The enormous and powerful Huntsman Spider could give almost 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.. This robust arachnid prefers to live in warm climates. As part of the Crab Spider family, this spider is comfortable stretching its first 2 or 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. All are brown with a darker area near the strong and large mouthparts.
These spiders are night predators, preying on cockroaches and other insects found traveling the bark of trees. They will eat small bats if they can catch them. Huntsman Spiders sometimes make their way into houses and barns. In a few places, they are welcomed by homeowners thanks to their steady diet of nuisance insects like scorpions, however, most people do not want them inside.
Males shake their legs, creating a dull, low buzzing sound in an effort to attract females. It is just audible in a quiet room and may be mistaken for a ticking clock. Females lay fertilized eggs in silken sac and carry it around in their jaws until the spiderlings hatch. Females will aggressively defend an egg sac. All Huntsman Spiders will deliver a painful bite if threatened. The symptoms from a bite can range from swelling and pain or include vomiting, headaches, and faster heart rate in victims depending on how much venom was injected.
Scientific Name: Heteropoda venatoria
Size (Adult; Length): 19mm to 24mm (0.74in to 0.94in)
Note: 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 as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
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).