The gray hunter ( Hoconia immanis ) can have a leg length of up to 23 cm

The gray hunter ( Hoconia immanis ) can have a leg length of up to 23 cm

Huntsman spiders are probably one of the most common (and scariest!) spiders in Australia. Their size, fast movement and ability to “jump”, coupled with their habit of finding their way into houses and cars, scares many Australians! But, in fact, the huntsman spider does more good than harm.

Huntsman spiders do not make webs. As their name suggests they are hunting spiders, coming out at night to hunt for prey. They eat many animals, mostly insects (including cockroaches!)

The Huntsman also has predators and they prey on lizards, other spiders and potter wasps.

The size of the Huntsman spider (and what does it look like?)

Australia has over 100 different species of raptors, covering a wide range of habitats. The largest species of hunter is the giant hunter found in Laos, with a length of 30 cm. However, the largest gamer most people encounter in Australia is the gray gamer (Holconia the monster) with a leg length of up to 23 cm.

Most hunters are a gray/brown color, with bands on their legs. Their colorful coloring gives them camouflage with the trees and rocks they live on. A common group of huntsman spiders in Australia includes the badge huntsman (Neosparasus spp.) with distinct color combinations of white, black, orange or yellow as a “badge” on the underside of the abdomen.

    Potter wasp (Australian hornet) with a huntsman badge, which it brings back to its nest as food for its larvae.

Potter wasp (Australian hornet) with a huntsman badge, which it brings back to its nest as food for its larvae.

Baby Huntsman spiders (and other life cycle facts)

The female hunter builds a flat, oval silk egg sac in which she lays about 200 eggs. Although some species carry the egg case, others place the egg sac in a sheltered area and guard it. It can take up to 3 weeks for the eggs to hatch and during this time the female can be aggressive while protecting her egg.

Once the spiderlings hatch the female hunter usually stays with them for several weeks. Young hunters start out pale and gradually darken with each moult as they grow.

Spiders grow by molting. These old skins are often found hanging from surfaces and will give you a clue that a hunter is around (and an idea of ​​their size!).

Although most hunting spiders are nomadic, congregating only to mate, the social hunter (Delena cancerides), which live under the bark of trees, live together in social groups of up to 150 spiders. It’s definitely the stuff of dreams and was actually used as “talent” in the movie Arachnophobia.

Huntsman spiders live for two years or more.

Do Huntsman spiders bite?

Huntsman spiders are not usually aggressive towards humans (except for females guarding their egg sacs). They are more likely to run away than attack, unless challenged.

Huntsman spider poison

People often ask- is the Huntsman spider dangerous? Although their bite kills insects, their venom is not particularly toxic to humans. However, the badge huntsman is reported to have stronger venom.

Huntsman bite symptoms

A mild bite usually only causes local swelling and pain, which subsides within an hour. Sometimes victims may experience headaches and mild nausea

Huntsman spider bite treatment

Follow the 5 steps of spider bite first aid:

  1. The patient should sit down and try to relax

  2. Clean the bite with water and disinfectant

  3. Apply an ice pack to the bite area

  4. If possible, collect the spider for identification

  5. See medical attention

DO NOT apply a pressure bandage, as this will make the pain worse and do little to stop the venom from moving (since it is slow moving).

Can the huntsman spider jump?

Huntsman spiders have a unique arrangement of legs – they sit far from the body – giving rise to their alternative name, giant crab spider. The Huntsman will sometimes ‘jump’, or more often ‘fall’ off a face to escape, but their speed is their real asset.

Huntsman spiders are fast. Some of the fastest hunters can cover 30-40 times their body length in a second – up to 5m meters per second for some of the largest spiders.

Where does the huntsman spider live? (and why they want to break into your house!)

Many huntsman spiders have very flat bodies that allow them to squeeze under rocks and the bark of trees where they live. This also allows them to squeeze through closed doors and through other gaps into your car and under the doors and windows of your home!

Although they may be looking for potential prey, huntsman spiders often find their way into your home during the warmer months to get away from the summer heat. Squeezing in gaps under doors and windows is a natural behavior and therefore makes them feel right at home.

How to remove the huntsman spider

As the huntsman spider is a nomadic spider with no specific hiding place, it is difficult to target the huntsman with treatment. However, as they hang around your home looking for potential prey, a general outdoor pest treatment to eliminate the insects and spiders that make the web, will make your home less attractive. the hunter.

Keeping the perimeter of your home clear of plants and garden beds, and making sure your insect screens are in good order and fit well, will also help.

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