Genus: Parapalystes

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthropoda > Arachnomorpha > Cheliceriformes > Chelicerata > Euchelicerata > Arachnida > Araneae > Araneomorpha > Family: Sparassidae (huntsman spiders)

Five species, endemic to southern Africa.

Species native to southern Africa

Parapalystes cultrifer

(Pocock, 1900)

South Africa


Parapalystes euphorbiae

Croeser, 1996

South Africa

Parapalystes lycosinus

(Pocock, 1900)

South Africa


Parapalystes megacephalus

(C. L. Koch, 1845)

South Africa


Parapalystes whiteae

(Pocock, 1902)

South Africa



To the lay person Parapalystes can be separated from Palystes on colour and markings. It tends towards grey, has a yellowish clypeal moustache and dark folium marking on dorsal abdomen.


Endemic to southern Africa, occurring  in the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape, as well as Namibia (Oranjemund).


Spiders reported by Croeser in Namaqualand and Larsen at Oranjemund and on the Cape Peninsula retreat into an inverted cup shaped nest. This retreat is produced by pulling desert plants or restios together. Where they meet the silken retreat is constructed. It was noted that a species photographed at St Helena (Western Cape), made a simple nest in a hole in a brick wall.

Derivation of name

Parapalystes is derived from the Greek para meaning near or close to the Latin palaestes or Greek palaistes, meaning wrestler.

Text by Norman Larsen

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