Poor Shelob
Location: Knoxville, TN
November 25, 2010 8:24 pm
So the other night I was halfway into a nice dream about a college grant when I heard my younger tweenaged sister screaming bloody murder in her room. I dashed into her room to find her cowering in the corner and shaking one of her crutches (she’d broken her leg the preivious thursday,) at the blinds. After dashing back to my room to get my glasses (I’m VERY nearsighed,) I got to behold THIS huge bugger. I got her camera from her dresser and this is the only shot I got of him. I told Emmers not to swat at it, being an avid spider lover (I own a very sweet rosy-toed tarantula, whom I love dearly and whom my sister wishes to coat with Raid,) and I rushed to Google the big boi. I got about three minutes to search before I heard a screech and several thwacking sounds coming from Emily’s room; the spider had apparantally made a dash for the closet after Emily had tossed a shoe at it. When I arrived, I found the poor arachnid squished into paper form. I gave him a tiny burial beside my Aloe plant and gave him a little cardboard headstone, which I marked ”Shelob”, before going back to bed. I then found this website and decided to ask what kind of spider he is. I’m assuming it’s some kind of wolf spider. As much as I like spiders, I’m not too familiar with the different spieces.
Signature: Lexie Bee

Huntsman Spider

Dear Lexie,
We believe you encountered an introduced Huntsman Spider,
Heteropoda venatoria, though BugGuide only reports it from the extreme southern states of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.  This spider, which is believed to have spread to many warm port cities around the world because of stowing away on banana shipments, has even been reported in northern climates before the quality control on banana shipments was improved.  You can compare your image to this one on BugGuide or this one on a forum.

Location: Tennessee

8 Responses to Possibly Huntsman Spider in Tennessee

  1. Bill says:

    I’ve seen these in New Orleans. They seem to like very dark, warm and humid places. I had a storage shed that had maybe 10-15 of them just sticking to the walls. They freaked me out good. A friend tried to step on one and only got a leg, the spider tore his own leg off and ran away. That was enough for me.

  2. Natasha says:

    What kind of spider is this? I live in Hallandale Beach Fl

  3. Blythe says:

    I feel validated in so many ways! Perhaps 5 or 6 years ago I was in my hometown of Cleveland, tn (about an hour’s drive south of Knoxville) when I approached the back door of my mom’s home. I opened the screen door and began to put the key in the lock. As I was doing so a spider that only belongs in horror movies or some exotic land greeted me by falling down centimeters from my face. I panicked and without thought grabbed the nearest object and began swinging (as though killing it would mean saving myself, family, and country from this alien beast). Since that day I have tried to describe this spider to others and no one I have told can say they’ve seen or heard of such. Many suggested it was a wolf spider that I saw, and I investigated this possibility , however the pictures I found of wolf spiders did not do my memory justice. I’ve even wondered if I over exaggerated or remembered wrong until now. Seeing and reading this site validates my memories. It was this spider that traumatized me that day!!!!!!

  4. Russell Allion says:

    Found one in my shed and took a picture of it. Friend in Australia identified it immediately and said they have them there as well.

  5. Liz says:

    Are these spiders poisonous?

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