Legal & illegal

Make sure your aren’t keeping anything that could get you in trouble.


Currently, to our knowledge, keeping tarantulas / baboon spiders is legal in all provinces except the Cape, especially the Western Cape. For some reason, getting information from government on legislation around keeping tarantulas / baboon spiders / bird spiders is as easy as making a stone dance and sing, so most of us don’t know the actual facts.

Take note that should nature conservation officials decide to inspect your collection and find any illegal species in your custody, they may confiscate the entire collection regardless of what you have and may also slam you with a very unreasonable fine… We’re talking R20k-R50k and so on…

Below is some official legislation on SPECIALLY PROTECTED SPECIES which may not be harvested from the wild or kept as pets. All sourced from Nature Conservation Acts found on our various South African government websites.

Northern Cape – (Source: Northern Cape Nature Conservation Act of 2009)

  1. Ceratogyrus spp. – Horned Baboon Spiders, all species
  2. Harpactira spp. – Common Baboon Spiders, all species
  3. Pterinochilus spp. – Golden/brown Baboon Spiders, all species

North West Province – (Source: North West Biodiversity Management Act (4/2016))

  1. Ceratogyrus spp. – Horned Baboon Spiders, all species
  2. Harpactira spp. – Common Baboon Spiders, all species
  3. Pterinochilus spp. – Golden­/brown Baboon Spiders, all species

We will keep adding to this as more official facts are discovered. But please CONTACT YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY if you are not certain about keeping tarantulas in your province.


Generally speaking, in South Africa (where is based) keeping certain foreign African species as well as local/indigenous species is strictly illegal. However, as per the listing below, there are a few local species that are legal to be kept in your collections, but care should be taken as to the proper identification of these species and many can look very similar.

Sadly, among the illegal species are some of South Africa’s most striking and beautiful tarantulas, like Harpactira pulchripes – Golden Blue Leg Baboon, Idiothele mira – The Blue Foot Baboon and of course all our unique horned baboon species, like Ceratogyrus darlingi, Ceratogyrus brachycephalus and Ceratogyrus marshalli.

Don’t be fooled in to thinking “it’s ok, nobody will catch me”, people in the hobby talk, and before you know it you could be on the sticky end of an inspection by a Nature Conservation official, dropping you in some serious doo-doo and without a doubt costing you huge amounts of money in fines.


Here is a list of species we know of at the moment that are classified as either legal or illegal tarantulas to keep in South Africa:

Tarantulas that are legal or illegal to keep in South Africa

This table represents all currently known legal and illegal tarantula species that may be kept in captivity by businesses, hobbyists or private individuals in South Africa.
*This list may change according to legislation from time to time without notice.

MyMonsters will be closed from the 21st February as the owner will be away on an urgent contract until at least the 26th March. We apologise for any inconvenience but purchases will be disabled until we return. Please contact Christo at Anipro Pets (0724779022) or Mandie at Petbugs (071 485 0705) for all your tarantula needs till we return. Once again apologies. Dismiss