Griswoldia robusta – The most african spider in the world

Griswoldia robusta – The most african spider in the world

Okay, let us just take this with a little humor and some cliche, but this is probably the most african a spider´s appearance can get.

In late 2020 I photographed a spider in South Africa, which was later identified by my friend Norman Larsen as a Griswoldia robusta.
The spider belongs to the Family Zoropsidae and the Genus, containing 12 species, is only found in South Africa so far.

While i was editing the many shots from different angles of the spider, I realized there was a pattern on this specimen´s carapace that strongly resembled another african animal´s head or face.
It is actually one of the so called “Big Five Game’, or simply ‘The Big 5’ – prominent and charismatic examples of Africa´s megafauna:
Elephant, Buffalo, Rhinoceros, Lion and Leopard.

Griswoldia robusta (South Africa)

If you look closely, you can recognize the face of a male Lion, that seems to be painted on the Griswoldia robusta´s cephalothorax.
Even more so, it indeed looks like the villain Scar from Disney´s ‘The Lion King’.

Update: I just realized that the lion face pattern can also be found on other spiders of the family Zoropsidae.
But G. robusta being a species only to be found in Africa still makes this a special find and spider.

A lion´s head on a spiders body

Discovering a tiny world through Macro Photography

I photographed a lot of spiders in my life and i have seen a lot of interesting patterns on both insects and spiders.
But never have I recognized a pattern, that actually looks like another animal, or got anywhere close to an actual illustration of one.

With the naked eye the pattern would have been hard to spot or recognize.
This is one of the many fascinating aspects, which i love in Macro Photography.
It enables us to enter the tiny world and discover things that are usually hidden from us – often in plain sight.

What do you think?
Does the pattern look like a Lion´s head?
Can you maybe even see the resemblance to Scar from ‘The Lion King’?

This must be, as the article´s title says, the most african spider of all times!

Nature definitely never ceases to amaze us.

Griswoldia robusta´s real face
  • Norman Larsen
    Posted at 14:50h, 01 December Reply

    A wonderful observation, Chris. keep on spidering.

    • wildmacro-chris
      Posted at 15:57h, 05 December Reply

      Thanks a lot Norman, will do, as we all do, right?!

  • Kyle Covan
    Posted at 00:15h, 06 March Reply

    That is so cool! I definitely see the lion face. I can’t wait to show my fiancé.

    • wildmacro-chris
      Posted at 12:11h, 07 March Reply

      Thanks Kyle, i recently noticed the Lion face is actually to be found on several Zoropsidae species. I was initially thinking it is a special pattern for ‘Griswoldia robusta’ (also a Z. species) but have since seen it on other Zoropsidae as well. I noticed it again, when i was having a look at ‘Zoropsis spinimana’. Definetely interesting.

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