Huntsman Spider

The Australian Huntsman spider belongs to the Family Sparassidae. They are known as being the β€œhairy tarantulas”. They are often seen inside your home on the walls or from coming out from behind curtains.

ALTERNATIVE NAMES

  • Giant Crab Spider
  • Sparassidae
  • Heteropodidae
  • Delena
  • Holconia
  • Neosparassus
  • Olios

APPEARANCE

  • Huntsman spiders come in a variety of colours and patterns
  • Commonly they are mostly brown, black and grey.
  • The body length of the male is 1.6cm and the female has a body length of 2cm
  • Legs can span up to 15cm
  • The back legs are shorter than the front legs which span out sideways allowing them to walk both forward and sideways, hence the name crab spider

LIFECYLE

  • The female huntsman spider lays a flat, white papery silk egg sac
  • The can lay up to 200 eggs at a time
  • The egg sacs are placed under bark or a rock and the female huntsman stands guard over her egg sac for a period of 3 weeks
  • During this time she will not consume any food
  • While the female is guarding her egg sacs, she can become aggressive
  • When the time is right, the mother opens the egg sac and assists her spiderlings out
  • Huntsman spiders are known to spend the first 3 or 4 weeks with her spiderlings.
  • Huntsman species has a life span of about two years or more

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HABITAT

  • Usually be found on tree trunks, under stones, under bark, on the windows and walls inside your home.
  • Huntsman spiders are known to also enter cars & run across the dashboards
  • Some species can live between hairline cracks sandstone and granite outcrops
  • The huntsman spider feeds on a variety of insects, small lizards and frogs
  • The huntsman does not capture their prey in a web but instead stalks and run down
  • Huntsman spiders are poisonous to humans but not fatal

PREDATORS

  • Birds
  • Spider wasps
  • Egg parasites of wasps and birds
  • Geckos
  • Nematode worms

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