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Baboon Spiders of Southern Africa - A Pictorial Guide


Old Timer
Aug 18, 2003
Book review:
Baboon Spiders of Southern Africa - A Pictorial Guide
by Patrick Gildenhuys
Publisher: Cadiz street Publishing
December 2009

December 31 i received a package from South Africa, just before i was going to leave to head to friends for new years. Icould not fight temptation and opened the package. Sure enough out came a hardcover copy of the Pictorial Guide by Patrick Gildenhuys. ok, only time for a little peek inside. All i can say is WOW! beautiful printing!

ok, now i have had a bit more time to read the book and as Patrick asked me to give an honest review, here we go!

As said above the printing is beautiful. not only are the photos in focus, Patrick took the trouble to photograph all the diffrent spiders on the same substrate. this way you can really see all the little color nuances. Personally i never knew the diversity in the tarantulas of South Africa was so great. the book not only shows species i have never seen, there are whole genera never seen in the hobby.

every chapter deals with an South African province, the habitat and the various species known from there. And in this come a big difficulty for Patrick.
without researching all the original type specimens you can't be sure with what species you are dealing with. Patrick dealt with this by naming uncertain identifications just as sp. So expect a load of Harpactira sp, Harpactirella sp and so on.

in conclusion, for who is this book?
this is no "Tarantula keepers guide" nor an "identification guide" but just as what it is called a Pictorial guide. the perfect supliment to the Baboon Spider publications by Andrew Smith and A.S. Dippenaar-Schoeman.
a jewl in the bookcase of every tarantula enthousiast. and as this is all about the photographs, i wanted the best version out there: the hard cover edition.

Patrick, thank you for taking the time to introduce the rest of the world to the tarantulas of South Africa, this really is a book to be proud of!


more info on the book, the author and ordering:


Cult Leader
Old Timer
May 20, 2008

I received my copy of the book yesterday. I can't really add much to what Eddy said though. I think this book is awesome. It contains a ton of high-quality pictures, some of species probably never photographed before. A must have for the serious African fan! Thanks Patrick!
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Old Timer
Oct 29, 2004
I got my copy a few months ago, and I agree with the others. The book is a great pictorial of the different Tarantulas of Southern Africa.




May 25, 2010
Got my copy yesterday... yes i live in SA and only found out about the book recently :(

But what a beautiful book, very well laid out, tons of awesome pictures and even has a size guide at the bottom of each page to show th difference in centimetres between males and females of the pictured species.

Some have females up to 16cm (5 inches +) with mature males only reaching 3cm (1 inch).

Includes photos of the stunning specimen featured on the Front page thought to be the rarely seen Harpactira Pulchripes, and other rarely seen Baboon T's.

A must buy, worth every cent!



Old Timer
Jun 13, 2005
It is indeed a one of a kind book. The author did a wonderful job of photographing and putting the book together. If you're a baboon tarantula fan you must have this book.


Chief Cook n Bottlewasher
Old Timer
Sep 29, 2004
Eddy summed up my thoughts as well in his review.

Since I am an African Tarantula fan I was interested in this book since I first heard about it.
While I grab other books to look up husbandry info, I grab this one to show off T's to those who keep them and those who do not have any spiders (yet)
people are always impressed with how much went into this book, and how well it turned out.

I don't do many spider presentations but when I do this book will now be part of my props.