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Bloemfontein, South Africa



Study of Spiders

The current focus of the Arachnology division is the taxonomic research of pseudoscorpions, mostly of South Africa.

What are pseudoscorpions?

Pre-Devonian in origin, the Pseudoscorpiones are one of the oldest extant lineages and over the past 392 Ma have diverged into more than 3400 known species in 26 families.  Due to their small size and lack of medical and agricultural importance, the study of the Pseudoscorpiones has been carried out by only a small group of dedicated scientists.  This group has mostly consisted of taxonomists, with these arthropods only beginning to gain the interest of a wider audience of researchers during recent decades.

These tiny predatory arachnids, usually no more than 3mm in size, superficially resemble true scorpions but lack the elongated tail and sting. Many species possess venom which they can inject into prey from small venom teeth at the ends of their pincers. This makes the Pseudoscorpiones one of only three arachnid orders that possess venom, the other two being true spiders (Araneae) and true scorpions (Scorpiones). Pseudoscorpions occur in almost every part of the world, though most species are found within the tropics and subtropics. Their unique morphology makes these secretive generalists a very important predatory component of many terrestrial habitats, where they can readily be found among humid soil, leaf litter, compost piles, under stones, bark and logs, as well as harsh environments such as intertidal zones.



Russian visitor to the spider collection

Russian visitor to the spider collection

11 January 2017
Dr Galina Azarkina visited the Arachnology Department in November 2015 to study jumping spiders (Salticidae). She is the curator of the Arachnida Collection at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk.


Arachnology main collection

The collection consists of Spiders (Araneae) collected since 1974, (Amblypygi) from 1982, False scorpions (Pseudoscorpiones), Scorpions (Scorpiones), Harvestmen (Opiliones), Red Roman Spiders (Solifugae), Ticks, Millipedes and Centipedes from 1981. The specimens mostly originate from various localities (all provinces) in South Africa, with limited specimens from Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Australia, Marion Island, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan, USA, Zambia, Cameroon, Liberia, North America, and India, Pakistan. The collection consists of more than 44358 spiders, 2605 Pseudoscorpiones, 1125 Scorpions, 639 Opiliones, 946 Solifuga, 6 Amblypygi and 3656 Ticks, Millipedes and Centipedes. Specimens are stored in 70% ethanol solution in no. 2 poly tops inside a 1L glass bottle filled with 96% ethanol.

Arachnology holotype and paratype collection

The Arachnology holotype and paratype collection has specimens collected since 1977. Holotypes and paratypes represent Araneae (233 types), Opiliones (3 types), Pseudoscorpiones (29 types) and Scorpions (5 types). Holotypes are the specific specimen from which a new species is described. The specimens originate from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Spain and Botswana. Specimens are stored in 70% ethanol solution in no. 2 poly tops inside a 1L glass bottle filled with 96% ethanol.




Ammoxenus celatus Bird & Dippenaar-Schoeman (in prep)

Ammoxenus confusus Bird & Dippenaar-Schoeman (in prep)

Ammoxenus deani Bird & Dippenaar-Schoeman (in prep)

Ammoxenus pedifer Bird & Dippenaar-Schoeman (in prep)

Ammoxenus profundus Bird & Dippenaar-Schoeman (in prep)

Rastellus deserticola Haddad, 2003

Rastellus florisbad, Platnick & Griffin, 1990


Afrarchaea ansiae Lotz, 2015

Afrarchaea cornutus Lotz, 2003

Afrarchaea haddadi Lotz, 2006

Afrarchaea neethlingi Lotz, 2017

Afrarchaea royalensis Lotz, 2006

Afrarchaea woodae Lotz, 2006


Calommata meridionalis Fourie, Haddad & Jocqué, 2011


Diploglena proxila Haddad, 2015


Cambalida dippenaarae Haddad, 2012

Copuetta lotzi Haddad, 2013

Echinax spatulata Haddad, 2012

Graptartia mutillica Haddad, 2004

Wasaka montana Haddad, 2013


Cheiracanthium kenyaensis Lotz, 2007

Cheiracanthium maraisi Lotz, 2007

Cheiracanthium russellsmithi Lotz, 2007

Cheiramiona baviaan Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona boschrandensis Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona debeeri Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona ferrumfontis Lotz, 2003

Cheiramiona florisbadensis Lotz, 2003

Cheiramiona fontanus Lotz, 2003

Cheiramiona haddadi Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona hlathikulu Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona hogsbackensis Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona jakobsbaaiensis Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona kirkspriggsi Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona krugerensis Lotz, 2003

Cheiramiona mohalensis Lotz, 2003

Cheiramiona paradisus Lotz, 2003

Cheiramiona plaatbosensis Lotz, 2003

Cheiramiona qachasneki Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona regis Lotz, 2003

Cheiramiona robinae Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona saniensis Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona tembensis Lotz, 2015

Cheiramiona upperbyensis Lotz, 2015


Drassodella aurostriata Mbo & Haddad, 2019

Drassodella lotzi Mbo & Haddad, 2019


Eilica lotzi FitzPatrick, 2002

Micaria felix Booysen & Haddad, 2021

Micaria quinquemaculosa Booysen & Haddad, 2021

Zelotes florisbad FitzPatrick, 2007

Zelotes lotzi FitzPatrick, 2007

Zelotes qwabergensis FitzPatrick, 2007

Zelotes uquathus FitzPatrick, 2007


Hersilia sagitta Foord & Dippenaar-Schoeman, 2013

Tyrotama abyssus Foord & Dippenaar-Schoeman, 2005


Quamtana lotzi Huber, 2003

Quamtana tsui Huber, 2003

Quamtana umzinto Huber, 2003

Smeringopous koppies Huber, 2012

Smeringopus florisbad Huber, 2012

Smeringopus uisib Huber, 2012


Asemonea clara Wesolowska & Haddad, 2013

Cembalea hirsuta Wesolowska, 2011

Cembalea triloris Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Dendryphantes silvestris Wesolowska & Haddad, 2013

Evarcha amanzi Wesolowska & Haddad, 2018

Evarcha brinki Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Evarcha karas Wesolowska, 2011

Evarcha vittula Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Festucula haddadi Asarkina & Foord, 2014

Festucula leroyae Asarkina & Foord, 2014

Heliophanus gramineus Wesolowska & Haddad, 2013

Heliophanus nanus Wesolowska, 2003

Heliophanus ndumoensis Wesolowska & Haddad, 2013

Heliophanus pistaciae Wesolowska & Haddad, 2013

Heliophanus proszynskii Wesolowska, 2003

Heliophanus termitophagus Wesolowska & Haddad, 2002

Langelurillus namibicus Wesolowska, 2011

Langona hirsuta Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Langona lotzi Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Langona sabulosa Wesolowska, 2011

Microbianor globosus Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Pcenuc dependesn (Pseudicius dependens) Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Pcenuc solitarius (Pseudicius solitaries) Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Pseudicius femineus Wesolowska & Haddad, 2013

Pseudicius flabellus Wesolowska & Haddad, 2013

Pseudicius gracilis Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Pseudicius karinae Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Pseudicius maculatus Wesolowska & Haddad, 2011

Rhene lingularis Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Rumburak bellus Wesolowska, Azarkina & Russel-Smith, 2014

Rumburak mirabilis Wesolowska, Azarkina & Russel-Smith, 2014

Tanzania meridionalis Haddad & Wesolowska, 2011

Thyenula armata Wesolowska, 2001

Thyenula oranjensis Wesolowska, 2001

Thysanina absolve Lyle & Haddad, 2006

Thysanina capensis Lyle & Haddad, 2006

Thysanina gracilis Lyle & Haddad, 2006

Thysanina transversa Lyle & Haddad, 2006


Loxosceles dejagerae Lotz, 2017

Loxosceles haddadi Lotz, 2017

Loxosceles irishi Lotz, 2017


Palystes karooensis Croeser, 1996

Palystes leroyorum Croeser, 1996


Lactrodectus lilianae Melic, 2000

Steatoda foravae Dippenaar-Schoeman & Müller, 1992


Heriaeus allenjonesi van Niekerk & Dippenaar-Schoeman, 2013

Heriaeus zanii van Niekerk & Dippenaar-Schoeman, 2013

Mystaria lindaicapensis Lewis & Dippenaar-Schoeman, 2014

Simorcus lotzi van Niekerk & Dippenaar-Schoeman, 2010

Sylligma ndumi Lewis & Dippenaar-Schoeman, 2011


Afroceto corcula Lyle & Haddad, 2010

Fuchiba montana Haddad & Lyle, 2010

Poachelas striatus Haddad & Lyle, 2008

Spinotrachelas montanus Haddad, Neethling & Lyle, 2011


Cicynethus floriumfontis Jocqué, 1991



Cryptopygoplus capriviensis Lotz, 2011


Caddella haddadi Lots, 2011


Larifuga avus Starega, 1989



Afrogarypus carmenae Neethling & Haddad, 2016

Afrogarypus megamolaris Neethling & Haddad, 2016

Geogarypus deceptor Neethling & Haddad, 2016

Geogarypus modjadji Neethling & Haddad, 2016

Geogarypus octarami Neethling & Haddad, 2016

Geogarypus tectmacula Neethling & Haddad, 2016

Geogarypus variaspinosum Neethling & Haddad, 2016



Hadogenes weygoldti Stahlavsky, Stundlova, Lowe, Stockmann & Kovatik, 2018


Opistophthalmus peringueyi Purcell, 1898

Opistophthalmus capensis Herbest, 1800

Loan Policy

Conditions of loan

The acceptance of material on loan implies that the following conditions have been accepted:

  • Loan material must be handled with the utmost care and must be securely packed for return by insured or registered mail.
  • National Museum specimens described as holotypes, paratypes, allotypes or some other category or type, or used to supplement the description of a new taxon or the redescription of an existing species, are to be clearly labeled as such, and must be returned.
  • All labels and numbers given to specimens/objects must be retained and under no circumstances should any of these be discarded or altered. Where applicable the catalogue numbers of specimens/objects must be given in descriptions.
  • The National Museum must be credited in any publication when referring to this material. At least two copies of any such publication must be sent to this Museum.
  • Without express permission no specimen or object may be altered, dissected, prepared, restored, cleaned or treated — either by mechanical or chemical means.
  • Casting of specimens/objects is only allowed under specific conditions. Permission therefore must be obtained beforehand.
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