The Huntsman Spider Is The World’s Largest Spider By Leg Span

The Huntsman Spider

The Huntsman spiders are members of the family Sparassidae. They are known for their speed, size, and mode of hunting. The size and appearance of Huntsman Spiders’ legs look like that of crabs, hence they are also called Giant Crab Spiders. 

They have a variety of names.

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Most spiders of this species are found in woody places such as forests, mine shafts, woodpiles, and wooden shacks, so sometimes they are referred to as wood spiders. A few genera in Southern Africa are also called rain spiders and lizard-eating spiders. 

The Huntsman Spider

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More than a thousand Sparassidae Species are found in most warm temperate to tropical regions of the world, including Australasia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and the Americas. 

They are eight-eyed spiders. 

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The eyes of Sparassidae spiders appear in two largely forward-facing rows of four on the anterior aspect of the prosoma.

Huntsman Spiders are generally identified by their legs.

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You can identify Huntsman Spiders by their legs of inconspicuous shades of brown and gray. Many species of spiders have black and white marked undersides with reddish patches over the mouthparts. Their bodies are smoothly furry but their legs bear fairly prominent spines. 

The Huntsman Spider

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Some of the species are very large.

A male giant huntsman spider is recorded to have a leg span of 25 to 30 cm. 

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The Huntsman Spiders tend to live under rocks, bark, and similar shelters, but they can also be noticed by humans in sheds, garages, and other infrequently disturbed places. 

Their vision is not as good as that of the Jumping Spiders but is quite sufficient to detect approaching humans or other large animals from some distance.

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The Huntsman Spider

The Huntsman Spiders are often confused for Tarantulas due to their hairy nature. 

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These spiders use their venom to immobilize prey and have also been known to inflict serious defensive bites on humans.

The effects after their bites may vary including swelling and pain, nausea, headache, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and pulse rate. Some systematic neurological toxin effects were also recorded when the bites were severe or repeated. 

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The Huntsman Spiders

 

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Females are fierce defenders and tend to bite more.

The females of Huntsman Spiders can react aggressively to defend their egg-sacs and young against perceived threats.

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They produce sound in mating rituals.

Females of the species are identified by the characteristic frequency of vibration and the pattern of bursts of sound when they are interested in mating.

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A rhythmic ticking can be heard by humans in a relatively quiet environment.

The Huntsman Spider

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These spiders do not build webs, they hunt and forage for food. Their diet mainly consists of insects, small skinks, geckos, and other invertebrates. The Huntsman Spiders often use a springing jump while running and hence can travel very quickly.

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