Huntsman Spider from the Philippines

Subject:  What is it?
Geographic location of the bug:  Cavite, Philippines
Date: 01/18/2018
Time: 10:34 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this spider dangerous?
How you want your letter signed:  Perry

Huntsman Spider

Dear Perry,
This is a male Huntsman Spider,
Heteropoda venatoria, a species that has expanded its range greatly due to the cultivation and shipment of bananas, hence the common name Banana Spider.  Your individual is missing two of its legs.  This species of Huntsman Spider is considered harmless to humans.  The are nocturnal hunters that are tolerated indoors in many tropical countries because they feed on Cockroaches.

6 thoughts on “Huntsman Spider from the Philippines”

  1. The huntsman now belongs to the family Sparassidae, not Heteropoda venatoria. The photo above shows a specimen with only six legs, no doubt two lost in combat; I found one in similar condition recently. I wonder if it can survive on six legs, it will have a harder time chasing down cockroaches and geckos (I’m betting it lost legs in tussles with geckos). It can inflict a painful, venomous bite, and when picked up tends to “cling” to one’s hand, and then you’re more likely to be bitten. I leave any I find alone; I don’t bother them and they don’t bother me, and meanwhile they’re eating things I like much less, cockroaches.

  2. We find them in our area too, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. I do not kill them because I know they eat the ants and cockroaches. I wasn’t aware that they attack geckos. I find they are a shy spider. They mostly live in my bathroom under the sink and very seldom see them. Kate

  3. We have them here in the Kalibo area, Aklan, Panay, too. The males are smaller, more gracile than the females which can get HUGE.

  4. I currently have one, my in house pest control, he just shed his skin. I call him Arnold lol. Not shy but easily startle by closing doors. he lives near my trash can. Location: Baguio

  5. I just got ready to take a shower in San Antonio Burgos Zambales Luzon Philippines and there was a 4.5-5-inches Dark Reddish Brown Male in the bathtub. I put it in a plastic Folgers Coffee container, handed to my wife to put outdoors, and my Auntie was too quick to kill it, as I yelled from the stairs, “Don’t kill it, it’s harmless!” Too late 🥴

    I don’t kill beneficial creatures or arachnids that eat the local cockroaches and Budakit (Gecko).


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