The Common rain spider

Vervet Monkeys
April 30, 2018
Giraffes
May 30, 2018

The Common rain spider (Palystes superciliosus), formerly P. natalius, is a species of huntsman spider native to Southern Africa.

It is the most common and widespread species in the Palystes genus. Its distribution ranges from KwaZulu-Natal province in the east, then westwards to the provinces of Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and North West in the north, and Eastern Cape and Western Cape in the south. It has a body length of 15–36 mm and a leg span of up to 110mm.

Its preferred habitat is scrubland and savannah woodland. Spiders in the Palystes genus are commonly called rain spiders, or lizard-eating spiders. Palystes spiders will often enter homes before rain, where they will prey on geckos.

Photo taken by Chris Ovens

After mating in the early summer, the female constructs a round egg sac about 60–100 mm in size made of silk, with twigs and leaves woven into it. These egg sacs are commonly seen from about November to April. The female constructs the sac over 3–5 hours, then aggressively guards it until the spiderlings, who hatch inside the protective sac, chew their way out about three weeks later. Females will construct about three of these egg sacs over their two-year lives.