P. muticus - Karsch, 1885 Kenya
An impressive species, the king baboon is the second largest spider in Africa (after H. hercules) and commonly reaches a legspan of 17cms. They have distinctive enlarged rear legs covered in dense, velvet-like hairs. A particularly defensive species not for handling, if threatened it will rear up and produce a quite audible hissing sound for some minutes. Notoriously difficult to breed as this is one species where the male is almost guaranteed to be killed. He is about half the size of the female and is (not surprisingly) usually nervous when it comes to mating. Breeding is not impossible, however and further details can be found here. The king baboon is long lived and slow growing, taking up to 6 or 7 years to reach maturity. In their natural habitat, P. muticus excavates deep burrows amongst the roots of acacia bushes up to a depth of 50 cms and this should be taken into account when setting up their captive environment. A terrestrial/fossorial set up is required but this species must be allowed to burrow therefore a deep substrate is required. One end of the container should be kept dry as P. muticus prefers it somewhat drier. The ideal housing set up for the king baboon can be found here.