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A Pictorial Guide to the Baboon Spiders of Southern Africa is a celebration of the richness in diversity of theraphosids, commonly referred to as baboon spiders or tarantulas, across Southern Africa.
Offering the most comprehensive insight thus far into the little-known realm of the region's baboon spiders, this guide exposes these shy yet spectacular animals in their habitats in various localities around South Africa. It presents the photographs of hundreds of specimens of all colours and sizes, including some that are completely new to science and never been seen before, totally dispelling the perception that these extraordinary creatures are only brown and dull.
Hobbyists who keep tarantulas, those who appreciate or desire to protect theraphosids – and even arachnophobes – are invited to share in Patrick Gildenhuys' fascinating journey of discovery and experience the wonder of the astounding world of baboon spiders for themselves.
1. Authors note
5. Western Cape Province
6. Eastern Cape Province
7. Free State Province
8. Gauteng Province
9. KwaZulu Natal
10. Limpopo Province
11. Mpumalanga Province
12. Harpactirinae from Southern African regions
14. Routes travelled
Patrick Gildenhuys is a Capetonian who considers himself a true South African with a love of nature. His enthusiasm for theraphosids started as an unassuming, low maintenance hobby, with an emphasis on the extraordinary and unusual.
As the law prohibits keeping tarantulas as pets in the Western Cape, Patrick resorted to internet and book-based research to learn more about these animals. Finding a dire lack of information, the only way he could satisfy his desire to know more about these eight-legged creatures was to conduct his own field research. Since 2006 he has travelled thousands of kilometres and spent hundreds of hours on field trips, documenting and photographing countless baboon spider specimens.
Patrick is in contact with hobbyists around the world and is a member of various spider-related associations. His enthusiasm to share his knowledge, experience and findings has culminated in this unique lavish pictorial guide that reflects the enormity of his passion for theraphosids.