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Pterinochilus murinus.jpg
A Pterinochilus murinus tarantula
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
Family: Theraphosidae
Subfamily: Harpactirinae
Pocock, 1897

See text

Harpactirinae (commonly called baboon spiders) are a subfamily of tarantulas which are native to the continent of Africa. Like many Old World tarantulas, they have a relatively strong venom, and can inflict a painful bite; however most baboon spiders are not considered dangerous to humans.[citation needed]


Harpactirinae are ground-dwelling spiders which build silk-lined burrows, often under debris such as stones, using their fangs and chelicerae for digging. Habitats include savanna woodlands, grasslands, and dry scrublands.[citation needed]


The following genera and species are present in Harpactirinae. In addition, the genus Brachionopus (Pocock, 1897) has been suggested for placement in this sub-family, but its taxonomy is currently disputed.

Augacephalus (Gallon, 2002)
Type species: Augacephalus breyeri

In synonymy:
Augacephalus nigrifemur (Schmidt, 1995) = Augacephalus junodi

  • Augacephalus breyeri (Hewitt, 1919) — Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland
  • Augacephalus ezendami (Gallon, 2001) — Mozambique, the Mozambique Gold[en] Baboon, Mozambique Half Moon Baboon
  • Augacephalus junodi (Simon, 1904) — East, South Africa, the [East African] Bushveld Golden Brown Featherleg Baboon

Bacillochilus (Gallon, 2010) [Monotypic]

Brachionopus (Pocock, 1897)
To quote Platnick's World Spider Catalog v. 12.5,[1] "N.B.: transferred here from the Barychelidae by Raven, 1985a: 112; Brachyonopus is an unjustified emendation; Raven's transfer was not accepted by Charpentier, 1993: 5 or Schmidt, 2002a: 12 and 2008: 3, who nevertheless identified no close relatives of the genus among the known barychelids; Gallon, 2002: 204 argued for its inclusion in the Barychelidae but indicated that it "does not fit in any current barychelid subfamily" but later (Gallon, 2010b: 79) considered it a harpactirine.".

In other words, its taxonomy is in dispute and the many recent workers do not consider it a theraphosid. All are found in South Africa.

Ceratogyrus (Pocock, 1897) [Senior synonym of Coelogenium Purcell, 1902]
Type species: Ceratogyrus darlingi

Transferred to other genera:
Ceratogyrus ezendamiAugacephalus ezendami
Ceratogyrus nigrifemurAugacephalus nigrifemur
Ceratogyrus raveni (Smith, 1990)Pterinochilus chordatus

In synonymy:
Ceratogyrus bechuanicus (Purcell, 1902) and Ceratogyrus schultzei (Purcell, 1908) = Ceratogyrus darlingi
Ceratogyrus cornuatus (De Wet & Dippenaar-Schoeman, 1991) = Ceratogyrus marshalli

Eucratoscelus (Pocock, 1898)
Type species: Eucratoscelus constrictus

Transferred to other genera:
Eucratoscelus tenuitibialis (Schmidt & Gelling, 2000)Pterinochilus lugardi

In synonymy:
Eucratoscelus longiceps (Pocock, 1898) and Eucratoscelus spinifer = Eucratoscelus constrictus

Harpactira (Ausserer, 1871)
Type species: Harpactira atra

Harpactirella (Purcell, 1902) [Senior synonym of Luphocemus {Denis, 1960}]
Type species: Harpactirella treleaveni

Transferred to other genera:
Harpactirella flavipilosa (Lawrence, 1936)Pterinochilus lugardi
Harpactirella latithorax (Strand, 1908)Euathlus vulpinus
Harpactirella leleupi (Benoit, 1965)Idiothele nigrofulva

Idiothele (Hewitt, 1919)
Type species: Idiothele nigrofulva

In synonymy:
Idiothele crassispina (Purcell, 1902) and Idiothele leleupi (Benoit, 1965) = Idiothele nigrofulva

Pterinochilus (Pocock, 1897) [Senior synonym of Pterinochilides {Strand, 1920}]
Type species: Pterinochilus vorax

Transferred to other genera:
Pterinochilus breyeriAugacephalus breyeri
Pterinochilus constrictus and Pterinochilus spiniferEucratoscelus constrictus
Pterinochilus crassispinus and Pterinochilus nigrofulvusIdiothele nigrofulva
Pterinochilus junodi and Pterinochilus nigrifemurAugacephalus junodi
Pterinochilus meridionalisCeratogyrus meridionalis
Pterinochilus schoenlandiTrichognathella schoenlandi

In synonymy:
Pterinochilus affinis (Tullgren, 1910), Pterinochilus brunellii (Caporiacco, 1940), Pterinochilus carnivorus (Strand, 1917), Pterinochilus raptor (Strand, 1906), Pterinochilus raveni (Smith, 1990), Pterinochilus sjostedti (Tullgren, 1910), and Pterinochilus widenmanni (Strand, 1906) = Pterinochilus chordatus
Pterinochilus flavipilosus (Lawrence, 1936), Pterinochilus pluridentatus (Hewitt, 1919), and Pterinochilus tenuitibialis = Pterinochilus lugardi
Pterinochilus hindei (Hirst, 1907), Pterinochilus leetzi (Schmidt, 2002), and Pterinochilus mamillatus (Strand, 1906) = Pterinochilus murinus
Pterinochilus mutus (Strand, 1920), Pterinochilus obenbergeri (Strand, 1920), and Pterinochilus occidentalis (Strand, 1920) = Pterinochilus simoni

Trichognathella (Gallon, 2004) [Monotypic?]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Platnick, Norman I. "World Spider Catalog", "American Museum of Natural History."