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Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Structure, Appearance and Characteristics

  • Crawling / Hunting spider.
  • Body size (approx): Female 35-40mm, Male 15-25mm.
  • First two pairs of legs longer than hind two pairs.
  • Ability to move sideways easily.
  • Hairy and somewhat flattened.
  • Eyes arranged in two rows of four.
  • Male has larger palps than female.
  • Mostly Non-aggressive. (Some species can be aggressive)
  • Will avoid defending themselves, preferring to escape from danger than fight.
  • Eggs are laid in a flattened circular sac located with the female under the bark or shelter.
  • Spiderlings are cared for by female during early stages after hatching.
  • 1 generation per year.

Habitat

Bark-dwelling, often found beneath loose bark of trees, suited to their flattened bodies. Emerge at night to hunt for food. Can enter homes during wet or unseasonal weather (especially at night when in search of food).

Pest Status

Can invade homes much to the horror of spider haters because of size and hairy appearance. Bites occur rarely and no known causes of fatalities exist. Some species are know to inflict a painful bite that may result in local discolouration and swelling, dizziness, vomiting, lethargy, irregular pulse, persistent nausea, sweating and a welt at the bite site. In young children the effects can be more exaggerated. The possibility of bacterial infection should be considered when treating any bite. Insufficient information exists on the toxicity of these spiders to state whether they are entirely harmless. Should be considered as useful because it feeds on other insects.


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