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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 ¬©

  Huntsman Spider  
Picture of Huntsman-Spider
Picture of Huntsman-Spider

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.

Huntsman Spider Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Huntsman Spider
Scientific Name: Heteropoda venatoria

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Arachnida
    Arrow graphic Order: Araneae
     Arrow graphic Family: Sparassidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Heteropoda
       Arrow graphic Species: venatoria

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 19 mm to 24 mm (0.741 inches to 0.936 inches)
Identifying Colors: yellow; brown; black; tan; white
Additional Descriptors: large, hairy, biting, venomous

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Texas; Mississippi; Alabama; Georgia; Florida

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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