Ceratogyrus darlingi

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Ceratogyrus darlingi

Ceratogyrus darlingi is a theraphosid spider from southern Africa, mainly Botswana and Lesotho. They reach a body length of about 5 inches (130 mm) and are ash-gray, mud-brown to black. The peltidium features a black foveal horn.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Genus: Ceratogyrus
  • Species: C. darlingi
  • Binomial name: Ceratogyrus darlingi


Desert/savanna, Rains arrive with the monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean in October and linger through March, while a dry season prevails during the rest of the year, 18°C (65°F) in the extreme south, while in the hot season most parts of the coast average 27° to 28°C (80° to 82°F). The hottest region is the interior Zambezi Valley, with average summer temperatures of 32°C (90°F).


This is a large fawny-brown spider first described by Pocock in 1897. It has a very distinct ‘hump or ‘horn’ that is rear-facing which has black lines radiating from the horn across the carapace.

A native of Mozambique and Zimbabwe, it lives in deep burrows from which it emerges at night to hunt small vertebrates and insects.

This is a very aggressive species, certainly not for those new to the hobby, and this spider should not be handled as a bite from this species would be very painful, although their venom is believed to be no more than mildly toxic to humans.


Females are known to live 10 to 15 years while males can mature within 2 years and typically live between 2 and 4 years. This is one of the most common Ceratogyrus species in the hobby highly admired due to its carapace/peltidium featuring a black slightly reared foveal horn.


Ceratogyrus marshalli Pocock, 1897, also known as “Straight horned baboon” or “Great horned baboon”, is a very beautiful bird spider due to its remarkable horn on the centre of her carapace from Zimbabwe and Mozambique. African bird spiders are commonly given the title of baboon spider, which title theoretically only belongs to the subfamily of the Harpactirinae. Therefore Ceratogyrus can be considered a real baboon spider.

Ceratogyrus darlingi was the first species of the genus to be discribed in 1897, together with the male Ceratogyrus marshalli. De Wet & Dippenaar-Schoeman were able to describe Ceratogyrus cornuatus in 1991, which turned out later to be the female Ceratogyrus marshalli. The Ceratogyrus-genus is well known for their beautiful horns, but in fact only half of the genus is blessed with it. Except for Ceratogyrus paulseni, however, all species do have a subabdominal band in the booklung region.


  • Make sure the female is well-fed (not obese) before you introduce the male.
  • Introduce both male and female to each other by placing both terraria next to each other a few days before mating. It is possible you notice interactions.
  • Foresee an escaping route for the male.
  • Plan mating by a humidity of 50-60%, keeping temperatures fairly constant around 25°C.
  • Spray the enclosure 1x/week on the glass (not the web) in the following weeks. Don’t do anything special.

Ceratogyrus darlingi images

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