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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.
cheers julie
12ks out of ngaruawahia, new zealand

Possibly Huntsman Spider

Hi Julie,
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.

Sheetweb Spider

Update from Karl
Hi Daniel:
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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: New Zealand

4 Responses to Sheetweb Spider from New Zealand

  1. lttlechkn says:

    Could possibly be Dysdera crocata. I wouldn’t say it is a huntsman due to the general lack of hair… It could also just be the photos though. http://www.xs4all.nl/~ednieuw/australian/Dysderidae/Dysderidae.html A link for reference, and a common name would be the Woodlouse spider.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for trying to assist with this identification, but we can say for certain that Dysdera crocata, the Sow Bug Killer, is not the spider in question.

  2. jazm1n321 says:

    Hi there,
    I can 100% confirm that this is a Sheet web spider (Cambridgea antipodian) which i had my first experience with at the age of 8 – and also probably the cause of my arachnophobia today . Although they are similar in size, and commonly mistaken for the Hunstman they are quite different in appearance. The Sheet webs’ have noticeably thinner and different shaped bodies and legs to that of the huntsman as well as a more ‘sleek’ appearance as apposed to ‘hairy’. Sheet weebs fangs are also usually very long (mostly in the males) although they are harmless spiders. Hunstman are typically fawn or grey on top with a dark coloured point at the end of their abdomen, while Sheet webs are generally a brown to black colour. Sheet webs are native to New Zealand and especially common in native forest and rural areas although they do show up in cities aswell while Hunstman spiders are native to Australia (but have been found in NZ since the early 1920’s) are not very common in New Zealand and more often than not apparent sighting are simply a case of mistaken identity.
    Hope you find this helpful,

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