Mexican Red Rump Tarantula – Tliltocatl vagans

Tliltocatl vagans is also known as the Mexican Red Rump tarantula. This newly reclassified species was formerly classified as Brachypelma vagans. This is a very docile tarantula. You should give it a chance to show off its colors. This species of spider is extremely hardy. It’s great for beginners and intermediate keepers, and they can also live for decades.

Mexican Red Rump tarantula

Many people love to raise a tarantula. To them, the experience of watching their spiderlings develop into adults is a big part of the fun of keeping a tarantula. If you wait, they’ll eventually reach adult size, about 3/4-1 1/2″ in body length, and you’ll need to set up a proper enclosure. After 1 1/2-2″ the specimens are usually more prominent. It’s important to note that these are just estimates and it varies from specimen to specimen. What a great feeling to see how a timid little baby tarantula will grow to be a fearsome, black-bodied predator!

Life Span and Size

The Mexican Red Rump tarantula grows slowly in captivity and females reach about 10″ with extremely long legs and a large abdomen, making them one of the biggest tarantulas in the world. It is possible for males to live as long as eight years and reach sexual maturity at four years.

Females have an average life span of around 20-25 years, and they reach sexual maturity after about 7 years. Females typically lay egg sacks with anywhere from 100-300 eggs though some unconfirmed reports have stated there can be up to 500-600.

Interesting Fact about Mexican Red Rump Tarantula

When specimens of Tliltocatl vagans were found in 1996 living in the wilds of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, scientists realized they were no ordinary spiders. This Tliltocatl vagans is now considered to be an established non-native species, even though its numbers have been dwindling due to habitat loss and pesticide use.

Scientific NameTliltocatl vagans
Common NameMexican Red Rump
Origin New World.
Adult Size4.75-6″+
Growth speedSlow
LongevityMales 6+ years, females 20-40 years
TemperamentDocile yet skittish
Bite potency Mild
Urticating hairsYes
Ideal Temperature70 to 75°
HumidityLow to Medium

The enclosure of Mexican Red Rump Tarantula

To keep spiderlings you should keep them in an acrylic box or container filled up about halfway with a substrate that’s been sterilized. They’re usually under two inches in leg span.

You should keep the substrate a little damp, like with most slings, and provide a hide and a small water dish if possible. If you leave the snake in your natural habitat and she molds or grows bigger than 2”, then transfer her to an acrylic terrestrial habitat. These enclosures should be filled about halfway with the substrate, provide a hide and water dish, and have no cover over the top of them. It should be possible to see the substrate when the animal comes out of the den. Fill the enclosure with soil, a hide, and a water dish. Water the plants and let them dry completely before overwatering again.

Tarantula enclosures should have good ventilation and safety should be a top priority when designing and choosing your tarantula enclosure. Your enclosure should be a little taller than your spider so that it’s easy for you to remove the spider from it when the spider is ready to mate.

Mexican Red Rump tarantula

For spiderlings under about 1-1 1/2,” we recommend the Terrarium or Terrarium Enclosure Kit. The Terrarium-1 for Juvenile specimens should be large enough to accommodate your specimen (we recommend the Terrarium-1, as well as the Terrarium-2 if you need a bigger enclosure) but is not too big that your spider will have trouble moving around it. You should provide at least 1 liter of substrate for each enclosure, depending on the size of your tarantula. This is how much substrate the terrarium will hold when you use the Terrarium-2 to put a large tarantula. A good rule of thumb is to leave no more than twice the leg span of the tarantula between the substrate and the top of the enclosure.


Coco fiber, vermiculite, peat moss, and/or potting soil are all excellent substrate choices for the Mexican Red Rump tarantula. You’ll want to ensure that the substrate is organic, chemical-free, and chemical-free for plants. We never use sand, pebbles, rocks, or wood chips when we’re doing an entomology demo in the field.

Many of our larger Mexican Red Rump tarantulas are very happy to adopt or retrofit a pre-existing hide. They will go into the substrate first, and then cover it up with their own hides. The specimen digs into the side of the cork tube like it was his favorite playground. The specimen will dig a hole in one side of the cork tube to its liking. These “spider houses” are often used by small spider species to help them establish and grow.

When baby spiderlings want to make their own home, they may dig out a burrow. A tarantula that burrows like this is called an obligate burrower. Tarantulas should be kept in a container of some kind that is at least half filled with the substrate that is moist enough to encourage their natural self-cleaning behavior of scraping Both the terrestrial spiderling and terrestrial juvenile enclosure kits can be set up to encourage burrowing.


Smaller spiders need not have a shallow water dish, but larger spiders should have one. After each use, the water bowl should be rinsed clean. If you have a Tliltocatl vagans as a pet it may or may not require more frequent misting than if it was an arboreal species. I’d recommend keeping one corner of the enclosure lightly misted if you don’t have a water bowl.

Feeding of Tliltocatl vagans 

Some species of tarantula eat their prey every 2-5 days, while other species may only eat every 1-2 weeks. The spiderlings should eat and feed usually, every 5-10 days. Adults may be fed crickets, mealworms, or roaches.

If you have a spiderling with a body length of less than.75 inches, it can only eat food small enough for it to overpower it. It includes pinhead crickets, flightless fruit flies & fresh hatched “pinhead” rusty red roaches. We don’t recommend feeding your Mexican Red Rump tarantula wild-caught mice.

It’s important to keep your tarantula safe from harmful chemicals and other things in your house that could be dangerous to them. Your tarantula should always have a clean, fresh environment. Leftover food in the tank will encourage mold and mites, which is a common problem with indoor arachnids. It is safe to leave uneaten prey items for up to 12 hours. It is OK to leave dubia roaches in the enclosure as long as they are not bothering the tarantula.


This species is an excellent eater of any size and is always good fun to watch pounce on their prey. This species is generally very docile, but it will kick hair if it feels threatened. It’s a fast runner and can jump to escape from predators.

The urticating hairs on their feet are not as irritating as on other species, but they can still be uncomfortable if they were to get in your eyes, mouth, or nose, so keep them away from your face. They are normally quite slow-moving, but they can move very fast in short bursts and they’re prone to mood swings. Some snakes are laid back and chilled, and others are easily agitated and have even thrown up a threat pose at times.

Display tarantulas are great but they spend most of their adult lives sitting in the open. The velvety black body and red hairs of tarantulas are truly beautiful and makes them great display animal.

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