Arachnology Department


Leon. N. Lotz


Latrodectus Walckenaer, 1805

6 species in southern Africa.


Cheiracanthium C.L. Koch, 1839

15 species in southern Africa plus 1 new species being described.

Cheiramiona  Lotz &Dippenaar-Schoeman, 1999

22 species in southern Africa plus 16 new species being described.


Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe, 1832

7 species in southern Africa.

Sicarius  Walckenaer, 1847

6 species in southern Africa.


Afrarchaea Heineken & Lowe, 1832

7 species in southern Africa.


Spiders of the Free State Province, South Africa.

At present there are 59 spider (Araneae) families of the Free State Province, South Africa.


Jan A. Neethling


Afrogarypus Beier, 1931

7 species in South Africa plus 2 new species being described.

Geogarypus Chamberlin, 1930

2 species in South Africa plus 6 new species being described.


Gymnobisium Beier, 1931

2 species in South Africa plus 4 new species being described.


False-scorpions of South Africa.

At present there are 17 false-scorpion (Pseudoscorpiones) families in South Africa.


Free State Spider Survey

Why are we conducting a survey?

Spiders are extremely important animals. They occur in vast numbers and are the primary predators of the equally common insects. Because they are so common, they are often encountered by people and we receive many enquiries requesting information about spiders. Many people needlessly fear spiders, as most are harmless to humans.

Despite their importance and abundance, not much is known about the spiders of the Free State. There are no truly comprehensive collections of spiders from this area, as most collectors concentrated on the eastern part of South Africa.

Spiders are often missed; they are overlooked scientifically and often despised or feared by the public. However, spiders play a critical role in the web of life we so often take for granted. More information about spiders is needed, especially those in our own backyards, if we are to ensure their future and the health of our environment.

How will the Free State Spider Survey work?

In order to conduct a large-scale survey of spiders, we need the help of the public. We request the public to collect spiders in their homes and gardens, fill out a simple data sheet about their collection and send or bring them to the National Museum. Our experts will identify the specimens, fill out a collecting record, and accession them in the collection. If requested, the identity of the spider will be sent to the collector. Spiders collected in the survey will be used to create a database about the distribution and abundance of the species. Results will be reported on the web site. Other arachnids, such as scorpions, may also be submitted.

Disclaimer: The Museum appreciates your assistance in this scientific project. If you have any concerns about participating, we suggest you do NOT participate. The Museum cannot be responsible for the treatment of bites or for any injury or illness resulting from the project.


Data Sheet

Your name:

Address where spider was collected:

Contact telephone number(s):


Do you want to be notified about the identity of your spider? Yes or no?

Date collected:
Time collected:  AM / PM

Location: In house or outdoors?

Any other details you want us to know (e.g. under stones, on plants, in a web, etc.)

Email or send to:

Mr L.N. Lotz
Arachnology Department
National Museum
PO Box 266
Bloemfontein, 9300

Tel: +27 51 447 9609
e-mail: arachnol [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za


Other Surveys

Opiliones (harvestmen) – under construction

Scorpiones (scorpions) – under construction

Solifugae (sun-spiders) – under construction

Pseudoscorpiones (false-scorpions) – under construction