Cute spidey_ani.gif


Adult Mexican Flame Knee specimen
Mexican Flame Knee adult

Merry on arrival
7 cm diameter container
Merry on arrival

Merry after 4 moults
12x9x8 cm container
Merry after 4 moults

Merry handling on 29/6/04
Merry handling on 29/6/04

What's out there? 14/8/05
Whats out there?

Stuck in the sink 14/8/05
Stuck in the sink

Anything good on tonight?
Whats on TV?

Pet Name

Scientific Name

Common Name



Date of arrival

Size on arrival

Latest moult

Latest moult size

Adult Size

Setup Required



Merry / Merrie

Brachypelma auratum

Mexican Flame Knee

75 - 80 F

65 - 70 %


1.8 cm


13 cm

12-15 cm (5-6")




Merry is so named because he was slightly bigger and more feisty when he arrived than my B. smithi which I called Pippin.  I had fun chasing him round the kitchen sink after letting him out of his traveling container! These spiders are kept as pets as they are generally docile, ideal for beginner keepers like me.  They have urticating hairs and have been known to use them if upset enough so I will be careful not to get on his wrong side.  They reach average size and are long lived so I am hoping Merry remains part of the fellowship for many years.  Flame Knees are burrowers but will adopt a provided shelter to get some privacy.  Spiderlings can drink moisture straight from the substrate which should be wetted regularly but when they are larger a jar lid or flower pot base can be used as a water dish.

Like Pippin he is much more confident now and less likely to scuttle for his house at the slightest disturbance which he used to do.  It is amusing though to see no sign of him outside and just the back of two hairy feet at the entrance to his hole :)  He is growing well and despite not being as stockily built is challenging Samwise for the biggest leg span.  He was in the lead but now Sam has overtaken him again.  I will take further piccies of him as he grows and develops, which should take quite a few years as they are quite slow growing.


14/11/03.  Merry arrived by post in a 35mm film container padded with cotton wool inside a cardboard box stuffed with newspaper.  This box also contained Pippin & Frodo in their own containers.  He was very frisky on arrival and immediately escaped his container and went for a lap around the kitchen sink before running out of steam!  Once installed he was a keen burrower.

10/12/03.  Moulted to 3 cm.  Light & dark banding visible on legs.

03/01/04.  Moulted to 3.5 cm.

18/02/04.  Moulted to 4.7 cm.  Orange hairs visible on abdomen.

27/03/04.  Moulted to 5.6 cm.  Orange banding visible on legs.

25/04/04.  Along with the others Merry moved into a bigger enclosure and now has the 35 mm film container he arrived in as his hidey hole and the lid as a water dish.

16/05/04.  Moulted to 7.5 cm.  Orange 'Flame knees' clearly defined.  Noticeably longer orange hairs on abdomen. 

29/06/04.  Merry came out for walkies while I was topping up his water dish.  I let him walk onto my hand and onto my lower arm - see pic above.  He didn't want to go any further afield and was quite resistant to being encouraged to do so.  Eventually he conceded and ambled back into his pot.  Cool and collected from start to finish - he knew he was on camera and wanted his 15 minutes!

04/02/05.  Moulted to 8.3 cm

09/07/05.  Nudged out of his pot for a photo and measuring session on the settee.  Didn't want to wander about much.  Calm & no problems.

21/07/05.  Moulted to 10 cm.

14/08/05.  Merry was definitely in the mood for walkies this time as he was out of his pot with no encouragement needed during a water fill up.  He had a huge walkabout round the kitchen and hall.  He started on the kitchen floor and soon went up the cupboard doors and over the top onto and across the draining board.  He then found his way into the sink and got trapped there, scrabbling furiously to get out - I wonder if he remembered his first visit there when he arrived! I rescued him with a kitchen roll 'ladder' and deposited him on the floor again after I ran out of hands and arms!  Then he was off across the kitchen and into the hallway where he started up the wall. I 'collected' him back into his pot but he was immediately out of it and off across the floor again.  Finally got him back into his pot long enough to get the lid on!  He had a couple of mad moments but the vast majority of his exploration was at a calm & brisk steady pace. Went on hands/arms several times. Great fun & lots of pics :)

05/02/06.  Moulted to 11.5 cm.

15/07/06.  Merry had another  monster walkies.  He was very keen to get out of his tank during a water top up as he immediately crawled on top of the lid.  In an attempt to contain him I placed the tank in the sink where he was unable to escape from previously.  Instead he calmly went into the sink and then straight up the side onto the worktop! He explored behind the tea/coffee pots and microwave then headed up the wall to the ceiling. I kept an eye on him while I tended the other Hobbits as he calmly did a complete circuit of my kitchen walls/ceiling, across cupboards etc. It looked like he was all set for a 2nd lap but I wanted him down so I held up a cork notice board for him to walk onto and then returned him to his tank :)

16/08/06.  Moulted to 12 cm.

10/09/06.  As Frodo had matured into a male I attempted to determine the sex of the others using their last moult skins. Definite 'leaf' structures were seen so I am  pretty sure Merry is now a mature female. Renamed Merrie :)

March 07.  Moulted to 13 cm.  No exact date as I forgot to make a note of it.

14/08/07.  I left the tank lid open on the lounge floor and Merrie came out after a while, went straight across the floor, up the wall and then did 1.5 steady circuits of the room just below the ceiling. Presumably having enough high-rise exercise she came back down and after scampering up my leg to my knee, she went onto my hands/arms and walked calmly across them numerous times. She was also happy to walk across my Mum's hands as well which was a great first handling experience for her :)

06/05/08.  Moulted.

31/07/08.  During feeding a cricket startled her and she ran up and over the edge of the tank, clinging to the outside. As their tanks are on a bookshelf I decided it was safer to move the tank to the floor rather than try to gather her up where she was.  I lowered the tank to the floor and got on with feeding Sam and Pippin while keeping an eye on Merrie.  The family whippet appeared and headed straight for the tank so I had to shoo her away before her inquisitive wet nose met with urticating hairs!  An obvious keen explorer, once the coast was clear Merrie went for walkies across the lounge floor, up the DVD/VCR cabinet and TV and stopped for a rest on a photo frame. I relocated that to the floor then held my hand out once she started off again.  She went climbing over my hands and arms for a while perfectly calmly and then climbed off my hand back into her tank without a fuss.