long legged spider
January 21, 2010
i found this big fella when i was trimming my wisteria. i havn’t seen him since. hes quite big about 10 cm from foot to foot ive tried looking for something similar but i cant seem to find anything. ive also tried looking for him again (rather timidly) curiousity got the better of me but i havnt seen him.
12ks out of ngaruawahia, new zealand
In attempting to answer your question, we discovered a Museum of New Zealand spider website, but your specimen is not represented. We believe this is some species of Huntsman Spider because of the size and the leg span. It looks somewhat similar to a Shield Huntsman, Neosparassus salacius, pictured on the Insects of Brisbane website. We located another Australian Huntsman website, but again, nothing looks exactly like your specimen. There is some concern about the introduction of Australian Huntsman spiders to New Zealand, not because the spiders pose a threat to humans, but because of how they might feed upon native insects, upsetting the biodiversity in New Zealand. Here is a link to a news story. Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with the identification of your spider.
Update from Karl
I think this may be a sheetweb spider (Stiphidiidae) in the genus Cambridgea. The genus is endemic to New Zealand and there are apparently about 30 species. The size of this one suggests that it could be C. foliata, New Zealand’s largest spider. The Museum of New Zealand spider website you mentioned does not have a very useful photo, but it does provide good information about the group. Regards.