It’s official, this is the biggest spider in the world based on leg span, and they can become quite huge indeed.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most interesting facts about the giant huntsman spider, a particularly scary spider that you wouldn’t want to come across any time soon!
1. It’s a member of the Huntsman family of spiders
The giant Huntsman spider is a member of the family Sparassidae, also known as the “Huntsman spiders.” They are also sometimes referred to as the “giant crab spiders,” mainly because of their enormous size and crab-like appearance.
This is far from the only species of Sparassidae spiders because there are over 1,000 species divided into dozens of genera.
The giant spider in this family is part of the “Heteropoda” and is therefore classified as the “Heteropoda maxima.” A total of 197 species are found in the genus of spiders.
2. They are native to a country in Southeast Asia
Most species of Hunstman spiders are found in the warmer parts of the works, ranging from the warm temperate to the tropical regions of the planet.
These include the warm regions of Australasia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and the Americas.
The Heteropoda maxima are native to Laos, a landlocked country in Southeast Asia.
3. They were only discovered in the early 21st century
One of the most remarkable facts about this particular species of spiders is that it wasn’t until the year 2001 that they have been discovered.
They were one of the thousands of species of plants and animals that were discovered in this region in Southeast Asia between 1997 and 2007, which is quite surprising because they are the largest spiders on the planet by leg span.
These are considered to be cave-dwelling spiders because they have a pale appearance. They don’t suffer from reduced eyesight though, mainly because they live near the opening of the caves and not the darkest parts.
4. Their legs are much longer than their body length
The body size of this species of spiders has a length of about 4.6 centimeters (1.8 inches) body-length, which is far from being the longest in the world.
Their legs are what makes them world-famous because they have the longest leg span of any type of spider in the world, reaching a length of up to 30 centimeters (12 inches).
5. The females indulge in a particular form of cannibalism
Because of the fairly recent discovery of this type of spider, a lot of the behavior of the giant Huntsman spiders still has to be studied.
It didn’t take long to become clear, though, that the females of this species indulged in cannibalism after mating with the males.
This type of behavior is usually associated with the members of the genus “Latrodectus,” also known as the “true widows.” The reference to a widow is a reference to this type of behavior.
More interesting facts about the giant Huntsman spider
6. Another name for members of the Huntsman spider family is “wood spiders.” This is a reference to their preferred habitat which often includes places featuring a lot of wood such as forests, wooden shacks, or piles of wood.
Another particular feature found in several members of this family is a particular way of moving around. This can be a cartwheeling motion such as the “wheel spider,” or a handspring motion such as the Moroccan flic-flac spider.
7. The most distinctive feature of this type of spider apart from its extremely long legs are the black bands found on the upper part of its legs. These bands are found just before their legs bend.
The color of these spider’s bodies and legs is a type of yellowish-brown. This is combined with dark spots that are found without a distinct pattern all over their bodies.
8. The spider discovered in Laos is not the only member of this family that was discovered in recent years. The same applies to the “Cerbalus aravaensis” which was discovered in the Middle East in 2007.
Even though this particular member of the Huntsman family “only” has a leg span of 14 centimeters (5.5 in) (which is more than half the length of the giant Huntsman spider), it’s the largest member of the family Sparassidae in the Middle East.
9. Apart from the distinctive black bands on the upper parts of their legs, the males can also be recognized by the fact that their cymbium or “pedipalps” are three times as big as the tegulum or “palpal bulbs.”
10. When it comes to mass, this is far from the largest type of spider in the world. This honor is reserved for the “Goliath Bbirdeater” (Theraphosa blondi) a huge member of the tarantula family Theraphosidae.
These massive spiders are found in the northern part of South America and have a body length of up to 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) and eight of up to 175 grams (6.2 oz). This makes this type f spider the largest in the world by body mass.