The enormous Giant Crab Spider is an ambush predator usually found hanging out on walls, waiting for insect prey to pounce on.
The Giant Crab Spider is also known as the Golden Huntsman Spider. This is one of the largest spiders in North America with its body fitting in the palm of the hand - not including the legs. Legs and the cephalothorax are sandy brown and covered in short hairs. The tips of the legs (feet) are darker. The abdomen is round and slightly smaller than the cephalothorax. A narrow, dark stripe runs down the center of the abdomen and ends in a point.
Giant Crab Spiders are ambush predators, lying in wait on vertical surfaces for anything smaller than itself. Despite their large size and presumed heft, they are incredibly quick. Lightening fast speed and the ability to jump allows them to successfully capture prey, and it also makes them difficult to catch. They have been seen on tree trunks, shrubs, boulders, walls, and other objects that lend height and have a textured surface to hold onto. The sides of houses covered in stucco or wood are not uncommon places to find them, and unfortunately they sometimes wander inside homes, freaking out most human inhabitants. They are most comfortable in arid, desert regions, however, and generally prefer to be outdoors.
Adults are most active and likely to be seen in the hot summer months. Females are larger than males. They spin silken egg sacs that they fill with fertilized eggs, and then guard the eggs until the spiderlings hatch a month or so later.
Scientific Name: Olios giganteus
Other Name(s): Golden Huntsman Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 50mm (0.39in to 1.95in)
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Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).