The Baboon Spider in the Western Cape (Harpactirella lightfooti) (Afrikaans name Bobbejaan Spinnekop), commonly known as Tarantulas, are the only venomous baboon spiders with a bite that is extremely painful although not deadly.

they live a long life with females known to have lived for 30 years, the males having a much shorter life.

They are ambush hunters feeding on various insects, beetles, scorpions and even small reptiles. On the other hand they are hunted by birds, reptiles (lizards, chameleons), insectivorous mammals (honey badgers, shrews, bats, mice and baboons,) and even other arachnids such as scorpions.

We saw this one in the West Coast National Park, probably out looking for females.

1 Comment

  1. John
    26 March 2021

    This morning I found what looks like a bobbejaan spider. This was at 5am. I saw my cats looking at something very attentively. On closer inspection I found this spider which was by all intents and purposes already dead. My one cat which is a prolific hunter, making noises as if it was trying to clear his throat. He has now stopped doing this and has had something to eat and drink. I have noticed that the spider has one leg missing, Maybe the leg was stuck in his throat. How poisonous would such a spider be to a cat. At this stage I am not sure whether this is a large Rain spider or a bobbejaan spider. We live in Barrydale with lots of bush round our house and surrounding veld.
    In the morning I shall take a picture of it. Should you wish to send you the picture, please let me have your email address, I will send you the picture. The cat I am pleased to say appears OK but may take him to the vet in the morning for a checkup. Regards John

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