Harpactira baviana • 3/4″


Harpactira baviana (Hanover olive starburst baboon), captive bred, endemic to South Africa. A medium-size Harpactira with a bluish tint on the legs distally.

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Harpactira baviana is one of several Harpactira endemic to The Republic of South Africa. The species was described from 2 males and 5 females collected in Hanover, South Africa from two local farms. Hanover, in the middle of South Africa, lies in a semi-desert region called the Great Karoo. The Karoo sits on the Great Escarpment, a plateau occupying most of South Africa. As a result, Hanover is 4,868 ft above sea level.

According to Purcell, male H. baviana were collected in October and females in October, November, and January. Females in January had young, of which 90 were collected.

Vegetation in the Karoo is sparse. Purcell mentions finding specimens “under stones, generally in shallow excavations, but sometimes also in burrows a few inches deep.” Immature specimens were common, adults “rarely met with” [1].

Karoo winter months are the warmest (avg. max. 86F/30C) and the wettest (13.9 inches/353.0 mm yearly).

Karoo country road
The sedimentary rocks under which H. baviana hide are fragments of fossil-containing, Karoo bedrock. Photo courtesy Carl Robin.

H. baviana spiderlings are hardy, easy to keep. Blue on distal legs is more noticeable in immature specimens and freshly molted adults. Blue leg color is such that one customer thought it was H. pulchripes. Purcell writes H. baviana resembles H. namaquensis [1].

Females mature at about 3″. Males mature about 30% smaller.

The above photo shows an adult female.

[1] Purcell, W. F. (1903a). New Arachnida collected by Mr. S. C. Cronwright Schreiner at Hanover, Cape Colony. Annals of the South African Museum 3: 13-40.

Additional information

Weight 0.01 lbs
Dimensions 1 × 0.5 × 0.5 in