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David Bowie Spider: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

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A species of the huntsman spider (genus: Heteropoda), the David Bowie spider (Heteropoda davidbowie) is named in the honor of English singer and actor, David Bowie and his works the 'Glass Spider' and the album 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars'. The species was first described by a German arachnologist Peter Jäger.

The Heteropoda davidbowie species is found in several parts of Southeast Asia such as west Malaysia, Sumatra, Singapore, and possibly southern regions of Thailand. The spider inhabits tree bark while juveniles majorly dwell in leaf litter, shrubs, and trees.

These spiders are sexually dimorphic as females are slightly larger than males. The average body length of males is 0.6-0.7 in (15.2-18.2 mm) while females are 0.8-1 in (21.3-25.3 mm) long. The male spider possesses a reddish-brown dorsum with dense bright orange hairs, its pedipalps are black and its legs have no such patterns. Meanwhile, the dorsum of the female may vary from grayish to reddish-brown, and its legs also have dark spots in bright areas.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has not evaluated the conservation status of the species. Predation is considered the only major threat to these spiders.

Keep on reading to learn more interesting facts about the David Bowie spider. For more relatable content, check out these orb-weaver spider facts and yellow sac spider facts for kids.

David Bowie Spider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a David Bowie spider?

The David Bowie spider (Heteropoda davidbowie) is a species of huntsman spider that is named in honor of English singer and actor David Bowie and his works the 'Glass Spider' and the album 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars'. The species' name was first described by a German arachnologist Peter Jäger.

What class of animal does a David Bowie spider belong to?

The David Bowie spider belongs to the Arachnida class, the family of Sparassidae, and the Heteropoda genus.

How many David Bowie spiders are there in the world?

The exact population of David Bowie spiders is not known as of now but studies reveal that the population is stable and the species is found in several areas of Southeast Asia.

Where does a David Bowie spider live?

Heteropoda davidbowie species distribution is found across several parts of Southeast Asia such as the Cameron Highlands of west Malaysia, Sumatra, Singapore, and possibly southern regions of Thailand.

What is a David Bowie spider's habitat?

Adults of the species inhabit tree bark while juveniles majorly dwell in leaf litter, shrubs, and trees.

Who do David Bowie spiders live with?

Very little information regarding the social behavior of the species is available as of now but it is said that these spiders are solitary creatures who prefer to live alone. During the mating season, these spiders come together.

How long does a David Bowie spider live?

The Heteropoda davidbowie species has a life expectancy of two to two and a half years, while the life expectancy of most species of spiders is around eight to 14 months. Also, the life span of these spiders generally increases if kept in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Spiders are known for their violent courtship and mating behaviors. Species such as black widow spiders are known for occasionally engaging in sexual cannibalistic behavior in which the female kills the male spider after mating. Unlike other species, the courtship and mating patterns of Heteropoda davidbowie spiders are generally quite peaceful.

These spiders are usually engaged in prolonged mating for several hours. Females are quite protective of their egg sacs and guard them closely until they hatch. Females lay two to five egg sacs every year. Cannibalism among siblings becomes common when they reach the third or fourth instar.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has not evaluated the conservation status of the species. Predation is considered the only major threat to these spiders. Also, the population seems to be stable as of now.

David Bowie Spider Fun Facts

What do David Bowie spiders look like?

The male spider possesses a reddish-brown dorsum with dense brightly orange hairs forming patches and lines, its pedipalps are black and its legs have no distinct pattern. The posterior half of the body has a distinct red line. While the dorsum of the female may vary from grayish to reddish-brown, the legs also legs have dark spots in bright areas.

These rare David Bowie spider facts would make you love them.

How cute are they?

The Heteropoda davidbowie species of huntsman spider is generally more threatening than cute. Unlike other species, the spider does not spin but uses its venom to immobilize its prey. Also, its dense bright orange hairs look very fascinating.

How do they communicate?

Like other species, David Bowie spiders use similar methods to communicate. Generally, spiders vibrate their abdomen to attract females and the same signal is used to warn of intruders or predators. Some species are also able to mimic the vibrations of other insects to attract their prey.

How big is a David Bowie spider?

The body length of these spiders is medium to large in size. The average body length of males is 0.6-0.7 in (15.2-18.2 mm) while females are 0.84-1 in (21.3-25.3 mm) long. These spiders are bigger than American house spiders and black house spiders.

How fast can a David Bowie spider run?

The exact speed of the Heteropoda davidbowie species is not known as of now but the spider is known for its predatory skills. The spider catches and immobilizes its prey within seconds, and it is so active that it can also kill small vertebrates.

How much does a David Bowie spider weigh?

The exact weight of the David Bowie spider is not known as of now.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to male and female H. davidbowie spiders.

What would you call a baby David Bowie spider?

No particular name has been given to the baby of H. davidbowie, but the term spiderlings is used to refer to the babies of spiders more generally.

What do they eat?

The H. davidbowie spider is a carnivore and it primarily preys on insects such as grasshoppers, butterflies, and small invertebrates such as small lizards and frogs. The species uses its venom to immobilize and kill its prey.

Are they poisonous?

Generally, adults do not prefer living around humans and they bite rarely but they do possess venom. Their venom is primarily used to capture their prey and it is lethal only to insects and small reptiles such as lizards but multiple bites of these spiders can have severe neurologically toxic effects. Their bite can cause pain, swelling, headache, vomiting, nausea, and heart palpitations. It is also advised not to harm or provoke them unnecessarily as they can be dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not encouraged to keep these spiders in captivity since they are venomous spiders and should be handled with care. Several things should be kept in mind before keeping them, like their habitat, food habits, behavior, and much more.  Also, kids should never handle these spiders as their venom could cause pain, swelling, headaches, nausea, and other ill effects. It is also proven that if proper care is not taken of them, these spiders generally die quite early. You can often find these spiders in zoos if you want to take a closer look from a safe distance!

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Tarantulas have a life expectancy that ranges between eight to 25 years.

The famous English singer, David Bowie's hair was also bright orange.

The Attercopus fimbriungus is the oldest species of spider.

The Brazilian wandering spider is the most dangerous spider in the world.

Who named spiders?

While talking about the taxonomy of spiders, Carl Alexander Clark, a Swedish naturalist, is credited with naming around 67 species of spiders in his book 'Svenska Spindlar', published in 1757. Also, Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist named 30 species just one year before that.

Over the last 250 years, more than 1,000 species of spiders have been described by several researchers. Authors such as Norman Platnick and Herbert Walter Levi of the United States, Eugène Simon of France, Embrik Strand of Norway, and Tamerlan Thorell of Sweden have described over 1,000 species. And of course, Peter Jäger described the first David Bowie spider.

Are spiders older than dinosaurs?

Spiders are one of the earliest animals to live on land (despite the fact that the first spider on earth is not currently known) and they evolved around 400 million years ago. Evidence of the existence of these animals in the Devonian period is also present, more than 150 million years before dinosaurs are thought to have existed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arachnids and insects from our ground beetle facts or earwig facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable David bowie spider coloring pages.

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