Harpactira hamiltoni
-Highveld Baboon Spider

Warning: Illegal to own in South Africa

Adult Size: 12 to 13cm (Females) | 9 to 11cm (Male)

Type: Old World, Fossorial

Growth Rate: Fast

Temperament: Defensive

Lifespan: Females (10 to 12 years) | Males (2 to 3 years)

Origin: South Africa

Recommended Climate: 26-28°C (Summer), 20-24°C (Winter)

Recommended Humidity: 50% to 60%

Basic Enclosure Requirements: Terrestrial/Fossorial hybrid setup with lots of structure and at least 4 x the size of the spider in horizontal space, roughly 20 to 25cm of substrate to allow for burrowing with a water dish as always.

Photo Credit: L.R. Tarantulas and more

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Scientific Name: Harpactira hamiltoni

Common Names: Highveld Baboon Spider | Common Baboon Spider

Harpactira hamiltoni is a commonly found and seen baboon spider that has quite a large distribution across South Africa, but mainly across the South African highveld. The “Highveld” (Pronouced high-felt and translates to High-Plains) is a large high altitude area of the central South African plateau. It’s bone dry in many areas for a large part of the year, especially winter, but can also see raging thunder storms and even the occasional tornado from time to time during summer. Yeah… in South Africa believe it or not. 

They have a lovely dark gold/olive appearance with greyish looking legs, golden/olive carapace and darker tones over the abdomen. The starburst pattern on the carapace and the skull pattern on the abdomen are somewhat subdued on this species, but there is a lovely large triangular “V” shape leading from the fangs and ocular cluster towards the centre of the carapace. They also have a lighter almost bright yellow looking segment where the femurs meet the patella, which make this species look great.

Harpactira hamiltoni is a fossorial species, living in deep burrows they either modify from a crevice between rocks, or constructed themselves beneath rocks, tree stumps and even at the base of shrubs. An enclosure that offers them deep substrate to burrow is a good idea. They eat well, grow fast and make a great addition to any old world baboon spider collection.