Assessor: Robin Lyle
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.
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.
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.