Do Huntsman Spiders Jump? How Do They Hunt?

Huntsman spiders are incredible – they can run very fast, they are huge in size, and they are incredibly good hunters. But do huntsman spiders jump too? Let’s find out.

Huntsman spiders or giant crab spiders are large and quite quick. They are called so because of the way their legs are bent, giving them the appearance of a crab.

This unusual leg arrangement is located away from the body and helps them jump (or rather fall) from a surface. The real strength of the arachnid, though, lies in its speed.

Do Huntsman Spiders Jump
Huntsman Spider

More than 5,000 species of jumping spiders can be found across the globe, especially in tropical regions. 300 of them can be found in the United States alone.

But is the brightly colored huntsman spider a member of the jumping spider family? Or is it different?

Do they jump, spring or bounce? Let’s find out more about them!

What Are Jumping Spiders?

Jumping spiders belong to the family Salticidae. Phidippus audax is amongst the most common jumping spiders in the world.

Jumping spiders are typically smaller than other arachnids found in and around our homes or gardens. They are carnivorous, and they love preying on insects similar to their size or smaller.

The huntsman spider, on the other hand, relies on its vision, speed, and running skills to hunt.

How Can You Identify Jumping Spiders?

Identifying jumping spiders is easy. Jumping spiders have vivid splashes of colors all over their body and can often be seen sporting colors like red, white, and metallic green (their jaws or chelicerae, especially).

The jumping spider has the extraordinary ability to jump distances more than 10-40 times their body length.

Most jumping spiders are hairy spiders. They have eight eyes, and their head and thorax are fused. One of these pairs is larger than the rest and is located on the cephalothorax’s front.

Their giant eyes are capable of detecting distances just like human eyes and can detect movement easily.

Huntsman Spider

Can Huntsman Spiders Jump?

Huntsman spiders do not jump but have an odd way of moving about. These crab spiders have an unusual leg arrangement that can give an observer the appearance of jumping.

The joints of most of these spiders are not vertically perpendicular to the body but twisted forward in a crab-like manner.

Other species of huntsman spiders use odd locomotion styles too.

For instance, the golden wheel spider (Carparachne aureoflava) uses a completely unique rolling movement to run from predators. It is a native of Namib in South Africa.

Another huntsman from the same region called the Cebrennus rechenbergi, moves around in a handspring motion when trying to evade predators.

There are other differences as well.

Huntsman spiders remain active during the night and are famous for their unique mating rituals.

The male spider vibrates its palps to woo the female, and the female does not devour the male after mating, unlike other spiders.

Lastly, rather than weaving webs, the giant huntsman spider hunts, forages, and grabs its food through its superior speed.

Golden Huntsman Spider

How Do Huntsman Spiders Hunt?

As mentioned above, Huntsman spiders do not spend their time waiting for their prey to walk into their silk trap.

Instead, they wait for insects, stalk them and pounce on them when the time is suitable. In some cases, they can cover a lot of distance to reach their prey before killing it.

These types of spiders mostly eat insects and other invertebrates at night.

Cockroaches are a particular favorite, so if your home is a haven for roaches, the Huntsman makes an excellent beneficial insect and natural pest remover.

What Are Some Other Unique Things About Jumping Spiders?

Jumping spiders are found across all continents, and their habitats vary just as much as their appearances.

These small and fuzzy-headed insects are often only 0.5 inches in length, but there is a lot of diversity in size.

The Hyllus giganteus is the largest spider in this species, measuring almost upto an inch. On the other hand, the Habronattus pyrrithrix only measures up to 0.19 to 0.3 inches.

Carl Ludwig Koch, a German arachnologist, discovered the giant jumping spider in 1846 and first mentioned it in his co-written book The arachnids: depicted and described true to nature.

Huntsman spider

The latter can be found in the southwestern US and western Mexico.

However, while they may all be different in size, there is one commonality – their eyesight is superb. They have four pairs of eyes, all pointed in the front, ready to pounce.

The central two eyes are as powerful as little binoculars and have 360-degree vision because they can move in all directions.

There are many other notable facts about these spiders, but perhaps the most important is the way they hunt their prey.

They build a single silk thread to attach themselves to a place like an anchor, helping them in a more stable trajectory as they are jumping.

They then jump distances of as much as 6.3 inches in order to grab their prey, a distance nearly six to ten times their size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do huntsman spiders chase you?

Deliberately? No. Huntsman spiders might chase you if they feel threatened. They are not interested in humans and are not aggressive creatures hell-bent on gobbling you up or maiming you. They only go the extra mile for a delicious snack.

Should I be scared of a huntsman spider?

Huntsman spiders aren’t on the lookout for you. These spiders won’t attack you unless provoked. Their spider bites are not very painful and, in most cases, do not require medical attention.
If you still get bitten, you can use cold packs. If you experience inflammation and vomiting, seek medical help immediately.

Will huntsman spiders crawl on you?

No, huntsman spiders do not crawl on you under normal circumstances, and they don’t take a stroll on your face while you’re sleeping, either.
These spiders do like to come inside houses, but they prefer to keep their distance from humans and will not come near you even when you are asleep.

Why do huntsman spiders run at you?

If it does move toward you, it will be because it feels threatened. Huntsman spiders cannot look at you properly and so can sometimes run toward you instead of running away from you.
The huntsman spider is a social arachnid not fond of aggression and will move towards you if there is some kind of threat display.

Wrap Up

Huntsman spiders are roving hunters who use speed, agility, and strength to catch their prey. They don’t rely on their web-weaving skills for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Excluding a run down for a lip-smackingly delicious cockroach, these species of spiders are non-aggressive. It is best to live and let these furry friends live too!

Thank you for reading!

Reader Emails

Huntsman spiders have crouched legs, which gives the appearance that they are getting ready to jump.

Many of our readers have asked us this question – why do they seem to always be ready to jump?

Read through the emails below to understand how confusing it can be!

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