Cerotogyrus darlingi “The Rear-horned Baboon” Care and Husbandry

Cerotogyrus darlingi “The Rear-horned Baboon”


The Ceratogyrus darlingi or “Rear Horned Baboon” is an amazing little spider that gets its common name from a black horn that grows from its carapace. Unlike the fovial horns of other Ceratogyrus species, the C. darlingi’s protuberance slants towards the back of the spider. Although the purpose of this horn is still up for speculation, this unique feature makes for an incredibly cool ornamentation. 

The Ceratogyrus darlingi is unique Old World species that hails from savannah biomes in the countries of Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in southern Africa. Here, this spider experiences a climate that sees both a hot and dry season as well as a rainy season, and temperatures that range from 68° F to 88° F (20° C to 31° C). As a result, the C. darlingi does well at normal room temperatures, which for most of us is upper 60s to mid-80 Fahrenheit (or around 20 – 29 Celsius). My first two specimens were kept between 68 and 76° F during the winter and between 72 and 80° F during the summer with my current two being kept in the 70s. Even when temperatures were on the cooler side, mine continued to eat and grow well.

Some keepers read about the warm and dry seasons with periodic droughts and immediately designate this species as an arid one. Unfortunately, what many fail to take into account are the rainy seasons, in which this spider would be exposed to much more humid and moist conditions. Furthermore, as a burrower, the C. darlingi would construct burrows down into the earth, where it would find more moisture and temperate conditions. 


Although it’s true that they are adaptable, and adult specimens seems to do well on dry substrate with a water dish, I’ve found that slings and juveniles appreciate moist substrate. Start your spider with moist substrate, and allow the top layers to dry out a bit. This will allow your sling to dig to the moisture level that it needs. When you notice that the darker band that indicates moist substrate starts to shrink, it’s time to add more water. For smaller sling enclosures, I like to use a pipette to direct the water down into the dirt. This makes it easier to avoid flooding the spider’s burrow. In these instances, a syringe will also work.

For tinier slings, a deep dram bottle or 5.5-oz (163 ml) deli cup will work great for an enclosure. Larger, more established slings will do well in a 16 to 32-oz (.47 to .94 10.64 L) deli cup or something around that size. Feel free to experiment with what works for you, but just be sure to keep ventilation holes small enough that they do not permit escape. If the enclosure size permits, I like to add cork bark and a water dish. All of my slings did some burrowing, with two of them moving a lot of substrate around like mini bulldozers as they landscaped their living space to their liking. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always prudent to make sure that slings have access to moist substrate. Continue reading

Harpactira pulchripes “The Golden Blue-legged Baboon” Care and Husbandry

Harpactira pulchripes “Golden Blue-legged Baboon”


Over the years, there have been dozens of newly introduced tarantulas species that have caught the eyes of hobbyists with their undeniable beauty and the illusion of being a rarity in the hobby. In the past, the Poecilotheria metallica and Monocentropus balfouri were two spiders that delighted keepers with their gorgeous blues while draining wallets with their steep costs for even the smallest slings. Even today, with both species being readily available in the hobby, they still command high prices.

When photos of the Harpactira pulchripes first circulated on the forums in 2012/2013, many keepers couldn’t wait to get one of these stunners in their collections. However, even tiny slings commanded exorbitant prices, with the first round of captive bred slings imported into the US selling for $500 and higher. When I acquired my first two specimens in the summer of 2015, it was the most I had ever paid for tarantulas. Today, many keepers consider the Harpactira pulchripes, a striking gold bodied and metallic blue legged beauty, to be one of the hobby’s crown jewels, and this species still pops up on many wish lists. Thankfully, as this species is easily bred, it has become readily available with slings now commanding between $50-$100 USD. 

Harpactira pulchripes ​are Old World tarantulas found around the town of Makhanda (previously Grahamstown) on ​the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. This region experiences a temperate climate, with relatively warm weather all year round with high temps that reach 80 F (27 C) in the warmest month with lows of around 59F (15C). In the cooler months, temps rise only to around 68F (20C) in the daytime and drop to 42 F (5.6 C) during the chillier evenings. Rainfall ranges from about 3” (75 mm) in the wettest month and 1.3” (33mm) in the driest month. As a result, species care sheets that indicate this tarantula needs to be kept at higher so-called “ideal” temps should be ignored. Continue reading