While some people are scared of spiders, others find them an ideal and very interesting pet. Due to their increasing popularity as pets, their numbers are decreasing very fast. Owing to this demand for baboon spiders as pets they are classified as Commercially Threatened in terms of the IUCN system. The restriction is still in place in all of the South African provinces. Therefore they may not be collected, transported or kept without a permit.
Today’s post will deal with facts around Tarantulas and wolf spiders.
Baboon spiders or tarantulas, as they are known outside Africa, are the giants of the spider world. Their last two leg segments resemble the finger of a baboon hence, the common name, baboon spiders.
Baboon spiders are large, with a body size ranging from 13-90 mm. They are very hairy and their colour varies between shades of brown, grey, yellow and black. Their exterior is frequently decorated with radiating bands while the abdomen has multi-coloured markings. They are easily recognized by their large size, strong and hairy bodies. They are also easily recognised by the thick pad of hair on the last two leg segments.
Some baboon spiders are known to deliver painful bites. They are fairly aggressive and people sometimes get bitten, especially when held. They produce neurotoxic venom and bites in humans usually result in a burning pain at the bite site. The victim will start to vomit 2 hours after being bitten and will show signs of shock, become pale and have difficulty walking. Bites are however, never fatal.
Wolf spiders are robust and agile hunters with excellent eyesight. They live mostly solitary and hunt alone. Some are opportunistic hunters pouncing upon prey as they find it or even chasing it over short distances. Some will wait for passing prey in or near the mouth of a burrow.
There are many types of wolf spiders, ranging in body size from less than 1 to 35 millimetres. They have eight eyes arranged in three rows. The bottom row consists of four small eyes, the middle row has two very large eyes and the top row has two medium-sized eyes. They depend on their excellent eyesight to hunt. They also possess an acute sense of touch.
Wolf spiders will inject venom if continually provoked. Symptoms of their venomous bite include swelling, mild pain and itching.
If you keep a female wolf spider, you might end up with babies very soon as the female wolf spider does not need a male wolf spider to lay eggs. Before you know it, your house can be filled to the brim with little wolf spiders.
As part of Operation Bite back, Junk Mail will flag any of the above spiders advertised on the website.