placed in the hot end of the cage and the other at the cooler end, so your tarantula is free to pick and choose which hiding area suits them best.
Standard tarantula substrates work well for this species, with coconut fibre or peat-free compost being two of the best possible options. If you have the space then consider providing a healthy depth of substrate so that your spider has the opportunity to burrow as it would in the wild.
- ECO-FRIENDLY ORGANIC and 100% BIODEGRADABLE unlike some reptile substrates that are contributing to deforestation and then go to the landfill
- INCREASES HUMIDITY for animals that need moderate to high humidity
- ABSORBENT composition allows it to soak up messes and odors, leaving a cleaner habitat for your pet
Feeding Brachypelma klaasi
The Mexican Pink tarantula is a reasonably hearty feeder, though like it’s cousins this tends to be a reasonably slow growing (but long-lived) tarantula species. As a result, they won’t typically eat as frequently as the faster growing species like the Salmon Pink or Brazilian White Knee. For adults, a feeding once every week or so is suitable, while juveniles may eat two or three times each week.
Like all tarantulas Brachypelma klaasi is carnivorous and will eat almost anything it can subdue in the wild. In captivity, a diet of live insects should be their staple diet. As the Mexican Pink will go off food around a moult, and may sometimes just stop eating at random for a few weeks, care should be taken to remove any uneaten food.
Left to their own devices, any roaches or crickets left in the cage may stress out or spider, or alternatively may die thanks to a lack of food themselves, encouraging the growth of mites and bacteria within the cage.
For this purpose a pair on long forceps can be handy. I keep a couple of pairs of 30cm long forceps in my “animal room” which can help me to retrieve uneaten insects from any tight spaces.
Handling Mexican Pink Tarantulas
In contrast to many of the tarantulas I have written about here in recent months (such as the King Baboon or Singapore Blue) the Mexican Pink can actually make an ideal pet tarantula for people looking to hold their pet. Brachypelma klaasi is best described as calm, slow moving and docile.
Handling such a tarantula is quite simple. The easiest option is simply to hold out a flat hand infront of them while gently coaxing them forward from behind with a pen or pair of forceps. They will walk forward onto your hand and can then be lifted out of their cage.
When handling any species of tarantula bear in mind that dropping your spider can cause serious issues - including death. To keep your spider safe it therefore makes sense to hold your Brachypelma klaasi over a low, soft surface such as a bed or couch.
A tarantula dropped from a height onto a solid surface can rupture their abdomen, and very few tarantulas survive such an experience. You have been warned!
Photo by snakecollector
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