Baboon Spider

In South Africa we also have tarantulas. Ours are brown, and we call them Baboon Spiders. Here is an excerpt from an article about them.

The Baboon Spiders of South Africa by Dr Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman
Baboon spiders or tarantulas, as they are known outside Africa, are the giants of the spider world. The last two leg segments resemble the finger of a baboon hence, the common name, baboon spiders. The first South African spider known from literature was a baboon spider mentioned in 1702 by Petiver. More than a hundred years later in 1832 the first baboon spider Mygale atra was described from South Africa and only in 1871 the first genus Harpactira was established for Southern African baboon spiders.
Southern Africahas a rich fauna of baboon spiders, represented by seven genera and 42 species. They belong to the family Theraphosidae, a very diverse family, represented by 86 genera and about 612 species worldwide. The theraphosids have a pantropical distribution and are known from Africa, the Far East, Australia as well as parts of South, Central and North America.
The baboon spiders are large, with a body size varying from 13-90 mm. They are very hairy and their colour varies between hues of brown, grey, yellow to black. The carapace is frequently decorated with radiating bands while the abdomen has variegated markings. They are easily recognized by their large size, strong, hairy bodies, and the thick pad of hair present ventrally on the last two leg segments.
A Baboon spider may live up to 25 years and take about 10 years to mature.
Baboon spiders prey on a variety of small animals such as: insects - ants, beetles (e.g. tenebrionids), cicadas, cockroaches, Orthoptera (e.g. grasshoppers, locusts, crickets), Isoptera (termites), Lepidoptera (mostly Saturniidae and Sphingidae, Hymenoptera (driver ants of the family Dorylidae); arachnids - spiders, solifugids and scorpions; millipedes, reptiles, amphibians and snails: frogs and lizards.
Some theraphosids are known to deliver painful bites. Harpactira lightfooti,a baboon spider known from Cape Town and the Paarl region in South Africa are fairly aggressive and people sometimes get bitten. They produce a neurotoxic venom. Bites in humans results in a burning pain at the bite site. The patients after about two hours start to vomit; they show marked signs of shock, become pale and have difficulty walking. Bites are however, never fatal.
                                   This one lives in my bathroom

 I've included 3 web photos.


CatchCabby CatchCabby
56-60, F
7 Responses Jun 5, 2010

Hi Faucon, thanks I saw your story too. I prefer to leave our goggas where they are if they're good ones like spiders, to eat up the nasties. Our indigenous people have all kinds of cultural and traditional fears, beliefs and superstitions about many of them, so it can be a battle to live and let live. But we do try to educate them about ecology and conservation. I think most of it goes in one ear and out the other though. Beliefs are hard to overcome. X@

;D He's gone off on his travels again, or Minx ate him, or the housekeeper struck out in terror. Anyway he's gone, but I still check carefully! X@

Don't think that i want to reverse park in your loo. hahahaa

Oh believe me I keep my distance, but they do too. Besides I shriek louder! :D X@

I'm full of goose bumps just looking at them... I hope you won't be offended but I ain't getting anywhere near them...

Scoobs, usually under my loo! But I think we've gotten to know one another, he/she has never even bl<x>inked (ummmm, shriek!) when I go in. I have a VERY careful look before I sit! ;0 X@

*shiver* Lives in your bathroom?