Octavius Pickard-Cambridge (or Cambridge, Octavius P.) was educated at University College, Durham, and qualified as Master of Arts (MA). He was later elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS). From 1868 he held the position of Rector (Church of England) of Bloxworth, in Dorset. He devoted his spare time to natural history, particularly arachnology. The results of his observations were written up in about 100 papers in which he described many new species and genera of spiders, initially mainly from Britain but later from all over the world. Some of his papers dealt with moths and butterflies, or other aspects of natural history. His main work was The spiders of Dorset (1879-1881, 625p), published by the Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club. He also wrote a comprehensive article on "Arachnida" for the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 1, 1875).
Pickard-Cambridge devoted two papers to the spiders of southern Africa. "On a new genus and species of trapdoor spider from South Africa" appeared in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History in 1875. The second was published in South Africa: "Description of some new species, and characters of three new genera, of Araneidea from South Africa", in the Annals of the South African Museum (1904, Vol. 3(5), pp. 143-165).