CarmeloGalatiPhotographer

Australian Huntsman Spider

 

Australian Huntsman spiders belong to the Family Sparassidae (formerly Heteropodidae) and are famed as being the hairy so-called ‘tarantulas’ on house walls that terrify people by scuttling out from behind curtains.

 

Huntsman spider Sparassidae 1

Number of species
94 described species.
Huntsman spiders are large, long-legged spiders.. They are mostly grey to brown, sometimes with banded legs. Many huntsman spiders, especially Delena (the flattest), and including Isopeda, Isopedella and Holconia, have rather flattened bodies adapted for living in narrow spaces under loose bark or rock crevices. Huntsman spider Sparassidae 2This is aided by their legs which, instead of bending vertically in relation to the body, have the joints twisted so that they spread out forwards and laterally in crab-like fashion (‘giant crab spiders’). Both Brown (Heteropoda) and Badge (Neosparassus) Huntsman spiders have less flattened bodies.
These genera are generally widely distributed throughout Australia, although Heteropoda is absent from most of Southeastern Australia and Tasmania has only a few Huntsman species, notably Delena cancerides and Neosparassus spp.

Huntsman spiders of many species sometimes enter houses. They are also notorious for entering cars, and being found hiding behind sun visors or running across the dashboard.

References
McKeown, K.C. 1952. Australian Spiders: their lives and habits. Angus and Robertson.
York Main, B. 1976. Spiders. William Collins Publishers Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW.

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This entry was published on March 20, 2017 at 14:38 and is filed under Macro, Photography. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Australian Huntsman Spider

  1. So glad the one on the ceiling at Vaucluse didn’t drop on my head on my January visit!
    Great photos.
    Thanks for following my posts. See you soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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