This Mexican Red Knee was the first tarantula I ever owned, I remember returning home from work to find my wife had amusingly placed the parcel in the bath. But she did not have to worry the Mexican Red Knee is a very docile spider. That was over 40 years ago and I have been buying them ever since as a hobby and for my photography. Back then there was no internet I only researched this spider from a book. So to experience for the first time a very large colourful tarantula climb out of the parcel and onto my hand sitting proud and showing no aggression was very exciting and amazing.
I bought more spiders for my growing collection and reared fewer butterflies and moths and exotic insects, something I had been doing since the age of five. My first female Red Knee pictured above was passed onto a Marwell Zookeeper in the end because I had so many pictures and at that time I needed the space for other species. Now my spiders live separately in a vivarium in my summer. It is still not the best set-up especially in cold winters because I am relying on electricity to run the thermostats. So I use red light bulbs which I can always see working from my house. I later purchased another Red Knee and reared it from a very small sling. As it matures it spends more time outside its hide and after a fresh moult it's noticeably larger and its bright contrasting colours are more vivid a very beautiful tarantula to own.
The Mexican Red Knee is one of the most famous classic tarantulas and for many people like me started their interest in keeping tarantulas and probably helped start the hobby. It is listed as an endangered species on Cites II, so imports are restricted, but captive-bred spider can be bought from most stockists.