Meet Biggest Spider in the World: The Giant Huntsman Spider

 Kevin Brown
  Jan 02, 2019

Giant huntsman spider is the largest spider in the world that is found in warm regions around the world. This spider has a unique style of hunting which makes it different from other spiders. Huntsman spiders do not tend to create a web to catch the prey like other spiders, they directly hunt their prey by attacking which is why they get their name.

Huntsman spider is considered to be the largest spider considering its longest leg span whereas Goliath birdeater spider is considered biggest with respect to its heavy body weight. An average huntsman spider is 1-inch-long with a leg span of 5 inches but the giant huntsman spider has a leg span of 12 inches, more than any other spider in the world. Because of their large size, huntsman spiders are often mistaken as tarantulas but one can distinguish them from tarantulas from the position of their legs. Legs of tarantulas bend vertically under the body but huntsman spider’s legs are splayed out to the sides just like crabs. They are able to do so because of the twisted joints present in their legs. Due to this giant huntsman spider is also called as “giant crab spider”. They are even able to move side by side due to such alignment of legs. Their legs are generally grey or brown in color and banded. Male huntsman spiders have longer legs and female spiders have large bodies. Their bodies have flattened appearance which allows them to fit themselves in compact places.

The giant huntsman spiders are generally found in Australia and Asia. These days they are found in the US, especially in Florida, California, and Texas. it is believed that they are introduced from Asia. it seems they traveled in boxes of bananas from Asia and which is why they are also called “banana spiders”.

Huntsman spiders are very fast; they can move almost 1 meter in a second. They ambush their prey, use venom to immobilize the prey and eat the prey with their chelicerae (jaws). They normally inhabit under loose bark on trees, in crevices, under rocks, and under foliage. But at times they sneak insider house and cars. Huntsman spiders are social, you can find dozens of them sitting together on dead tree or stumps. In a way, huntsman spiders are very useful to humans because they eat insects, cockroaches, and even other spiders.

You would have often heard how the female spiders eat their male counterparts after mating. But huntsman spiders are absolutely different from other spiders in this case. They do not eat their partner; in fact, they are very romantic. Their mating ritual goes on for several hours and it involves lengthy caresses and other romantic demonstrations. The male huntsman spider drums his Pedi palps antennae-like structures near the mouth against tree trunks before they insert it into a female spider and fertilize her eggs. Once mating is over, female spider lays around 200 eggs and store them in a large spun-silk sac. Huntsman female spiders are very fierce when it comes to protecting their eggs. They carry the egg sac with them under their bodies to guard them even when it affects their body movement severely. Some female spiders keep this egg sac under a rock or piece of bark and stand over it. They are so dedicated to protecting the eggs that they do not eat for weeks. At the time of birthing, they tear open the egg sac to help their babies emerge. Baby huntsmen spiders are pale in color and darken over the time.

The Huntsman spider does bite humans occasionally, but their bite does not pose any serious risk to the humans. It sure is painful and causes localized swelling but nothing serious. Some can experience mild nausea, headaches, and vomiting depending upon the species of spider. But in general, the giant huntsman spider never really attack humans, unless they are trapped or sensed some danger towards their egg sac.

Meet Biggest Spider in the World: The Giant Huntsman Spider

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is a journalist at his own start-up, born and residing in Seattle, Washington. He has a knack of reading up newspaper articles and coming up with summaries and points of view, hence taking up a profession similar to his interest. Simply covering events and activities is something he can do as good as a professional, but he seems to enjoy writing on events that need viewpoints and suggestions.

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