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Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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Huntsman Spider

Photo: Courtesy of Damon Ramsey
BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Huntsman Spiders

  • 'Huntsman Spiders' are of the family Heteropodidae  (formerly Sparassidae)

  • They are often large spiders that are usually quite flattened in appearance, with long, laterally pointed legs.

  • Their long legs give some of the larger specimens a total span of 16 centimetres (Egerton 1997).

  • Their legs can also bend forward, which enables them to scurry sideways in a crab-like motion.

  • These appearances and behaviours are generally an adaptation to their life underneath the bark of trees.

  • The fact that they do not use webs, and that they may chase down their prey, gives them their most commonly used name of “Huntsman”.

  • However they most probably use a ‘sit and wait’ hunting strategy, placing themselves on tree trunks near busy paths and preying on the passing traffic.

  • The Huntsman family can potentially be found all around the world, but seem much more common in the tropics.

  • Some have adapted to living with humans quite well, and thus Huntsmans can often be seen on the walls inside toilets and lodges and other outside buildings.

  • Despite their size and speed, most Huntsmen are harmless; only the “Badge spiders”, Olios spp. are considered a little dangerous.

Script: Courtesy of  Damon Ramsey BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tablelands
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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