Hysterocrates gigas (Cameroon Red Baboon Spider)
It swims, catches fish, and is communal!
If you are seeking a tarantula with some truly unique qualities and talents, this is the one for you! First, it is communal. . . some even say it is the most communal tarantula you can have. Other species that can live close together usually have their own ‘space’ and just kind of put up with each other. This species, however, goes further and will often share their space with others, so you may see more than one living in a single burrow. Secondly, this remarkable creature loves being around the water and will dive in, actually swim to a shallow bottom and hide under something if disturbed. They have been observed staying submerged under water for 2 or more hours. If you do a Google search, you can find many examples of unique habitats that have been designed to provide access to water and fish in a community setting. Though typically not a good display tarantula due to its tendency to burrow, this could be your most interesting and aesthetically pleasing setup if water and plants were incorporated and made into a terrarium-like display. If anyone does this, please send me pictures so I can post them on this site!
* Adapted from The American Tarantula Society
Name and Description History:
Hysterocrates gigas Pocock, 1897
Hysterocrates gigas Smith, 1990
Hysterocrates gigas Peters, 1998
Hysterocrates gigas Peters, 2000
Hysterocrates gigas Schmidt, 2003
Old World. Terrestrial deep burrower
Size: About 6-7”
Growth Rate: Fast
Natural Habitat: Central Africa, Cameroon. They live around river banks.
Housing Needs: Terrestrial burrowing setup. This species likes higher humidity and moist substrate.
Temperament: This is known to be a very defensive species, but chooses to hide as a first line of defense. It is quite shy but can become defensive if it feels threatened or cornered.