#CreatureFeature – Sparassidae (Huntsman spider)

A huntsman spider is quite sociable compared to other spiders. They can live with up to 300 spiders, where they raise their young together and even feed each other. Huntsman spiders aren’t venomous, if by rare chance bitten by one, a cold ice pack can relieve the pain.

Huntsmen are wide, long-legged spiders. They tend to appear brown and have banded legs. The Huntsman spiders live flat under small gaps and spaces, such as tree bark or rock crevices. Their legs spread wide from their body in a similar resemblance to a crab. Huntsman spiders have eight eyes in two rows.

Huntsman spiders are found living in small cervices, under bark, or under rocks and slabs. They can be found sitting together amongst other huntsman spiders under the bark on dead trees. These spiders are commonly found in houses and are notorious for entering vehicles and hiding behind car mirrors, as well as running across car dashboards.

They are widely distributed across the whole of Australia having a range huntsman species from Southeastern Australia to Tasmania.They feed on other insects and invertebrates.

Female and male spiders have a lengthy courtship before breeding. A silken retreat is often built for egg laying, and the female can lay up to 200 eggs.

Reference: https://australian.museum/learn/animals/spiders/huntsman-spiders/

Photo credit: Museum Victoria’s Catching The Eye

Paige Kirby – Biodiversity Trainee

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