Australian Huntsman Spiders are a fascinating member of the Sparassidae family, characterised by their large size, long legs, and shaggy layers of hair. They earned their name thanks to their quickness when hunting: instead of spinning webs like other spiders, they actively stalk their prey and can both sprint and turn quickly in order to catch it.
About Huntsman Spiders
Huntsman spiders are large, long-legged, and primarily grey to brown. Some of them also have banded legs. Most huntsman spiders have flattened bodies that allow them to live in narrow spaces under rock crevices or loose barks. Their front legs bend forwards like a crab and are larger than the ones behind. This shape of the legs allows them to crawl quickly in all directions.
Huntsman spiders live under loose bark on trees, under rocks, and in crevices on rock walls and logs. It is common to find many social huntsman species under the bark of dead trees and stumps and on the ground below rocks and bark slabs. Many species of huntsman spiders sometimes enter homes and cars.
Dangerous to Humans
Though huntsman spiders are large and look scary, they are not considered dangerous to humans. These spiders possess venom that may lead to some ill effects. However, they don’t often bite humans and usually run away from them. In the case of a bite, the person may experience short-term pain, swelling, itchiness, and inflammation.
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There is no denying the fact that huntsman spiders can look intimidating due to their sheer size and hairy legs. However, they are generally harmless and do not threaten humans. Huntsman spiders are not known to bite unless they feel threatened, so it is essential to keep your distance if you spot one in your home or garden. If a huntsman spider does manage to bite you, the venom can cause some mild discomfort, but most bites will only result in localised pain and swelling.
Huntsman spiders often enter homes in search of food and shelter. Unfortunately, they are attracted by household pests like moths, flies, cockroaches, etc., which bring them inside. Most of the time, these spiders pose no danger to humans and can easily be removed from the home by professional pest control.
Huntsman spiders can range from less than one centimetre to up to 12 centimetres. Some species of huntsman spider are even known to reach lengths of 15 centimetres across! The giant huntsman spider is the world’s most enormous spider by diameter, but it has a leg span of up to 30 centimetres. Its body length can reach up to 4.6 centimetres. Huntsman spiders have a distinctive flattened shape and long legs relative to their body size.