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Giant Crab Spider (Olios giganteus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Giant Crab Spider

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The enormous Giant Crab Spider is an ambush predator usually found hanging out on walls, waiting for insect prey to pounce on.

Updated: 01/03/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Sparassidae
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          Genus: Olios
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            Species: giganteus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Olios giganteus
Other Name(s): Golden Huntsman Spider
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 50mm (0.39" to 1.96")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; white; gray
Descriptors: huge; large; hairy; big; legs; biting; venomous

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 50mm (2.0in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 30mm
Hi: 50mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Giant Crab Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Giant Crab Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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