Currently viewing the category: "Huntsman Spiders and Giant Crab Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a Huntsman spider?
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
June 17, 2017 2:16 pm
Hello,
My mom and I were at a bank drive thru in Arizona today, it’s 111° out right now, and we saw the biggest 6-legged spider that either of us had ever seen! It didn’t move much, but when it did it seemed to be very fast. The woman inside the bank said she could see it from where she was, it was that big!! In other posts, you’ve mentioned that Huntsman spiders are nocturnal, but this one was out during the middle of a hot day, albeit not in the sun. Can you tell me what kind of spider this was and if they are typically found in Arizona?
Thank you!
Signature: Tonya in AZ

Huntsman Spider

Dear Tonya,
You are correct that this is a Huntsman Spider in the genus
Olios, and though they are nocturnal hunters, this individual might have found itself far from shelter when the sun came up.  Missing legs seems to be a common occurrence among Huntsman Spiders.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Dominican Republic spider
Location: Dominican Republic
May 15, 2017 3:07 pm
Hi, I was just in Puerto plata Dominican Republic and found this in our bathroom shower on the resort. It wouldnt move when I put the shower on but it’s legs were long.
Signature: Corey

Male Huntsman Spider

Dear Corey,
This is a male Huntsman Spider,
Heteropoda venatoria, a species that is now found in warm climate port cities around the world, most likely because it was spread with banana shipments, giving it another common name of Banana Spider.  Huntsman Spiders do not build webs in which to snare prey, but they hunt nocturnally for cockroaches and other nocturnal prey, meaning they are frequently tolerated in homes in the tropics because of the advantage of having a patrolling Huntsman Spider eliminating unwanted guests with six or more legs.   Your individual appears to be dead.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big Spider
Location: North Central Florida
May 5, 2017 3:55 pm
I was at work and was unpacking a new air handler that had been sitting in a storage shed for a good 10 years. When I pulled the cardboard off the front, this spider was staring at me right in the face. My boss said it was a brown recluse but I’m not sure. I didn’t think they got that big.
Signature: Eric Villar

Huntsman Spider

Dear Eric,
This is most definitely NOT a Brown Recluse.  It is a female Huntsman Spider,
Heteropoda venatori, an introduced species that has naturalized in Florida and Texas.  They most likely were introduced with banana shipments from Central America many years ago, so they are called Banana Spiders.  This particular species of Huntsman Spider is harmless.  They are nocturnal hunters that do not build webs and they will help keep Cockroaches under control.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  According to BugGuide:  “Can be swift and sometimes aggressive but not considered dangerously venomous to humans. May bite in self-defense if roughly handled; mildly painful bite (can be likened to a bee sting if spider injects venom).

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Australian wasp
Location: Hornsby NSW
December 3, 2016 1:03 am
My wife captured this shot in our front garden. I wonder if the wasp removed the huntsman spiders legs for transport purposes?
Signature: Australian wasp

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Prey

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Prey

We get several very dramatic submissions from Australia each year of Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae with Huntsman Spider prey.  The female Spider Wasps stings and paralyzes the Huntsman Spider and then drags it back to her burrow where she lays an egg on the paralyzed Spider.  When the egg hatches, the wasp larva feeds on the living but paralyzed Spider.  It appears that your Spider Wasp has removed the legs of the Huntsman Spider by biting them off in order to make transportation easier.  Based on images posted to the Brisbane Insect site, we believe your Spider Wasp is in the genus Fabriogenia.

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Prey

Spider Wasp and Huntsman Prey

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Costa Rican tarantula – grey and black with red eyes
Location: Costa Rica
October 30, 2016 7:00 pm
Hi,
My husband and I live in Costa Rica, We have a large black tarantula that lives in a hole outside our front door. (2nd attached photo ) We’ve named her Harriet. 🙂 But we came across a very strange looking tarantula the other day – it is grey and black with red eyes (1st attached photo) I could not find anything online that looked similar so figured I would run it by you guys! Let me know what you think – thanks! We also found a 3rd tarantula at our house I also attached a photo of. It is hard to identify them online.
Signature: Kari Pinkerton Silcox

Huntsman Spider from Costa Rica

Huntsman Spider from Costa Rica

Dear Kari,
After opening three of your four email submissions, we feel confident stating that we expect you to thwart our ability to identify exotic species online before long.  This positively gorgeous spider is not a Tarantula, but rather a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider in the family Sparassidae.  They are easily confused with Tarantulas.  They are large, and they hunt nocturnally without building a web, and some tropical species are rumored to be quite venomous.  The first hint we had, other than starting with a known family and a location, was an image identified as “A huntsman spider, formerly
Olios now being reclassified” on Minibeast Wildlife on a page devoted to the attraction that “The spider fauna on the Osa Peninsula is rich and diverse.”  We found this image of a Huntsman posted to SpiderzRule/BadgeHuntsman page that is described as:  “About 3 to 3 1/2 inches across the legs. Found at night under a heliconia leaf along a rainforest stream at about 200 Meters elevation near Drake’s Bay, Costa Rica. No web seen.”  In this gorgeous WeHeartIt image, you can clearly see the eye pattern of the six eyes, and you can also discern that what you mistook for eyes are actually red ocelli or false eyes on the chelicerae.  Because of several reasons, beginning with the enthusiasm you have written to us with such lovely Costa Rican species, and because it is the First of the Month, we are tagging this submission as the Bug of The Month for November 2016.  Since we do not like to combine different taxonomical categories on our site, we will post your Tarantula images independently.  You are also making us want to start a Costa Rica tag. 

Huntsman Eye Pattern

Huntsman Eye Pattern

Thank you so much Daniel, I really appreciate your time. The interesting bugs in Costa Rica are mind blowing, we have endless photos of cool critters and I didn’t want to overwhelm your inbox too much with all my photos, although it was tempting, haha. But if you do a Costa Rica tag or section please let me know and I am happy to submit some more interesting insect photos!
I shared your Bug of the Month on my Costa Rica travel blog facebook page (Happy Coconuts Travel Blog), that is exciting to be featured. Thanks for doing what you do! 🙂
Here is a photo blog I published a while back on all the interesting creatures outside our door on the edge of the Osa Peninsula of Costa rica if you’re interested in checking out some more cool insect/bug/critter photos:
http://www.happycoconutstravelblog.com/blog/welcome-to-the-jungle
Pura Vida!
Kari Silcox
www.happycoconutstravelblog.com

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What sort is it?
Location: Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
August 3, 2016 6:47 am
Saw this spider eating a cricket in our home in Costa Rica. The spider was pretty hairy and had a big body (between 1 and 2 cm).
What sort is it?
Signature: Marc

Giant Crab Spider eats Cricket

Giant Crab Spider eats Cricket

Dear Marc,
There is not enough detail in your image to make out the eye arrangement, which often helps to identify a family, but the long front two pairs of legs indicates that this is probably a Giant Crab Spider or Huntsman Spider in the family Sparassidae, but we cannot be certain of the species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination