Ceratogyrus paulseni

Assessor: Robin Lyle

Sensitive in 2010
Reason for the sensitivity status
Species of this genus are known to be targeted, collected and traded in international exotic pet trade. As this species has a vulnerable population size and limited dispersal ability, were over-harvesting to occur, the whole extant population could be removed. Releasing data on this species can exacerbate threat and vulnerability.
This species is either similar to another sensitive species or belongs to a group containing sensitive species, and is extremely rare in the wild. The localities of wild populations need to be protected to avoid loss to exploitation, which, due to its rarity, could drive the species to extinction within a very short time.
Exploitation extent
Uncertain - No data exists yet showing that this species is exploited in the wild, however it has one or more relatives or look-alike species (found in South Africa or globally) that are known to be utilised. This species has a similar life form or other relevant traits to its exploited relative(s), making it highly likely that it would be exploited for the same purposes.
Justification and references

The horned baboon spiders of the genus Ceratogyrus appear in the international exotic pet trade with some regularity (see websites listed below for examples). This species' future is thought to be threatened by illegal exploitation for national and international trade (IUCN Red List). The primary species traded are C. darlingi and C. marshalli, which are desired for their large size and impressive horn-like structures on their carapace. Some species within the genus have notes available on the internet on how to breed them in captivity (http://arachnophiliac.com/burrow/breedingct.htm). While the species discussed here is not reported from the pet trade, it may be targeted by hobbyist collectors with a special interest in the genus. 

Population vulnerability
Population is vulnerable: size is <= 2500 mature individuals OR the number of known subpopulations is <= 5 OR range is <= 100km2 OR species at risk of localised extinctions
Justification and references

This species is known to occur only at the type locality within the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, South Africa. 

No additional records could be found in the National Collection of Arachnida (Agricultural Research Council - Plant Health and Protection), published records, on ADU Spider Maps and Baboon Spider Atlas. 

The known distributions of this spider is based on the original species descriptions (Gallon 2005 & 2010).  

Gallon, R.C. 2005. A new species of theraphosid spider from southern Africa (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Harpactirinae) with distributional notes on other harpactirines. Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society 13: 179-184.

Gallon, R.C. 2010. On some southern African Harpactirinae, with notes on the eumenophorines Pelinobius muticus Karsch, 1885 and Monocentropella Strand, 1907 (Araneae, Theraphosidae). Bulletin of the British Arachnological Society 15: 29-48.


Targeted demographics
Regeneration potential
This species has a slow population growth rate, or the growth rate varies depending on habitat, and there is a poor chance the wild populations will recover from exploitation OR a collector might feasibly harvest the entire extant population removing the chance of subsequent recruitment.
Justification and references

Mygalomorphs, in which the family Theraphosidae belongs, are exceptionally long lived for spiders with some living beyond 20 years (Dippenaar-Schoeman, 2002). This species is a long living and dispersal-limited endemic that is currently protected within a national park. Even with the protection of the national park, the known area where it occurs at the type locality is very small. It is possible that collectors could conceivably remove the entire population in one go. I. Engelbrecht has searched several areas of potential suitable habitat in the park, specifically searching for these spiders without success (pers. comm.)

Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. 2002. Baboon and Trapdoor Spiders of Southern Africa : An Identification Manual, Handbook N. ed. Plant Production Research Institute. Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria.