Everyone loves spiders. They get rid of pests and unwanted insects, provide beautiful webs to admire and are cute to look at – especially the ones covered in fur with long, pointy legs.

Most people probably don’t think like that. It’s much the opposite – most people hate spiders, despite their usefulness to the environment and their relative disposition of cowardice.

They’re more afraid of us than we are of them – except a few, and they may be responsible for the widespread disgust with the animal kingdom as a whole. The spiders that aren’t afraid to try hunting humans.

Few are as obviously loathed as the Huntsman Spider, the very model of big-spiders that people fear. It gets its name, appropriately, for its woodland habitat and its unusual tactics.

They can be seen sprinting across forest floors with their long crab-like legs in pursuit of prey, not as ambush predators or trap-layers, but as true hunters.

These spiders are an occurrence all over the world. If you’ve ever had to run away from a spider outside, you’ve probably already encountered a Huntsman Spider.

10 /10 Spider Speed

The Huntsman Spider covers many different species, all with the same basic behavioral and action patterns.

Instead of weaving tight, vast webs that catch prey with sticky silk, which are then bound up and slowly devoured, Huntsman Spiders lay in wait and then chase down or pounce on small game, immobilize them with venom, and eat them as they please. No wrapping is necessary.

9 /10 The Biggest Small Threat

Huntsman spiders measure as some of the enormous spiders on the planet. Which is to say, still very small.

The so-called Giant Huntsman Spider native to Laos can measure almost a foot across from leg to leg, with the legs being the longest part of the body.

Their bodies, themselves, are thankfully much smaller, as their legs make up a majority of their length. This adds to their alternate name of “crab spiders.” A crab’s body isn’t the big part; the legs are.


8 /10 No Threat Too Big

We’re often told of dangerous animals “they’re more afraid of you than you are of them.” This especially holds with size terms.

A human will always beat a spider in a test of pure strength owning to size, just one good footstep is all that’s needed, but Huntsman Spiders don’t care.

They will issue the same warning they give to any predator and, if threatened, can hop up several inches off the ground and engage in a fast dash of a yard a second to reach you and sink their fangs in for an attack.

7 /10 Hit With That Venom

A Huntsman’s venom is its essential tool against prey. Against humans, thankfully, it’s mostly an inconvenience.

Huntsman venom can cause swelling, nausea, headache, vomiting, and irregular heart palpitations at the absolute worst.

These aren’t universal symptoms but indicate a neurotoxin used to paralyze the prey it’s meant to hunt thoroughly. They won’t hunt humans for food, though, or generally anything that could fight back hard enough to kill them.

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6 /10 Friendly Neighborhood Spider

Huntsman Spiders stick to a diet focused on lesser creatures in their environment, primarily invertebrates and bugs.

They’ve also been seen eating small lizards, other spiders, and most surprisingly, cockroaches, making them a valuable asset for wildlife and urban pest control.

They’re not at all efficient, though, because once one problem is gone, the problem of too many giants, aggressive, bitey spiders remains.

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5 /10 Amazing Un-Average Spiders, Man

The Huntsman Spiders are categorically unique among all spider species for their behaviors. Chief among them, for spiders of their size, is their socialization.

Huntsman spiders can gather together foraging and even sharing food, which is in contrast to how many spiders live very isolated and defensive lives against anyone but potential mates, who they often eat for energy to endure the birthing process.

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4 /10 Spider Romance

Speaking of mates, Huntsman Spiders are one of the few and rare exceptions among spiders and insects as a whole in how they do their mating.

They engage in a sort of dance where males entice females, impregnate them, and then instead of being eaten or chased away; the male will stay with the female as a pair while she builds a silk-made nest for the eggs she lays.

The eggs are then hidden under fallen bark, under leaves, or generally out of sight, and the male will hunt while the female stays on guard for up to three weeks as a defense against predators.

They don’t meet much afterward, but the fact that they get along is something most spiders get wrong on the first date.

3 /10 Not Tarantulas

Many different breeds of Huntsman spiders, including some that sport hairy carapaces, which often gets them confused for the otherwise docile and timid Tarantulas.

The big difference is that all tarantulas are hairy and have stubbier legs that fold vertically at the joints.

Huntsman’s legs are broader and flatter, allowing them to shuffle along speedily, so if you ever see a Tarantula taking a quick run, it’s not a Tarantula, and therefore, it may attack you.

2 /10 To Hunt The Hunter

Huntsman spiders are not the top of the spider food chain; they are just as susceptible to the regular predators of spiders as any other, such as birds and giant lizards.

In more tropical regions, they are predated on by geckos and the deadly Spider Wasp in other places.

Even their eggs aren’t safe, being subject to harmful parasites like wasps and flies or nematode worms, which is why the female huntsman is so aggressive when defending; threats can come in all shapes and sizes.

1 /10 Living With Spiders

In Australia, close encounters with huntsmans are especially prevalent. Huntsman spiders will fit themselves into crevices and narrow openings in trees to ambush their prey.

And to a spider, a car door or visor looks good enough. The spiders can be found inside car doors and pop out at the last second or gather in abandoned projects by the dozens that all sprint out once the previous support beam collapses.

We should be grateful that huntsman spiders provide such a service to nature by getting rid of pests, but we should be more thankful that we never have to meet them. Hopefully.

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