Location: Ede, The Netherlands
August 23, 2011 2:04 am
This spider was spotted in the Netherlands last Saturday (20th of August). Including its legs it was about the same size as a streched out hand. I’ve never seen anything like this before, that’s for sure!
This appears to us to be a male Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria, a mainly tropical species that sometimes is introduced to cooler climates because of shipments of bananas and other items. They are not dangerous despite their large size and frightening appearance. They are nocturnal hunters that will prey upon cockroaches.
Thank you for your swift reply! It sure is reassuring to know it only eats cockroaches! 🙂
They will prey upon more than just Cockroaches, though that seems to be a favorite prey for them.
I meant reassuring more in the way that it would not prey on me while I sleep. Most indiginous spiders here are the size of a fingernail, not an entire hand, hence my discomfort 😉
In many tropical countries, they are allowed to live in the house. We imagine in The Netherlands, they might not survive the winter outside, but it might survive the winter indoors. Your individual is a male, as evidenced by his large pedipalps, so you don’t need to worry about him laying eggs and being overrun with Huntsman Spiders. If we were you, we would make him a pet. Just warn your visitors who your newest roommate is.
Correction: February 25, 2018
We just received a comment from Curious Girl questioning this identification. We agree with Curious Girl that this appears to be a Giant House Spider, not a Huntsman Spider