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 Post subject: Spiders: Newly discovered baboon spider
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:14 pm 
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This is an article from the latest Kruger Park Times.

New Baboon Spider Discovered In Survey Of Kruger


They’re big and hairy and in need of conservation and are found in the Kruger National Park (KNP) – but they have double the normal number of legs. They are baboon spiders. Kruger is home to no less than seven different species of baboon spider, including a species that was only recently discovered by scientists and given its official name of Ceratogyrus paulseni last year.

The new species of baboon spider was discovered in a clearing in the mopane-acacia woodland near Letaba and has not yet been found anywhere else in Kruger, or the rest of the world. Despite the fact that the Kruger’s known species of baboon spider come from four different genera, they are hard for a layman to tell apart.


The newly discovered species does, however, have the one characteristic that allows it to be told apart from the other genera – it has a distinctive ‘horn’ on its back, which it shares with the more common horned baboon spider. The new baboon spider was first spotted during a 2003 spider survey of Kruger that forms part of the ongoing South African National Survey of Arachnids.

Arachnids are eight-legged animals that have jointed legs, and include spiders, scorpions, solifuges, ticks and mites amongst others. As a group spiders are predatory animals and are generally very successful, with more than 36,000 known species worldwide and many more unknown, but they have been little studied and mostly ignored in conservation efforts.


In order for conservation efforts to be successful, environmentalists need to know what that are dealing with, which has lead to the surveys of spiders in Kruger and the rest of the country. One of South Africa’s leading authorities on spiders is Dr Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman from the Agricultural Research Council, Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC-PPRI).

She is heading up the survey of Kruger’s spiders, which mainly involves researchers conducting spider-collecting trips. On each trip, the researchers continue to find species that were not previously known to occur in the park, as well as species new to science although not all as spectacular to the layman as the new baboon spider.


At this point, there are over 220 known species of arachnids (not counting the ticks and mites) found in Kruger. The bulk of these are true spiders, with nine species of scorpions, seven pseudoscorpions and 18 different kinds of solifuges (sun spiders, roman spiders), two types of ‘daddylong legs’ harvestmen and a tailless whip scorpion species.


Prickly Pears And Spiders
Along with spider collecting trips, other spider research is currently ongoing in Kruger. Researcher Kyle Harris is looking at spiders in conjunction with one of Kruger’s most pressing problems – the invasion of the park by alien species. Prickly pears (Opuntia stricta) are one of the park’s biggest headaches in terms of invasive plants, with about 30,000 ha of land near Skukuza currently being invaded by the plant.

Two biological control agents have been released to try and quell the invasion in the park, but given the fact that seeds are capable of lying dormant for 15 years before germinating the prickly pear invasion is likely to plague Kruger for some time.


To try and monitor what effects the aliens are having on biodiversity, Kyle is looking at how many different kinds of spiders and beetles are found in pristine areas of the park compared to those that are not invaded, moderately invaded or heavily invaded by the prickly pear. Over the course of a year, he has collected beetles and spiders every two months in the different infestation types.

Kyle finds his subjects by digging two litre buckets into the ground and collecting all creepy crawlies that walk into these pitfall traps. He also collects the leaf litter lying on the ground in the different study areas and sieves it through a 5x5mm mesh screen, collecting all the bugs that fall through the mesh.

"...but they have double the normal number of legs."Line 2.
Just this puzles me. Are they still spiders then? With 16 legs? :shock: :shock: :shock:

Does anyone have any additional info?

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:16 am 
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Maybe it was named a spider because of it's body, not legs, and poison glands etc.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:55 am 
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I can't remember what her name or species was... Mary-Jane?? Tarantula??... but nevertheless, I love her to bits. Next time, I think I'll let her crawl over my head and down the back of my shirt. :twisted: :twisted:

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 Post subject: In 2003 discovered baboon spider
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:11 pm 
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Hi Forumites,
I tried to find a picture of that baboon spider with 16 legs, but was not lucky (neither on the internet, where all baboon spiders have 8 legs, nor with the search function on the SANPARKS website).
Does anyone know if there are any pictures of that special baboon spider??? And where to find those pictures?
Thank you.
Nina


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:02 pm 
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I think the researchers mean the hairy animals that needs protection and has with double the amount of legs are spiders.

as in:
hairy creature needing protection with 4 legs = mammal
Hairy creature with double the legs (in other words eight legs) = spider :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:23 pm 
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Hi Christo,
Ooops. Got me on this one :-)
Thanks for your explanation. :-))


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 Post subject: Re: Spiders: Newly discovered baboon spider
Unread postPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:21 am 
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Hey there

Here's the actual document re the discovery of this new species along with a pic Nina :)

http://www.baboonspiders.de/files/Gallo ... Africa.pdf

Searched google with the scientific name n got the link above


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 Post subject: Re: Spiders: Newly discovered baboon spider
Unread postPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Thanks for the info, Ross.


It seems the spider is the same that we saw at Tsendze recently...? :hmz:



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