Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda venatoria)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Huntsman Spider, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 1/6/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The enormous Huntsman Spider could give anyone arachnophobia.
Although this species of spider is already established in the Southeast, sometimes they stow away on produce from Mexico or Central America and land in other states in the U.S.. It prefers to live in warm climates. It is not an aggressive spider, but it will deliver a painful bite if handled and threatened.
As part of the Crab Spider family, this spider is comfortable stretching its first 2-3 pairs of legs forward, giving it more of a crab-like appearance. They are able to walk sideways and backward as well as forward. Females are heavier, but males have longer legs.
They are night predators, preying on cockroaches and other insects traveling the bark of trees. They sometimes make their way into houses and barns, but, in many areas, are welcomed by homeowners thanks to their diet of nuisance insects. They also eat scorpions and small bats if they can catch them.
Males shake their legs, creating a dull, low buzzing sound in an effort to attract females. Females lay fertilized eggs in silken sac and carry it around in their jaws until the spiderlings hatch.