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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Huntsman Spider Facts

Huntsman spider facts are fascinating to read.

Spiders are some of the most feared and misunderstood creatures that walk this planet. Their biggest claim to fame is their webs but would it not be a paradox to explore the life of spiders that do not build webs? In this article, you will learn about the Huntsman spider (also called giant crab spiders) which is the common name for the members of the family Sparassidae (earlier called Heteropodidae). You'll also learn about Australian huntsman spider facts for kids too.

They are called huntsmen because of their formidable speed and their method of hunting. The larger spiders of the sparissidae are referred to as wood spiders. These spiders are most commonly found in warm and tropical places. Most of these spiders live in Australia, Africa, Asia, America, and the Mediterranean region. Species of huntsman include spiders such as the golden huntsman spider, the brown huntsman spider and the wheel spider.

Enjoy these facts about the huntsman spider. For more similar content check out the wolf spider and the Brazilian wandering spider.

Huntsman Spider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Huntsman Spider?

The huntsman spider is the name for the family 'Sparassidae'. This family is spread across over 13 genera and 94 species. There happen to be many other species yet to be defined by the scientific community.

What class of animal does a Huntsman Spider belong to?

The huntsman spiders belong to the class of Arachnida, which is defined as those animals that are joint-legged invertebrates. The orders within the class contain spiders, scorpions, ticks, and others.

How many Huntsman Spiders are there in the world?

There are over 1200 species of huntsman spiders. The number really stands out considering there are about 45,000 species of spiders that have been discovered. Many species (about 155) of the huntsman spider live in Australia itself.

Where does a Huntsman Spider live?

Generally found in the woods, the huntsman spider lives in tropical to semi-tropical areas. This includes countries like Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, United States (including Hawaii) and others. The green huntsman spider may even be found in Central and Northern Europe. The huntsman spider's location can even be where they interact with humans, and they can even found behind the sun visors in cars.

What is a Huntsman Spider's habitat?

The huntsman spider doesn't like to live in the open and thus, prefers to stay in some kind of shade or shelter. Common places where you may encounter a huntsman spider can be under loose barks, in crevices on the walls of rock and foliage. The huntsman spider is a diverse species and depending on the environment, their habitat and their place within that ecosystem changes. For instance, the green huntsman spider lives in colder conditions such as those of North and Central Europe.

Who do Huntsman Spiders live with?

Huntsman spider can be social but with such a diverse number of species in this category, some live more solitary lives than others. The flat huntsman spider, for instance, chooses to live in groups that have nearly 300 individual spiders.

How long does a Huntsman Spider live?

Huntsman spiders live long lives, with the average life span being around two and a half years. While this a long time for an average spider, it is no match for the tarantula that can live up to a whopping 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

The mating ritual and practices of the huntsman spider are fascinating which we are still learning about. It was recently discovered that male huntsman spider makes a sound in the presence of the female, which they detect from certain pheromones. The courtship between the male and the female is elaborate and gentler compared to other species of spiders. The sounds made by the males are a sort of mating call, and if the female is interested, she approaches the male. Once pregnant the females will then produce an egg sac (with up to 200 eggs) that is flattened, oval, and white papery silk in appearance. They will then place these under bark or a rock and are willing to defend them from any threats.

What is their conservation status?

Each species within this family has its own unique population, thus, different conservation statuses.

Huntsman Spider Fun Facts

What do Huntsman Spiders look like?

Huntsman spider facts are fun to learn about.

Huntsman spider is a category of large spiders that have long legs. With over 1200 species huntsman spiders range in color from grey to brown and even black. Many of the species of huntsman spiders have flattened bodies. Examples of such species are Delena, Isopoda, Isopedella, and Holconia. There is obvious variation in appearance with so many different species. For instance, the brown huntsman (scientific name: heteropoda venatoria) is large, hairy, and has brown, white and black markings, while the banded huntsman is grey to brown paired with the distinct bands on its legs. Often the large huntsman spider is confused with the baboon spiders and even tarantulas. What sets the huntsman apart is its jointed legs that twist in a manner that extends to the front of their bodies in a crab-like fashion.

How cute are they?

Spiders may be cute to some but most humans are extremely creeped out or even scared of spiders. Their crab-like legs that extend in front of their bodies do not help in the cause to make them look endearing.

How do they communicate?

The males of this species, in a mating ritual, call for females by making a substrate-borne sound. The features of this sound, that is, its pattern of bursts and frequency of its vibration resemble the ticking of a watch and can even be audible to the human ear.

How big is a Huntsman Spider?

The giant crab spider, as the name suggests, is a large spider. Its leg span about 5.9 in (15 cm) which sits on a relatively smaller frame that is only 0.71 in (2 cm) long. In fact, the giant huntsman spider is considered to be one of the largest spiders in the world (by leg span) with their legs spanning nearly one foot. If you are scared of spiders this species is not your friend. Despite its size, it isn't as big as the goliath bird-eating spider, which is about a foot wide.

How fast can a Huntsman Spiders move?

These spiders can move at speeds of up to 3 ft per second because of the giant size of their legs. This trait helps them in hunting as huntsman spiders do not build webs, unlike other spiders.

How much does a Huntsman Spider weigh?

This animal can weigh between 0.0015-0.37 lb (0.00068 - 0.1699 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no unique names for the male and female huntsman spider.

What would you call a baby Huntsman Spider?

A huntsman spider baby is called a spiderling.

What do they eat?

Huntsman spiders prey on many insects like the cockroach, flies, mosquitos, and even animals like small lizards.

Are they venomous?

The huntsman spider uses venom to immobilize their prey. Their venom is pretty harmless to humans but a large Australian huntsman spider bite can cause pain and even swelling.

Would they make a good pet?

Huntsman spiders can make for good pets. You'd have to be careful to not provoke or threaten them though. They prey on insects so they might even help on that account in your home. Pet huntsman spiders should be kept in a terrarium with cork, bark, rocks and additionally, there should be vertical space to climb.

Did you know...

The egg sac of a spider huntsman can have up to 200 eggs. There are situations where the female huntsman spider will moisten the egg sac followed by tearing it up just to help the spiderlings out. The female huntsman is very protective of her egg sac and will defend it very aggressively. In fact, some species will carry their egg sacs with them on the underside of their body. The Delena females (large brown huntsman spider) are interesting too in how they lay down a sheet of silk, which they use as a base to anchor the egg sac while the eggs are being laid. The Delena females will then pick these egg sacs leaving the silk sheet behind.

Do Huntsman spiders jump at you?

Huntsman spider speed is renowned, their ability to jump is not. While they don't jump per se, they use a springing jumping motion to get their characteristic fast speeds. They have a 'cling reflex' so if one is stuck on you don't panic as much when they don't shake off as easily as you'd want. There is a wheel huntsman spider which as the name suggests uses a cartwheeling mechanism, and the cartwheeling spider uses a handspring-like motion to move.

How to get rid of Huntsman Spiders?

The huntsman spiders don't make any webs and in fact, can be useful as they prey on insects and others pests in your homes. The huntsman spider is often let go without being killed if found in a home because of these benefits. But they are known to bite as a defense mechanism which may cause swelling and pain. If you do decide to get rid of them, wait for them to get on a flat surface and cover them with a container. Be careful that they don't bite you because their bite may hurt. Place a sheet of paper under them, lift them gently and release them in the wild away from your home.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including the six-eyed sand spider and the orb-weaver spider.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our scary spider coloring pages.

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