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 Post subject: Re: Golden brown baboon spider (Augacephalus breyeri)
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:32 pm
Posts: 2
I live in Hoedspruit - could I come and have a look at the baboon spiders? Where in the KNP are you? :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Golden brown baboon spider (Augacephalus breyeri)
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:33 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Scratching around West Africa
Hi Folks

There has been a lot of debate around the relocation of Augacephalus breyri. To be honest the reason why they are protected is because of the pet trade. They are not endangered, threatened or rare. Habitat destruction remains their major threat. Exploitation by the pet trade has indicated that if these animals are not protected, their wild populations will be exploited and depleted for commercial gain.

There has been a story for the past few years that after these spiders reach sexual maturity, they lose their ability to excavate a burrow. The idea revolves around small teeth-like projection on the chelicerae called the Rastellum. This story is just that, a story. Baboon spiders excavate their burrows using their fangs to loosen the substrate. They do not have a rastellum. After they moult into sexual maturity the males change their outlook on life completely and abandon their burrows to seek out females. Females remain in their burrows and wait for males. Males often stop feeding and have one thing on their minds. They need to locate a female and mate before the die.

So... males leave their burrows and do not excavate another burrow. Females however, remain in the burrows and after courtship, lay eggs. After the young spiderlings disperse (males leave the burrow and make their own burrows near the females, females travel much further). The sexually mature female will mate again next year, and the next). She is capable of excavating a new burrow if necessary.

However... Outside of their burrows they are unprotected from predators and are indeed an easy meal for many animals. Any area that is suitable for these spiders will already contain naturally occurring populations. Relocating these spiders into an area with existing population’s results in a well fed population of existing spiders. I doubt that any spider will survive into adulthood where there are existing populations. If these spiders are relocated into an environment void of existing populations that all that is means is that area is not suitable for these spiders anyway.

Donald Strydom from the Hoedspruit reptile park would be a good person to contact regarding the removal and relocation of these spiders. Donald, myself and other arachnologists have had many a conversation over the relocation of these spiders. Possible relocation strategies, recreating their burrow structures and the effects on existing populations. One thing is for sure. It's important to understand their behaviours, lifestyles and habitat requirements in order to appreciate the complexities regarding their relocation.

I know this doesn’t help you but it does provide some insight into this problem. Next time I’m in the Lowveld I would be happy to chat to someone face to face regarding this topic.

Kind regards

Jonathan

Jonathan Leeming


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 Post subject: Re: Golden brown baboon spider (Augacephalus breyeri)
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 9:18 pm
Posts: 155
Location: Uitenhage
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Found this one night on my window sill - I stay in East Cape.

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Found teh above on on a gravel road to Addo one night.

Any idea what they are - Im guessing "baboon" spiders, because they are taratulla like...

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If you think I am stupid....you should see who hired me......:)


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