February 18, 2016
The Baboon Spider shown here (Theraphosidae Harpactira) is an arachnid sometimes known as an Old World Tarantula. It is called a Baboon Spider as the last two segments of its legs resemble the finger of a baboon. These largely terrestrial creatures inhabit a variety of areas such as grassland, savanna woodland and dry acacia scrubland. Tarantulas have some fascinating body structures. Like most spiders they have spinnerets on their bodies that are able to spin silk. What is unusual though, is the relatively recent discovery that some tarantulas have silk producing feet. Baboon spiders are largely ambush hunters, preying on a variety of insects, beetles and scorpions . Unfortunately they are also preyed upon and are a food source for birds, centipedes, reptiles (lizards, chameleons) and many insectivorous mammals. They are harmless and regretfully are often kept as pets.