Straight Horned Baboon Tarantula (Ceratogyrus marshalli)

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Straight Horned Baboon Tarantula
Ceratogyrus marshalli
Straight Horned Baboon Tarantula (Ceratogyrus marshalli)
Name Straight Horned Baboon Tarantula
Name Lat. Ceratogyrus marshalli
Family Tarantulas
Family lat. Theraphosidae
Order Spiders
Order lat. Araneae
Origin Africa
Habitat Savanna
Diet Live insects
Humidity 50-70 %
Behavior Nocturnal, semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual
Care Level Difficult
Housing Semi humid terrarium
Breeding Simple
Life Span 5-15 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 5 cm
Temperature Day 20-24 °C
Temperature Night 18-20 °C
Housing Size 40 x 30 x 30 cm
US Units
Size 2"
Temperature Day 68-75 °F
Temperature Night 64-68 °F
Housing Size 15" x 10" x 10"

Distribution and habitat

The venomous giant horned tarantulas are crepuscular to nocturnal ground dwellers. They are native to the savannahs of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, where they live in self-dug burrows hidden between stones and roots.


For 1 animal a terrarium with a minimum size of 40 x 30 cm and a minimum height of 30 cm can be recommended as a guideline. The terrarium should be placed in a quiet place without sunlight.

You will need a terrarium structured with cork tubes, roots and stones (hiding places and privacy screens), a solid, 10-15 cm deep substrate of sand-clay-peat mixture, a small, shallow drinking vessel and for decoration artificial or potted plants (e.g. Ficus pumila, Scindapsus aureus). A small part of the substrate, especially the lower layers, should always be kept slightly moist. Once or twice a week the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water, but not the animals (danger of shock)

Temp. day: 20-24 °C Temp. night: 18-20 °C Humidity: 50-70

The lighting duration should be 8-12 hrs. depending on the season. A conventional light source (fluorescent tube, incandescent bulb) is sufficient. Special lamps with high UV content are not necessary.


The food supply should consist of crickets, cockroaches, house crickets, maggots and grasshoppers as well as other arachnids. The prey animal is "injected" with the biting tools (chelicerae) with a digestive juice, which liquefies the protein components and the prey can thus be sucked out (extracorporeal digestion). Juveniles can be offered food 1-2 times per week, adults only every one to two weeks. Under no circumstances should they be overfed, the basic rule being that the abdomen should be no more than 1½ times the size of the cephalothorax. Unaccepted food must be removed after 1-2 days. Refusal of food may indicate a natural phase of starvation or an impending molt. No food animals should be in the terrarium during molting, they could injure the spider

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The smaller males can be recognized by their bulbs folded in towards the body. The female lays several 100 eggs in her burrow lined with webs 4-5 months after mating. The eggs are spun into a dense cocoon in which the larvae develop and are guarded by the female. After the third molt, the young leave the burrow and feed on their own. Females can live for 15 years.

Species protection

Make sure to inform yourself about any regulations on keeping or bans on keeping this animal in your state or home municipality (e.g. public order office). Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.


They are very fast and often aggressive, have a strong venom, but no irritant hairs. The bite is very painful and is sometimes associated with very severe swelling at the bite site.

They build very nice and large living webs around their burrow. They can shed bruised or held legs at a predetermined breaking point and completely regenerate them after 1-2 molts.

Before purchasing, a terrarium should be prepared that meets the species specific needs. Good ventilation without drafts and equipment for measuring temperature and humidity are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and should be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Special attention must be paid to thorough hygiene and impurities must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Harri Deutsch Verlag; KLAAS (2007): Vogelspinnen- Herkunft, Pflege, Arten, Verlag Eugen Ulmer