Mexican Blood Leg Tarantula – Aphonopelma bicoloratum

The Mexican blood leg tarantula is beautiful and distinctive. This belongs to the new world tarantula is known for its docile nature and hardiness. The Mexican Blood Leg or Mexican Beauty Tarantula is often mistaken for the Brachypelma boehmei and whose common name in the hobby is the Mexican Fire Leg, but sometimes labeled the Mexican Blood Leg as well. Sometimes confused with Brachypelma due to its similar markings, this species is quite different indeed. It’s uncommon in the hobby, but very hardy and docile. It’s a very slow-growing species, so it’ll take you a while to see a return on your investment.

Mexican Blood Leg Tarantula

A slow-moving, heavy-bodied tarantula is typically slower-moving as well. Different-sized slings will have different preferences. Smaller ones may prefer to burrow, while larger specimens are often out in the open for viewing. The arachnoid or tarantula can be a favorite among veteran hobbyists and beginners alike. 

Growth and Size

The Mexican Blood spider is a little smaller when fully grown, and its females grow to about 5 inches while males grow to 4 inches. Females can live for up to 20-25 years while most males seem to live for only 5-7 years. This species grows very slowly. It’s similar to most other species in the genus Aphonopelma. Spiderlings start about an inch and a half long and can reach up to 5 inches in length when they mature.

IdentifiedStruchen, Brandle, Schmidt, 1996
Common NameMexican Blood Leg
OriginMexico (New World)
LifestyleTerrestrial, Opportunistic Burrower
Max Size4-5″
HumidityLow to Medium

Behavior and Temperament

This is one of the most common spider species, but they are very docile. They don’t cause any problems unless their urticating hairs get tangled up in your clothes and cause irritation. Urticating hairs is quite irritating. If you get them on your skin, you’ll probably have a hard time getting them out.

There are lots of side effects when using a tarantula and the ones I’ve mentioned above are the more common ones. Keep your tarantulas away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. The most distinctive feature of the Aphonopelma bicoloratum is that it is browner in color than the boehmei. However, it is difficult to distinguish the two because their habitats are so similar. Though they look similar to the Brachypelma boehmei, the Aphonopelma bicoloratum has a more orange color as compared to the boehmei’s deeper red coloration. Though they are slow growing, they are a very docile species.

Spiderlings and juveniles are fairly timid at times. They usually run into their burrow when they are disturbed, but as they get older they are bolder and more comfortable with their surroundings.

Housing and Enclosure of Aphonopelma bicoloratum

Tarantulas don’t need much space. They like to live alone and are active for only a short time at any given time. If you’re interested in keeping a Mexican Blood leg tarantula, then a 5- to 10-gallon aquarium works best. Spider webs typically start at a height of about a foot off the ground. It is not always better to have a larger tank. Having a large tank can make it more difficult for the spider to find its prey. Your tank should have a tightly fitting screen that allows for good air circulation. A cool place to get in and out of the water, add a floating log or other materials, so you can get in and out of the tank easily.

The tank humidity level should be between 65% and 70%, which can be measured with a hygrometer. If you need to raise the humidity level in your aquarium, you can do so with water from a spray bottle. Furthermore, the tank temperature should be around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 30 degrees Celsius). The ideal to create a thermal gradient in the tank is to set up the side of the tank that’s warmer than the other.

To achieve this, place a heat mat or ceramic heat emitter on one side of the tank, keeping that side at around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s easy to use a regular thermometer and regularly checks the temperature of your fish tank.

In general, it’s important to keep your aquarium clean. At least twice a year, you should clean the entire enclosure. Take the time to properly store the food after you’ve eaten it, and make sure to remove it within 24 hours so that the environment is kept clean.


Someadults may adopt a hide or sling but slings prefer to burrow. Coco fiber, vermiculite, peat moss, and/or potting soil (or a mix) are all great substrate choices. Please make sure the substrate you choose is chemical/fertilizer and pesticide free. Do not use sand, pebbles, rocks or wood chips, or anything else that could potentially hurt or injure the tarantula. In many cases, a larger specimen would rather adopt or retrofit an existing hide than create its own from the deep substrate.

The specimen will dig down one side of the cork tube to its liking. When the spider’s ready to leave the container, he knows his home is a safe place.

Spiderlings love to dig their own homes. They do this by excavating a burrow and laying down their web. A tarantula that digs its tunnels is called an obligate burrower. We recommend using shallow, semi-moist substrates to encourage DLS to explore and crawl back out from their hiding places. The substrate and sand should dry out as needed. The Terrarium Spiderling and Terrestrial Juvenile Enclosure Kit can be set up to encourage burrowing.


Larger spiders with legs that can hold onto the ground 2” or over may be provided with shallow dishes of water. The water bowl needs to be cleaned out and the water should be changed after each use.


Adult Mexican blood leg tarantulas consume a meal every 10-18 days. Spiderlings should eat more often, every 7 to 14 days. The best food for these tarantulas is crickets. Mealworms and roaches are also good for pets, but they’re not as tasty for dogs as crickets. Spiders that are less than 1/3” in size may only be able to consume food small enough for it to overpower, so it’s advised to use pre-killed. We use fresh-hatched “pinhead” rusty red roaches for feeding Mexican tarantula.

Make sure your tarantula enclosure is clean, and do not leave any food waste in it. Pests will soon take advantage of the condition and will build nests and populations. The substrate should not be changed unless it is moldy, overly filthy, or otherwise unfit for the tarantula. It’s best to remove uneaten prey items right away because they are likely to have parasites in them that can cause sickness. It’s okay to leave tarantulas in their enclosures while they are in “harvest mode” as long as you aren’t causing them any undue stress or discomfort.


Some species of tarantulas are easy to breed in captivity. You just have to get a mature male and a mature female together. You must put the male in the female’s enclosure if all goes well he will hold the female’s fangs with his tibial hooks and inject his sperm into the female. Separate the males as soon as possible, or the females may try to eat the males.

When the eggs are produced by the female they must be fertilized. You have to take the egg sack from the female, put it in the incubator, and when it’s ready, you have to cut it. You have to remove the sling from its wrapping and place it in an individual container.

Common Health Problems

Tarantulas are typically hardy pets that rarely display any health problems when kept in the proper environment and provide them good food. You’ll have to learn about how these tarantulas behave and how you can keep them healthy when they’re living in your home or yard. Falling from a great height is one of the biggest threats to your pet tarantula’s health. If a fall causes severe internal injuries it can be fatal. To prevent spider mites, keep your spider in a securely covered tank and be extremely careful with its handling.

These Mexican Fire Leg tarantulas go through a molt, or shedding of their outer covering, so they’ll be on their backs, curled up with their legs raised. Don’t give your spider any live prey while it’s undergoing its molt. If you do, you might injure it and it could die. Also, don’t touch them during this time. Let the spider recover from its last molting process. Don’t worry if it doesn’t eat in a while. Many spiders start to molt in the autumn, though they usually don’t complete their molt until the following spring.

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