Huntsman Spider – All You Need To Know

In this article, we cover everything you would like to know about the huntsman spider.

One of the largest spider species, Huntsman spiders are found all across the world – and often make their way into homes. 

Certain species may only be native to specific areas. Their main habitat is tropical and sub-tropical areas of Asia, Australia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean.

They are a feared species in the insect kingdom, as, they actively pursue their prey and crush them using the two pincers in front, giving them their unique name. 

But are they friendly to humans? How do they live and mate? We answer all your questions about huntsman spiders in this article.

What Are Huntsman Spiders?

Brown in color with bands of grey on their legs, huntsman spiders are big, hairy spiders belonging to the Sparassidae family. 

They have eight eyes and small bodies that are around an inch long. However, they have incredibly slender and long legs, reaching up to 5 inches (on average) when uncurled. 

Due to their long legs and hairy body, people often mistake them for tarantulas. They are much larger in size than regular spiders. 

In fact, the giant huntsman spider is the world’s largest spider if we measure them by leg span. They have two eyes on the front in two long rows, each containing four eyeballs. 

Their mouthparts have a reddish patch. Different species may also have other colors all over the body. Badge huntsman can have an overall pinkish-brown body. 

Some tropical species have alternating black and white bands on their legs.

huntsman spider
Huntsman Spider

 

How Big Is A Huntsman Spider?

Huntsman Spiders are among the largest spiders in the world. The giant huntsman spider is the world’s largest  

Generally, females are slightly larger in size than males. Their bodies are up to 1 inch long. The span of the legs, when unfurled, can range from 3 to 5 inches

For the giant huntsman, this can be as long as 12 inches

How Fast Is A Huntsman Spider

Huntsman spiders can move very quickly. The fastest huntsman spider can run as fast as 40 times their body length in a second. 

This means they can cover a distance of around 5 meters in a second. To compare to this, even the fastest humans can only reach a speed of around 5 times their body length. 

Do They Jump?

Different species showcase different types of locomotion.

Mostly, huntsman spiders move via fast walking and using their web to spring from one region to another. 

As long as they have some leverage, they can “jump” and cover distances. 

Some, like the wheel spider and Moroccan flic-flac spider, move by using a cartwheel-type motion where they flip their body over and over. 

Using this method, they can run nearly twice as fast. 

Types of Huntsman Spiders 

Huntsman spiders are a varied species. There are over 1,383 species classified under the family of Sparassidae. Let’s take a look at some of the types of huntsman spiders.

Carparachne

This name includes two different species, both of which are native to Namibia.

Similar to cartwheel spiders, the carparachne spiders also use a rolling motion to quickly traverse over sand dunes and escape its predators.

Cebrennus

This is the genus of the Moroccan flic-flac spider and has a total of 17 species within it. 

Their interesting motion is now inspiring scientists to create robots that can replicate the movement and traverse quickly across sandy environments. 

They are native to Morocco and parts of the Arabian peninsula. 

Golden Huntsman Spider

 

Diminutella

This genus has only one species, Diminutella cortina. They are found only in Cuba. 

Their discovery is quite recent – in 2018. Among all huntsman spider species, these are the smallest in size. 

Heteropoda

This genus houses the largest of all huntsman spiders. The infamous giant crab spider belongs here. 

Heteropoda survive in the tropical areas of North America, Australia, Asia, and the Mediterranean. 

It is less hairy than other species and moves sideways, similar to a crab

Delena

This genus of huntsman spiders is home to 4 spider species. 

Among them, the Delena Cancerides is a uniquely social species where many adults share the same nest without resorting to cannibalism. 

Species of this genus – like the Delena gloriosa, Delena Nigrifrons, and the Delena lapidicola are all only found in Australia. 

Apart from these, there are many other genera like the Leucorchestris, Micrommata, and more. 

Where Do They Live?

They mainly live within the foliage or trees or within small crevices of tree barks. 

On the ground, you may find them under fallen barks and rocks, burrowing in loose sand, or in any slightly dark and damp place. 

What Do They Eat?

As their name suggests, huntsman spiders are aggressive and stealthy hunters. 

Unlike some spiders who are passive hunters, simply waiting for prey to get caught in their net – huntsman spiders actively stalk their prey. 

Their diet includes smaller insects and arthropods. They also feast on larger animals like slugs, lizards, frogs, and in rare cases – even mice

Pests like mosquitos and cockroaches are a fan favorite! 

Huntsman Spider

 

Who Eats Them?

Some common predators are carnivorous birds and larger lizards or geckos. Spider wasps also hunt on the smaller spiders of the family. 

Despite having eight eyes, the eyesight of this spider is only average, and they cannot see objects at a distance. 

In fact, some species, like the eyeless huntsman spiders that survive in caves, do not have eyes at all! 

Among parasites, they are susceptible to nematode worms and parasitic wasps that may lay eggs on their body. 

As the larvae hatch within their body, the worms feast on the spider’s internal fluids, eventually killing it. 

There are cases of scorpions eating them as well. However, this is not a regular occurrence. 

Life Cycle of Huntsman Spiders

Huntsman spiders can live for as long as two years or sometimes more. 

Huntsman spiders have quite a romantic courtship when compared to other spiders, where the female often eats the male. 

After courtship, female spiders lay up to 200 eggs in a single egg sack, which has a paper-like cover. 

She guards it without eating until the younglings hatch. This may take three weeks or more, depending on the climate. 

In some species, the female can carry the egg sac around with her. Females guarding their eggs are aggressive and attack, sensing danger. 

Huntsman Spider

 

After the smaller spiders are born, the mother accompanies them for a couple of weeks more. 

She may also tear the egg sac during its later stages to aid the small ones coming out. During the initial weeks, the spiderlings grow by shedding their skin in a process called molting. 

Sometimes, males and females may remain together during this time. Some species, like the Flat Huntsman, live in large spider colonies where up to 300 adults rear their children. 

How Long Do They Live?

The usual lifespan of a huntsman spider is around two years, though it can be more. Hatching of eggs takes around 2 to 4 weeks. 

Their lifespan is overall quite short when compared to those of other solitary species like the tarantula. Tarantulas can live for 20 to 25 years

Do They Bite?

Huntsman spiders have pincers and can bite. Moreover, their bites are venomous and cause a multitude of reactions in humans. 

If you see one, it is best not to provoke it. They don’t generally bite humans and are defensive rather than offensive on seeing us. 

However, females who guard their egg sacs can be quite aggressive. 

How Venomous Is A Huntsman Spider?

For insects, very. They use their venom to kill insects and even larger slugs and lizards. 

However, for humans, their venom is not fatal. Despite this, if you get injected with their venom, you might suffer from nausea, headaches, and some localized pain and swelling. 

The venom can also alter and lower your pulse rate for some time. 

Huntsman spider

 

Can They Come Inside Homes?

It is quite common to find some species of huntsman spiders inside homes – especially the Flat Huntsman. 

As they live in warm climates, they are always in the search of cooler places. If you have smaller cracks or crevices in your home or along windows, these can make the spider feel right at home. 

They are also attracted by food like cockroaches within their homes. 

What Are They Attracted To?

Huntsman spiders are mainly attracted to food. As they go in search of the same, they look around for moths and other insects. 

Since these insects are primarily found around light sources, you might catch a spider loitering nearby as well. They are foragers and constantly after food sources. 

How To Get Rid of Them?

Having a spider in your home the size of a dinner plate is something to be worried about, for sure. 

You can get rid of them quite easily without external help. But first, never use a broom to sweep away a large spider. 

They are excellent climbers and quick movers who might start climbing on the broom itself.

Here’s what you can do to get rid of them:

  • Place a large container on top of the spider. Slide a thin piece of paper from beneath it until the spider is on the paper. Now take the container outside and release the spider. 
  • To prevent them from coming in, you can use any type of citrus or peppermint spray. Spray these along your windows, doors, ventilators, and any open ledges. Spiders detest the spicy smell, and it will deter them from moving in. 
  • If you find many of them, it means there is an egg sac that has hatched somewhere. Find the source by looking through all cracks and crevices and call pest control for proper chemical treatment.

You can also deter them from coming in by making sure there are no food sources like moths and cockroaches in your home. Installing a mesh or net can go a long way. 

Comparison With Tarantulas 

Based on how similar they look, it is easy to confuse a huntsman spider for a tarantula or vice versa. But you can easily distinguish them by: 

  • Looking at their legs – Tarantules have legs that fold underneath their body. But huntsman spiders have legs that open outwards and sideways – similar to crabs. 
  • Looking at their body size – Tarantulas have larger, hairier bodies and shorter legs. Hunstman spiders have smaller and sometimes flatter bodies with long legs. 
  • Looking at their behavior – Huntsman spiders are more likely to scurry away if you approach them. Tarantulas, on the other hand, are more aggressive and likely to approach. 

Dead Male Huntsman Spider

 

Comparison With The Wolf Spider

Both these species are venomous spiders found in similar habitats. Here are some distinguishing signs to look for: 

  • Looking at their color – Huntsman spiders have brown bodies with grey or brown bands on their legs. Wolf spiders can be pink, orange, salmon, cream, or grey, with larger black and white bands on their legs. 
  • Looking at their legs – Huntsman spiders are known for their long legs with multiple bends. Wolf spiders come nowhere close and have stubbier legs that curl inwards. 
  • Looking at their eyes – Wolf spiders have eight eyes set in a row. The huntsman spider has two rows of 4 eyes each. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do huntsman spiders hurt you?

Yes, the bite of a huntsman spider hurts and causes localized swelling. The venom can also cause headaches and nausea as it spreads. 
They generally do not hurt humans but can if provoked. It is best to not touch them by hand. 

What happens if you get bitten by a huntsman?

If you get a huntsman spider bite – seek medical attention immediately. Usually, your doctor will prescribe an anti-inflammatory medicine to prevent any fever or associated swelling. 
If you are allergic to the venom, you will require further treatment. Swelling and pain will go down in a few days. 

Which spider kills most humans?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the deadliest spider to date is the Funnel-web spider. 
They are native to Australia. Though a bite may not necessarily contain venom – if they do inject venom, it is highly fatal with no known anti-venom. 

Why do huntsman spiders run at you?

Huntsman spiders are not aggressive. If they run towards you, they are simply looking to escape you, by running into the shade. 
However, sometimes, females protecting eggs may run at you to deter you from approaching the eggs. 

Wrap Up 

While not a common pet idea, people do keep huntsman spiders as pets in terrariums.

As long as they are left alone, huntsman spiders are non-threatening and quite chill.

A bite from them is not fatal and can be easily treated. Moreover, not all bites contain venom, as they mostly use venom to subdue prey.

But having said this, there are many impostors who look similar but are quite venomous. So it’s best to know how to identify various species.

Thank you for reading!

Reader Emails

The huntsman spiders are quite a favorite of our readers, many of whom have sent us pictures of their encounters with these giant and hairy spiders.

One of the biggest reasons they get in the path of humans is that they tend to enter in our homes during the winter. Moreover, their size always evokes fear.

Do read through some of the old emails below, gaze at the pics and experience the huntsman spider through the eyes of our audience!

Letter 1 – Badge Huntsman Spider

 

Please identify this spider – from australia Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 5:32 PM This spider came out at night (on the outside of our glass door) – it is about the size of a disposable coffee cup lid (including its legs) and I have tried to identify it from australian spider charts with no luck. The bands on the legs were already bright though the flash from the camera made them a bit brighter. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Alex NSW Central coast, Australia
Banded Huntsman Spider
Badge Huntsman Spider
Hi Alex, We believe this is a Banded Huntsman Spider in the genus Holconia. We found an Australian government website with some photos of Huntsman Spiders, but they don’t show the Banded Huntsman Spider on the ventral surface like your photo. Ventral surface photos for identification are not that common. Correction: This spider looks like a Badge Huntsman in the genus Neosparassus (formerly Olios). Brunet, in “Spiderwatch: A Guide to Australian Spiders”,says that Badge Huntsman, with 25 species, “have blue, yellow, black and white bands and spots on their legs, and often a brilliantly coloured ‘badge’ design on the ventral surface of their abdomens…” Most of them are harmless, but there are two species that can produce a brief illness if they bite humans. Grev Thanks Grev, WE are having a difficult time finding a ventral surface view that shows the “badge” but we did find another nice Huntsman Spider page. Daniel, Here’s a nice one, showing both aspects: http://www.riddellscreeklandcare.org.au/Spiders/BadgeHuntsmanNdiana.ph And another from the same site. http://www.riddellscreeklandcare.org.au/Spiders/BadgeHuntsmanNpatellatus.JPG Grev Hi Daniel, Thank you for getting back to me re my spider. I have had feedback from another source also saying it is a banded (or badged) huntsman and completely harmless.  It is nice to know what it is and its presence is very appreciated (apparently disposes of mosquitos and cockroaches). Many thanks, Alex

Letter 2 – Banded Huntsman Spider from Australia

 

Banded Huntsman Spider Location: Hawkesbury Region, Sydney, Australia November 28, 2011 3:12 pm Hi, I live a little outside of Sydney in a rural area (quite dense bushland) and get quite a few of these Banded Huntsman Spiders (please correct me if I’m wrong). This one was quite large as you can see in the photos. They are quite timid, which is great for taking photos, and their markings are stunning. Thought you’d like the photos as I haven’t seen one like this on your site as yet. Signature: Tracy
Banded Huntsman Spider
Hi Tracy, It seems that Banded Huntsman Spider is the correct common name for this spider, and an aptly chosen common name, however, we have encountered two different possible scientific names.  FlickR has a beautiful photograph identified as Isopeda insignis, though we would not trust FlickR for scientific accuracy.  Another website dedicated to Australian Huntsman Spiders has the species identified as Holconia insignis and states:  “This spider is also known as the banded huntsman spider. The male is 25-30 mm and the female 32-40 mm large. This species is one of the largest in its genus in Australia.”  The photo with the hand for scale does indicate the size nicely.  Thanks for sending your photos.
Banded Huntsman Spider
 

Letter 3 – Banded Huntsman from Australia

 

Subject:  Banded Huntsman Geographic location of the bug:  Wee Waa Date: 05/02/2019 Time: 11:54 PM EDT Your letter to the bugman:  Is it rare to find Banded Huntsman so far from the coast? How you want your letter signed:  Nick
Banded Huntsman Spider
Dear Nick, Thanks for sending in your image of a Banded Huntsman Spider.  According to Atlas of Living Australia, the species is reported even further inland than your location.

Letter 4 – Golden Huntsman Spider

 

SPIDER
Took this picture in Joshua Tree. Not sure what it was, but it was beautiful. What kind is it? Thank you!
K



Hi K,
The Golden Huntsman Spider is a shy, harmless, nocturnal species.

Letter 5 – Golden Huntsman Spider

 

What kind of spider is this?
We found this lovely creature perched on our door frame this morning. She (I think it’s a ‘she’) is approximately 2 1/2" in diameter, is a beautiful light orangy beige color with a darker broken stripe down her abdomen. She is blackfooted (as you can see), has large black fangs, and the 8 eyes are placed 4 front-facing, and 4 top-facing. We aren’t sure what kind of spider this is and would love to know more about what it eats, etc. Can you help with an identification? Thanks in advance. Love this site. It’s so addicting!
Val



I beg your pardon – I just now, in fact, did indeed identify the spider as a Golden Huntsman Spider or Olios Fasciculatus on your site (spiders page 3). Thank you for such a splendid site!
Val

Dear Lady Val,
It was nice to get your three emails in rapid succession. You very quickly correctly identified this lovely Golden Huntsman Spider.

Letter 6 – Golden Huntsman Spider

 

Giant Crab Spider?
I came across this spider crawling across my bathroom window. I was quite surprised. It is the largest spider I have seen that is not in a cage or a zoo. I was able to wrangle it into a bucket and snap a few pictures. The coin is a US Quarter. I found several websites stating that this spider, the Giant Crab Spider (Olios sp) is common to Arizona, however I live in Porterville California, which is halfway between Bakersfield and Fresno. Did I identify the species correctly, and is this spider common in California agricultural lands? I released it into my garden after taking the photo. Thanks,
Dave



Hi Dave,
You are correct. Giant Crab Spiders in the genus Olios are also known as Huntsman Spiders. We believe this to be a Golden Huntsman Spider, Olios fasciculatus.

Letter 7 – Golden Huntsman Spider

 

large spider can’t find it in my book
Dear Bugman
This spider was outside on a glass window in Sedona Arizona on 10/7/04. It’s body was about the size of a elongated quarter. The legs made it at least 3"+ across. It seemed to only have 6 legs although perhaps there is another small pair up by the head. The underneath was a creamy white with a black line around its spinerets. I tried to find it on the Internet and in books I have but I could not identify it especially the legs. Thanks for your help.
Liza Vernet in Sedona



Hi Liza,
Our Audubon Guide to Insects and Spiders has a good photo of the Golden Huntsman Spider, Olios fasciculatus, one of the Giant Crab Spiders. These are large spiders. They are found in New Mexico and Utah, west to California. It builds no organized web, but wanders in slow search of prey. Your specimen must have lost some legs in an altercation.

Letter 8 – Golden Huntsman Spider

 

Subject:  Hairy Momma? Geographic location of the bug:  Oroville, CA (Butte County) Date: 01/28/2020 Time: 06:17 PM EDT Your letter to the bugman:  Found this hairy lurker on the inside of the doorjamb of an old truck in mid January 2020.  Weather’s been in the 40-60*F range, with rain.  Grabbed a quick photo, but can’t find a plausible ID anywhere….can you help? Thinking this may be a female in the process of establishing an egg sac, perhaps?  Gorgeous, but too hairy for most IDs to match. How you want your letter signed:  Cole
Golden Huntsman Spider
Dear Cole, This is a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider in the genus Olios, probably Olios giganteus, a Golden Huntsman Spider.  According to Spider ID:  “Egg sac is spun inside a large, spherical retreat (about 25mm in diameter) in which the female spider also resides, guarding the sac and the spiderlings that emerge from it.”  According to Backyard Nature:  “This Southwestern US and Mexican, arid-land, nocturnal species is known to spin silken “retreats” in which it may spend the day, or to complete molting. Also, the female may spin such a retreat to stay in as she guards her egg sac and the spiderlings who emerge from the sac.”  This species is also represented on BugGuide. Ah HA!  Thank you so much!!  I love love love you folks, and am so grateful for what you do.   Your site is a phenomenal resource!! HUGS!

Letter 9 – Green Huntsman Spider

 

What kind of spider is this?
Hello, I currently live in Sacile, Italy. Tonight I spotted a bright green spider on my wall and tried to take the best pictures I could of it before my husband killed it. I thought it might be a green huntsman spider, but I’m just not sure. It was slightly larger than the size of a nickel with it’s legs. Would you be able to identify it, and is it a dangerous spider? I really appreciate your help! Here are the pictures below. Sorry they are not very clear, my camera obviously doesn’t work well with small images. Thank you so much,
Leslie



Hi Leslie,
We had not heard of a Green Huntsman Spider, and your photo looked so unusual and pretty that we tried to do some research. We found a page that had photos of a Green Huntsman Spider, Micrommata virescens. There really wasn’t much information including the range, but the spider seems to resemble your spider. Further searching of the scientific name lead us to another page with plenty of information and images. The Green Huntsman Spider does indeed live in Europe. We think you have correctly identified your intruder.

Letter 10 – Green Huntsman Spider from Israel

 

Is this another Green Lynx Spider? January 12, 2010 It sat on the inner car door on the Hermon Mountain area, Israël, last december. It was really small, as you maybe can see from part of my index finger in the corner. Nike Nimrod Castle, Israël
Green Huntsman Spider
Green Huntsman Spider
Hi Nike, This is a Green Huntsman Spider.  We found a beautiful photo from France on TrekNature website, where it is identified as Micrommata virescens, a name also used on the Spiders of Slovakia website.  We found other images of Green Huntsman Spiders identified as Micrommata rosea on the NaturePhoto CZ website.  We still haven’t found much information on the range of the Green Huntsman Spider, though there are images online from France, Germany and Slovakia.  Huntsman Spiders in the family Sparassidae often lose legs, much like your specimen.

Letter 11 – Green Huntsman Spider

 

Subject: Strange spider Location: Shoalhaven Heads, NSW, Australi September 22, 2015 1:57 am Hi , I found this one in our kitchen. It’s about 4cm (leg span) in the Shoalhaven region of NSW Australia. I’ve not seen anything like it before. I have caught it . Signature: Thank you in advance.. Ricky
Green Huntsman Spider
Green Huntsman Spider
Dear Ricky, This is definitely a Huntsman Spider and because of its coloration, we believe it is an undescribed Green Huntsman Spider, which is pictured on Oz Animals.

Letter 12 – Red Spotted Cetratus from Australia

 

Subject:  What is this spider? Geographic location of the bug:  Bridgewater, Adelaide Hills. Date: 12/08/2017 Time: 09:02 PM EDT One single spider living in my timber insect hotel. Bright green and yellow. No foliage. No camouflage.  Never seen one like it before.  Hoping you can educate me? How you want your letter signed:  Colleen
Red Spotted Cetratus
Dear Colleen, The longer length on the two front pair of legs is a good indication that this is probably a Green Huntsman Spider which is pictured on both the Australian Museum site and Oz Animals.  Your spider does look different though, so we are requesting some additional information.  What is a “timber insect hotel”? because it implies this Spider is being kept in captivity.  Huntsman Spiders do not build webs.  We would also like to know the approximate size of your spider.  Crab Spiders in the family Thomisidae also have two pairs of front legs that are longer, and they are generally smaller than Huntsman Spiders, so that is also a strong possibility.  Crab Spiders do not build webs, but there are no individuals pictured on the Brisbane Insect site that resemble your individual.  The abdomen on your individual is also shaped quite differently than that of most Crab Spiders.
Thank you for your response. I will give you more details later.
In the meantime, rest assured I keep NOTHING in captivity.
Insect hotels are difficult to explain, so if you Google “insect hotel” all will be revealed.
Thanks again. Such an interesting creature.
I’ll get back to you.
Colleen.
Update:  Red Spotted Cetratus Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash who runs the Brazilian site Insetologia, we have a link to the site Arachne.org and the Red Spotted Cetratus where it states:  “A green crab spider with orange to red spots found Australia wide in moist habitats. The spots cluster at the rear of the cigar shaped, wrinkled abdomen. The whole spider can be plain green or even brownish. The first two pairs of legs are much more robust and longer than the others. The cephalothorax is relatively wide and slighly domed with orange on the eye region. The eyes are circled with white. Well camouflaged on green leaves where it seeks prey by ambush.”   There are also nice images on BowerBird.

Letter 13 – Huntsman Spider in China

 

Spider – Possibly Huntsman Hey, So I found a very large spider on the wall in my apartment. It is probably the size of average palm. When spooked it ran very quickly, not jumping much but moving sideways some. I am just wondering if it really is a huntsman or something else. Rae S. SE China
Huntsman Spider in China
Huntsman Spider in China
Hi Rae, This is most certainly a Huntsman Spider.  It looks like a male Heteropoda venatoria, also known as a Banana Spider.

Letter 14 – Grey Huntsman Spider from Australia

 

Web spinning huntsman October 26, 2009 Web spinning huntsman We get these around outside and inside our house (Queensland, Australia.) They look like male huntsman spiders, and are more active at night, but they also weave massive webs from time to time (between trees) with a very thick fiber. This one came out of my downpipe this morning and bit my arm, self defence I expect, the bite is not serious, just two red dots. Card is in the photo for scale, its the size of a regular credit card. Dylan Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
Giant Gray Huntsman Spider
Gray Huntsman Spider
Hi Dylan, We are nearly certain this is a Giant Gray Huntsman Spider, Holconia immanis, which we initially identified on the Geocities Brisbane Insect Website.  We continued to search for information once we had the scientific name.  A website called the Australian Natural History Safari Website that appears to be run by individuals as opposed to being associated with a scientific organization indicates “The Grey Huntsman does not build a web and is found along the east coast of Australia. They are most active in the summer months and are often encountered in houses, gardens and forested areas. This spider does not bite readily and if it does the pain is mild and local to the bite area.”  A scientific paper written by Klaus Henle from the 1993 Journal of Arachnology that is posted online indicates:  “Both species are typical sit-and-wait foragers.Adult H. immanis seem to have 1-2 preferredambush sites where most individuals were ob-served on many consecutive nights up to a period of 6 months.”   Another Australian Insect website that cites Henle’s observations indicates:  “Habitat  Huntsman spiders are found throughout the east coast of Australia. They do not build webs, and are usually found under bark or ivy or other such sheltered plants. They can also seek shelter inside houses. Diet  Typically Huntsman spiders are described to be sit-and-wait foragers where they ambush their prey, often choosing favourite ambush sites (Henle, 1993).” The Insects of Townsville, Australia website built by Graeme Cocks has wonderful photographs.  Since all the information we have been able to locate indicates that this species does not build webs, your observations are most interesting.  All spiders can spin silk, but Hunting Spiders generally do not build webs as snares.  If you are able to photograph this species with its web, please send us documentation in a followup email.  It is possible that the Grey Huntsman Spider uses a silken line to move from tree to tree, but that it does not build an actual web. Gray Huntsman Spider Thanks Daniel. I will keep an eye out for any webs. It happens rarely enough that I think it may be a mating or nesting thing. I’ve seen one wrap a palm frond in silk to make a kind of hide, then tie off the frond to our garage gutter. If I ever see it again, I will take some photos. Cheers, Dylan Tusler.

Letter 15 – Huntsman Spider from the Philippines

 

cave invertebrates Location: Lanao del Norte, Philippines November 15, 2010 1:12 am i would like to ask a help to identify these specimen. i collected these invertebrates from the cave in the Philippines. i find it hard to identify them because i have no standard taxonomic keys and other references. Please kindly help me because they are needed to be identify for my thesis. I hope for your help, as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration. Signature: immediately
Huntsman Spider
Ed. Note: We have already responded to immediately regarding our issues with doing these identifications, but we couldn’t resist posting this image which we believe is one of the Huntsman Spiders in the family Sparassidae, also known as the Giant Crab Spiders

Letter 16 – Huntsman Spider from Japan

 

Huntsman Spider? Location: Okinawa, Japan December 24, 2010 8:50 am We have a lot of spiders like this in Okinawa, Japan. I believe it is a Huntsman, (family sparassidae), but I’m not sure. The spinnerets can be seen well, as can the eyes. What do you think? Signature: Hooray for bugs!
Huntsman Spider
Your suspicion that this is a Huntsman Spider is correct.  It is probably Heteropoda venatoria, a species that has spread to many port towns because of the importation of bananas.  Natural Japan has a nice entry on this species.
Huntsman Spider

Letter 17 – Huntsman Spider from China

 

Spider in Guanxi Province, China Location: Baise, Guangxi Province, China January 9, 2011 9:31 pm We accidently disturbed this guy from behind a framed picture in a building. His legs are about 6-8 inches each. He didn’t move very quickly and didn’t jump. We have considered it being a huntsman or a golden earth tiger spider…what is he?? Signature: the Reeves family
Huntsman Spider
Dear Reeves Family, Your suspicion that this is a Huntsman Spider is correct, however we believe your size estimate is an exaggeration.  Erring on the low end, if each leg was six inches long, this spider would be more than a foot across.  Just like the fish that got away, the size of insects that are observed and that make an impression often seem much larger than they really are.

Letter 18 – Huntsman Spider from Nicaragua

 

Another unknown spider Location: Nicaragua, Managua, El Crucero ( 12° 3’45.68”N – 86°18’51.68”W) January 30, 2012 5:47 pm Dear Bugman, Can you tell me what’s that spider I found in mi kitchen? Signature: Sergiortc
Huntsman Spider
Dear Sergiotc, We believe this is a Giant Crab Spider in the family Sparassidae, a group sometimes called Huntsman Spiders.

Letter 19 – Huntsman Spider from Hawaii

 

Subject: Pukalani Wolf Spider Location: Pukalani – Maui June 25, 2012 5:44 pm Aloha – Found this guy Sunday 24 June in my carport, near my orchids. Not sure if he found something to dine on amongst them, as the next morning he was gone on. About 3” across from the front pair of legs to the other. Wish I had better contrast on his head for you. Knowing we have many hitchhikers into the islands, this guy could have come from *anywhere* on the planet. Got a male Black Witch moth daytime photo the other week at the local post office. Appreciate your site… always learn so much! Warm regards ~ Signature: Eliza
Huntsman Spider
Dear Eliza, This is a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider, not a Wolf Spider.  We believe it is Heteropoda venatoria, a species that has naturalized in many port cities around the globe.  According to Instant Hawaii, they are also known as Cane Spiders. Aloha Daniel – Perhaps it is seriously erroneous, yet I call all spiders who walk around looking for a meal “wolf” spiders. Hmm, the usual markings, as illustrated on the Instant Hawaii site for a Huntsman, is missing. If it had been a Huntsman, I’d have not submitted it as I know them well. I remove various sized ones (2″ to about 5″, leg to leg dimension) from my house regularly. So Giant Crab Spider = Huntsman? hmmmm Maluhia – peace ~ Eliza

Letter 20 – Male Huntsman Spider

 

Subject: wolfspider Location: costa rica March 27, 2013 12:26 am a big spider in Belgium we call it a wolfspider… Signature: fred from belgium
Male Huntsman Spider
Male Huntsman Spider
Dear Fred, This is a Male Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider, Heteropoda venatoria.  It is sometimes called a Banana Spider because for many years, they were spread around the world when they arrived in shipments of bananas, often emerging in grocery stores.  In many parts of the world they are tolerated since they hunt at night and feed on Cockroaches.  This submission will post live to our site next week.

Letter 21 – Huntsman Spider from Panama

 

Subject: Possible bird spider Location: Panama February 10, 2014 1:44 pm Hi my name is Wes and I found this spider walking across the house I was building in the middle of the jungle in Panama. So I took a picture of it and Put it on Facebook. People were saying it was a huge recluse, I think it is a bird spider. Can you tell from these two photos what this might be? I am located in Bocas Del Toro On Isla Colon. This photo was taken February 1st. This house I am building is well in the jungle so it has very little traffic, Signature: Wes Griffin
Huntsman Spider
Huntsman Spider
Hi Wes, We believe this is a Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider in the family Sparassidae.

Letter 22 – Gorgeous, recently described White Lady Huntsman Spider from Israel

 

Subject: Arava wolf spider Location: Arava, Israel January 17, 2016 2:02 am Hey there Bug People, This guy (girl?) came to say hello yesterday morning while I was on a hiking trip in Southern Israel. It must be one of the most beautiful, and big wolf spiders I’ve ever seen. Some quick research online says it’s the very recently described Cerbalus aravaensis Levy, 2007, that lives in the small sandy area in the center of the Arava (a long, narrow strip south of the Dead Sea, on the border between Jordan and Israel). Enjoy all ye bug lovers! Signature: Ben from Israel
Wolf Spider from Israel
Huntsman Spider from Israel
Happy New Year Ben, This truly is a gorgeous Spider and we are very thankful that you have sent us your wonderful images.  Thank you also for providing a scientific name, however, when we began to research that name, we realized this is NOT a Wolf Spider.  Structurally, your spider differs from the shape we normally associate with Wolf Spiders.  Our first clue was the on Israel’s Nature Site where images of this species seem to be classified under the Giant Crab Spider or Huntsman Spider family Sparassidae.  ITIS confirms the family as Sparassidae.  The Gallery Through My Lens site provides the common name White Lady Huntsman Spider.  The Documenting Reality site also indicates the family is Sparassidae and provides this information:  “ScienceDaily (Jan. 11, 2010) — A new and previously unknown species of spider has been discovered in the dune of the Sands of Samar in the southern Arava region of Israel by a team of scientists from the Department of Biology in the University of Haifa-Oranim. Unfortunately, however, its habitat is endangered. ‘The discovery of this new spider illustrates our obligation to preserve the dune,’ says Dr. Shanas, who headed the team of scientists. The Sands of Samar are the last remaining sand dune in Israeli territory in the southern Arava region. In the past, the sands stretched across some 7 square kilometers, but due to the rezoning of areas for agriculture and sand quarries, the sands have been reduced to fewer than 3 square kilometers. During a course of studies that Dr. Shanas’s research team has carried out in the region, they discovered this new spider, a member of the Cerbalus genus. Since it has been found in the Arava, it has been given the name Cerbalus aravensis.”
Wolf Spider
Huntsman Spider

Letter 23 – Huntsman Spider from Bali

 

Subject:  Possibly Huntsman spider Geographic location of the bug:  Bali, Indonesia Date: 05/01/2019 Time: 08:27 PM EDT Your letter to the bugman:  Found this one in my hotel room and was unable to catch it. About the size of the palm of my hand. Judging from the pics on this site, it has the right “pacman” markings to be a Huntsman, but it doesn’t have the awkward legs and movements of other Huntsman spiders I’ve seen.  Thank you! How you want your letter signed:  Jason
Male Huntsman Spider
Dear Jason, This is indeed a Huntsman Spider and we believe it is a long legged male Heteropoda venatoria, a species that has spread to many tropical ports because of the importation of bananas, giving it the common name Banana Spider. Comment from Cesar Crash Looks like Heteropoda, but I think H. venatoria never has this stripy legs, at least the ones introduced in Brazil, they are quite common here. This genus has so many species, many of them in Indonesia: https://wsc.nmbe.ch/genus/3115/Heteropoda  

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

49 thoughts on “Huntsman Spider – All You Need To Know”

  1. This spider looks like a Badge Huntsman in the genus Neosparassus (formerly Olios). Brunet, in “Spiderwatch: A Guide to Australian Spiders”,says that Badge Huntsman, with 25 species, “have blue, yellow, black and white bands and spots on their legs, and often a brilliantly coloured ‘badge’ design on the ventral surface of their abdomens…” Most of them are harmless, but there are two species that can produce a brief illness if they bite humans.

    Reply
  2. Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I
    guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your
    blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for beginner blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    Reply
  3. found 2 luminous . green spiders in my garden do not know what they are could they be poisonous. about the size of a 5p with a raised body

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  4. It looks very similar to Hepetoda maxima. The species was recently discovered in the caves of Laos. Depending on size, the oddities of the description fit very well.

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  5. well hello there i found one of those nastey spiders in my friends house. i live up in northern california about 30 miles northeast of chico, ca. you’d think its too cold up here in the mountains for them but guess not.

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    • Dear Leon,
      Thank you very much for all your comments and corrections on the Huntsman Spiders in our archives. This particular comment arrived in duplicate, [edited for content] though we don’t understand if you are addressing our editorial staff or Dylan who submitted the images claiming that this particular spider spins webs. We have made it abundantly clear that we are not experts here at What’s That Bug? and our primary mission is to promote an appreciation and tolerance of the lower beasts as we attempt to identify the numerous “bugs” that are submitted to our site from all over the world. We are artists and we have no formal entomology training nor any formal background in the natural sciences for that matter. We have always been, and we continue to be a pop culture site, and we have no formal affiliation with experts or science institutions, though we often request assistance from specialists within the field. Perhaps we are just being overly sensitive, but when you write: “get some sense into you and listen to the experts,” and then you write it a second time for emphasis, we can’t help but feel that you are addressing us and it feels like a personal attack. [edited for content] and often when people put things in writing the true intentions can be misunderstood. We don’t know which experts you are directing us to listen to. Are you perhaps an expert? You did not list any credentials when you submitted the comments. We thought we made it very clear in our original response to Dylan that Huntsman Spiders do not spin webs to snare prey, but we did not totally discount the possibility that they might use the silk they are capable of producing for other purposes, like shelter and transportation. Thanks again for your comments.

      Reply
    • Dear Leon,
      Thank you very much for all your comments and corrections on the Huntsman Spiders in our archives. This particular comment arrived in duplicate, [edited for content] though we don’t understand if you are addressing our editorial staff or Dylan who submitted the images claiming that this particular spider spins webs. We have made it abundantly clear that we are not experts here at What’s That Bug? and our primary mission is to promote an appreciation and tolerance of the lower beasts as we attempt to identify the numerous “bugs” that are submitted to our site from all over the world. We are artists and we have no formal entomology training nor any formal background in the natural sciences for that matter. We have always been, and we continue to be a pop culture site, and we have no formal affiliation with experts or science institutions, though we often request assistance from specialists within the field. Perhaps we are just being overly sensitive, but when you write: “get some sense into you and listen to the experts,” and then you write it a second time for emphasis, we can’t help but feel that you are addressing us and it feels like a personal attack. [edited for content] and often when people put things in writing the true intentions can be misunderstood. We don’t know which experts you are directing us to listen to. Are you perhaps an expert? You did not list any credentials when you submitted the comments. We thought we made it very clear in our original response to Dylan that Huntsman Spiders do not spin webs to snare prey, but we did not totally discount the possibility that they might use the silk they are capable of producing for other purposes, like shelter and transportation. Thanks again for your comments.

      Reply
  6. Ok I’ve kept a lot of these sp they do indeed build a silken chamber under bark and leavs but they don’t spend a web never in my keepings have they done that

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    • Nearly all spiders have venom, but very few are dangerous to humans. According to British Spiders: “Status Very local and rarer in the north. Although this spider is not that easy to find, in spite of its size and colour, it is unlikely to be overlooked when seen by either general naturalists or arachnologists, and there appears to have been a long term decline. Threats The reasons for the decline in this species are unclear, but may be related to general landscape degradation in lowland Britain and fragmentation of semi-natural habitats.” No information is provided on danger to humans, which leads us to believe there is none. According to iNaturalist: “A bite from this spider on a human may cause some local swelling and a little bit of pain, and would be gone within 2 days.”

      Reply
  7. I have just released a Green Huntsman into the wild! He has been in my car for a few months. Probably from where I live in the summer in SW. France. He was a beautiful specimen. I hope he does alright. Fancy that Italian killing the one his wife found! Unbelievable! What an idiot! No wonder these species are becoming rare. I have seen the brown ones in Australia. They are massive,but harmless. Regards, Ash

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  8. 27th Dec. 2015
    Thanks very much for the great photo of a Green Huntsman Spider. Have just put a very lively, bright green spider outside into the shrubbery.

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  9. 27th Dec. 2015
    Thanks very much for the great photo of a Green Huntsman Spider. Have just put a very lively, bright green spider outside into the shrubbery.

    Reply
  10. Hi Daniel, thanks for the correction and yes, it is a huntsman, not a wolf spider. My mistake.
    This is actually really fascinating, since the spider was found at Hatzeva, about 130km North of the Samar dunes. Our campsite was in a sandy area, but the sand is quite shallow and there are no dunes there. Maybe the range of this spider’s habitat is much larger than what was suspected.

    Reply
  11. Hi Daniel, thanks for the correction and yes, it is a huntsman, not a wolf spider. My mistake.
    This is actually really fascinating, since the spider was found at Hatzeva, about 130km North of the Samar dunes. Our campsite was in a sandy area, but the sand is quite shallow and there are no dunes there. Maybe the range of this spider’s habitat is much larger than what was suspected.

    Reply
  12. It’s definitely Heteropoda spp. As to species, well good luck on that. I’ve collected many arthropods in the Phils, and have always run into issues, often even on genus. I’ve discovered a species of diplopod that exceeded the size of the species in Madagascar…. and nobody seems to have any data on it (typical of many species of arthropods of all kinds in the Phils). If I were doing a dissertation … looking for previously unidentified species … I’d start in the Philippines (probably Mindanao)

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  13. I remember these massive spiders that were pink with white hair. Big at least as big as a large males hand. A local in the kibbutz in Dead Sea told me these were scorpion eaters

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    • Hi Jim,
      I don’t know if this is one of the spiders you saw on the kibbutz, sounds to me more like a solifugid (AKA camel spider or wind scorpion) than a spider. They get to be huge and they do go after scorpions (or anything else they can catch).

      Reply
    • Hi Jim,
      I don’t know if this is one of the spiders you saw on the kibbutz, sounds to me more like a solifugid (AKA camel spider or wind scorpion) than a spider. They get to be huge and they do go after scorpions (or anything else they can catch).

      Reply
  14. We live in mid west France found one of these today, thought because its green it must be ok so I set it somewhere safe.
    God makes the bad ones red or aggressive looking.

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  15. We live in mid west France found one of these today, thought because its green it must be ok so I set it somewhere safe.
    God makes the bad ones red or aggressive looking.

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  16. The “timber insect hotel” seems to be not a spider cage, but a wooden outdoors structure. More simply put: a “birdhouse” for invertebrates; Wikipedia has further info on bug hotels.

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  17. I have just discovered a micrommata ligurina in my kitchen. It seems to be quite shy bobbing around behind my spice cupboard. I live in Mataelpino, in the Community of Madrid Spain. My garden is absolutely full of wildlife of all kinds and so it was fun discover a new resident.

    Reply
  18. Hi
    I live in Narrabri and was working out at Wee Waa the other day. I found what I think was a banded huntsman. Is it rare to find this spider so far from the coast?

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  19. Hi
    I live in Narrabri and was working out at Wee Waa the other day. I found what I think was a banded huntsman. Is it rare to find this spider so far from the coast?

    Reply
  20. Cant comment on the habitat as I live on the Coast at Pacific Palms. We often get Huntsman and only on occasions do we get the banded variety, but when we do I have observed that they are very large when banded.
    Interestingly we have a “sick” huntsman in our bedroom at the moment and has been withdrawing as if dead over the last 2 days. This morning the spider has regain it’s spread and lo and behold it has now bands on its legs whereas it wasn’t banded prior to getting sick. What I would like to know is do they develop bands or is this just a strange co-incidence.
    Ross

    Reply
  21. Cant comment on the habitat as I live on the Coast at Pacific Palms. We often get Huntsman and only on occasions do we get the banded variety, but when we do I have observed that they are very large when banded.
    Interestingly we have a “sick” huntsman in our bedroom at the moment and has been withdrawing as if dead over the last 2 days. This morning the spider has regain it’s spread and lo and behold it has now bands on its legs whereas it wasn’t banded prior to getting sick. What I would like to know is do they develop bands or is this just a strange co-incidence.
    Ross

    Reply
  22. The spider in this photo is Phoneutria depilata (Strand, 1909), a member of the family Ctenidae which need to be treated with some caution as can have a medically significant bite.

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  23. Do forgive my unusual manner of words I mean no offense I’m just stressed because I have a masive arachnophobia mams and sirs, “seldom see them”?! I had one crawling up my tired ass minutes ago sheeesh and I was about to sleep! ????

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  24. We found a banded huntsman on the boot of my car in Mudgee yesterday. Whether it had been in the car and hitched a ride to Mudbee from Rylstone where we’re staying I couldn’t say. (We live in Urunga.) whatever, I had ever seen one before.

    Reply

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