Huntsman spiders are well known for being some of the largest sized spiders in the world. Huntsman spiders belong to the Sparassidae family of spiders, which contains more than 1,300 documented species spread across five continents. Huntsman spiders are well known as abnormally large arachnids in Australia, but the spiders likely originated from Asia, and several species have been found in the Americas and Europe. When people think about exotic and massively large spiders in Australia, the giant huntsman spider species comes to many people’s mind. Not long ago, a group of Australians captured footage of a giant huntsman spider violently subduing a frantic opossum. This footage quickly went viral, and now many Americans regret ever having learned about the existence of this otherworldly creature.
Luckily, the giant huntsman spider cannot be found in the US, but unfortunately, another massive huntsman spider species can be found in several southern US states. This species is commonly known as the “pantropical huntsman spider,” and these spiders can be found in each of the southeast Gulf Coast states and southern California. Pantropical huntsman spiders have leg spans ranging from 3 to 5 inches in length, and they are often encountered within homes in Louisiana throughout the year, but especially during the fall. In addition to being intimidating to look at, huntsman spiders are known for inflicting very painful bites with their oversized fangs. Although several serious medical conditions have resulted from pantropical huntsman spider bites, the species is considered largely harmless by medical professionals.
Huntsman spiders, as their name suggests, hunt for their insect prey on foot rather than relying on webs to trap flying insect meals. Similar to wolf spiders, huntsman spiders are almost always moving in order to locate fresh prey, and their long legs make these spiders among the fastest arthropods ever documented. Since huntsman spiders are always on the move in search of prey, they often find their way into homes inadvertently. However, huntsman spiders are unusually well-adapted to surviving within human dwellings, and they invade homes in Louisiana during the fall season in order to avoid the coming winter cold. These spiders cannot tolerate the cold climate well, as even the relatively mild winter climate in Louisiana is too cold to allow for the survival of pantropical huntsman spiders. Despite their large size, huntsman spiders have flat bodies that can squeeze through small wall cracks on a house’s exterior in order to gain access indoors.
Have you ever encountered a huntsman spider?Tags: Huntsman Spiders, Spider Control