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Spider Photos - Huntsman - 2008-2009

Many people are confused by  5 similar looking spiders - the harmless Huntsman, Wolf Spider,  Southern House Spider (Kukulcania), Fishing Spider and  the notorious Brown Recluse.  Occasionally, the Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria (Linnaeus), is misidentified as a Brown Recluse. However, the colour pattern on the carapace of this species is reversed, with a light median mark on a dark background, and adults of this spider are much larger than a brown recluse. Huntsman spiders are large, long-legged spiders, measuring up to 15 cm across the legs. 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. This 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. Huntsman spiders, like all spiders, moult in order to grow and often their old skin may be mistaken for the original spider when seen suspended on bark or in the house. The lifespan of most Huntsman species is about two years or more. Predators of Huntsman Spiders include birds and geckoes, Spider Wasps, nematode worms and egg parasites (wasps and flies).

Here's some photos sent in by viewers.  All photos are copyright to their owners and may not be reproduced without permission. Please choose a section.

Unidentified Spiders 2014 Unidentified Spiders 2013 Unidentified Spiders 2012
Unidentified Spiders 2011 Unidentified Spiders 2010 Unidentified Spiders 2009 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2009 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2007 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2006 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (3)
Unidentified Spiders 2005 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (3) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2004 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2004 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2003
Unidentified Spiders 2002 Unidentified Spiders 2001  
Spiders in Amber Closeups Ant & Wasp Mimicking Spiders
Argiopes/St. Andrew's Cross Barn Funnel Weaving Spider Basilica  Spiders
Bird Dropping Spiders Black House Spiders Bolas Spiders
Brown Recluse Spiders Candy Stripe Spiders Common House Spider
Crab Spiders Cyclosa Conica Daddy Long Legs
Daring Jumping Spiders Fishing Spiders Funnel Web (Aus)
Furrow Spider Garden Orb Weavers Giant House Spider
Golden Orb Weavers Grass spiders/Funnel Weavers Ground Spiders
Hacklemesh Weavers Hobo Spiders Huntsman Spiders
Jewelled Spiders Jumping Spiders Ladybird Spiders
Leaf Curling Spiders Long Jawed Orb Weavers Lynx Spiders
Marbled Orb Weavers Micarathena Mouse Spiders
Mygalomorphs Net casting Spider Nursery Web Spiders
Parson Spiders Pirate Spiders Pseudoscorpion
Purseweb Spider Redback Spiders Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spiders
Running Crab Spiders Scorpion Spiders Segestria Florentina
Solfugids/Camel Spiders Southern House Spiders Spider Tats
Spitting Spiders Steatoda Tailless Whip Scorpions
Tarantulas Trapdoor Spiders Venusta Orchard Spiders
Wandering Spiders

White Tailed Spiders

Widow Spiders
Wolf Spiders Woodlouse Hunters Yellow & Broad faced Sac Spiders
Zoropsis spinimana    


Huntsman spiders are not found in the United States any further north than Southern California. They can not survive but in the most tropical of situations which are hot all year round, or in desert scrubland like the Olios giganteus on my website. That is one thing to consider before labelling a spider from the states as a Huntsman. Most are imported, and fewer than 3 species are common enough to be called native to this country, besides some smaller Olios species, which are found in the southwest (not San Francisco, which is in Northern California). While you may in some rare instance find a huntsman up north, it'll die as soon as season changes occur. - Paul Day

2012 - 2014 2011 2010 2008 - 2009
2007 - 2008  2005 - 2006 2001 - 2004 Badge Huntsman
Reply: This is a huntsman -  glen

2 December, 2009:
Hi, I live in Yucca Valley CA in the high desert, and a few months of we had several of these around our house. I've never seen them before, it is about the size of silver dollar, maybe a little larger. Thanks so much.

Reply: I agree it looks more like a huntsman but is hard to be positive from the photo - glen

2 December, 2009:
Hi, Glen, I love your site. Even though I'm afraid of spiders I peruse your site often and love learning about spiders. My brother found this spider in a cupboard in his house in San Diego, CA, USA. His mother-in-law says it's a baby tarantula, but it looks like a huntsman to me due to the horizontal way the legs look to be bending. The spider is not too large, about 1-1.5 inches across. Can you help with an ID? Thanks. -Eric

15 November, 2009:
Glen, I found your site trying to ID this spider that my wife saw in La Paz Mexico. It came in the house and frightened the wits out of her. It is as large as an adult hand and can jump about 6 feet. Can you please ID this for us? I love your site so feel free to post as well! Thank you very much, Larry and Ronda

Reply: This is a huntsman and not a southern house spider - glen
2 November, 2009:
Looking at your photos on your (terrific) site, it seems that there is a lot of variation among Southern House Spiders. Does this look like one to you? It jumped down and across my chest as I was leaving the house and really really wanted to stay inside, so I let it. It moves very fast, a meter or two, then stops, has very good eyesight, as it gets ready to hide when I come near it. It headed for my wife's room as though it knew the way, and has been in roughly the same spot high up on the wall for a couple of days now

14 October, 2009:
Can you please help me identify this spider? My friends and I were in Florida and saw this crawling on the wall. Thank you, Renťe

23 September, 2009:
Found this spider 9/18 (Phoenix, Az.)- and your website today. Is this a huntsman? I love spiders & let them live in my house- hope my cat doesnít get this one.

10 September, 2009:
Hi Glen, You have a great website. Hope all the fires have died down and Aussies are having fun! This beauty hangs out in my work shed and comes out at night. I'm guessing itís a female huntsman but I'm not sure. She has 4 eyes that I can identify. As you can see, she's not very flat. Anyway, I like having her around. I am attaching the photos as well so that you can easily magnify. They're hi resolution. peacekp. Gainesville, Florida [North-central Florida]

5 September, 2009:
I enjoyed searching your site, however I am not finding pictures of the spider I found this morning. I live in Fort Collins, Colorado and found this spider resting on the screen to our sliding door. I put my hand in front for reference, but after looking at the photos, it makes it look smaller than what it actually was due to my hand being 2-3 inches in front of it. The spider from front to back of the legs was about 3 inches. I kept thinking it was a brown recluse, but after looking at a lot of pictures, I realize that it is definitely not. I have never seen a spider this big in Colorado, and neither has my husband who was born and raised here (35 years). I have a 3 year old son that plays in the back yard quite often, so I want to see if I need to be worried about it or not. Thank you, NiCole

Reply: This is a badge huntsman and not usually found in Colorado. It's not dangerous though - glen


Reply - No need to kill these, it is a huntsman and not dangerous to humans - glen

5 September, 2009:
I have found this huge spider on the wall in my bedroom. I had to get someone to kill it as I have a fobia about spiders and this one is huge. I please need you to help me. Kind regards, Naomi

28 August, 2009:
Payson, Arizona, USA Mid-summer 2008 This thing is GIGANTIC, look at the penny next to it. I read on this site that Huntsman aren't common in US, so what is this? A Wolf? LorienL:)

28 August, 2009:
First one I took pictures of in Florida in April (Near Orlando) thought it was a wolf spider but now not really sure after my brother sent me his pictures of a spider in his shed he is just outside of dallas I have been trying to look up the 2 to see if wither of them are poisonous but very hard to figure out thanks L:)


23 August, 2009:

Also attatched is a photo of what I assume is a Huntsman - found in the bathroom a few months back. Also a web we have outside the bedroom window - we have several of them actually along one fence, but they all seem to be empty. Hope your day is good!!! (-: ~ Jowanna.


Reply: No it's not a wolf spider, this is a huntsman - glen

6 August, 2009:

can you tell me what it is? i think its a wolf spider but im not sure..


Reply: This is a huntsman - glen

26 July, 2009:

Hi Glen, Could you help us identify this spider. We found it on a wall in our bedroom in Scottsdale, AZ. Is it a desert recluse..??? Thanks!! George

Reply: This is a huntsman - glen
11 July, 2009:
This beastie (photos DSC_00xx) was found in our house in Cyprus. They are not uncommon here, but have not been able to put a name onto it. Can you please help? It has some resemblance to Araneus diadematus on a much larger scale (leg span is ~75 mm) and I've not seen spiders as big as this on orb webs. It can scuttle across the floor or climb furniture at a goodly rate of knots, lifting its body off the ground. There is some peasant folklore here about this spider. It is considered with respect as a biter causing severe swelling (probably mistaken for a Widow or a Tarantula species). To me, its fangs don't seem capable of supporting that hypothesis. The most bizarre story is that, if attacked, it sheds its legs and waggles them while it discreetly rolls away to regrow them. I think this is probably because the body of a dead spider decomposes faster than its legs. I once found a complete set of 8 legs and no body, but finding individual legs is quite frequent, having separated from the rest of them by wind. I jarred this specimen to release it outside, as my wife is somewhat arachnophobe and it certainly said bye-bye to me with all eight legs intact. I'm intrigued by the sharp-looking bristles on its legs. Do you know what purpose they serve (urticating defense??????)? Can you give it a full name please?


Reply: This is a huntsman - glen

28 June, 2009:

Hi, I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and I was wondering if it was possible that I just found a Black Widow. My mom also thought that she found one a few days ago. Also, I was recently in Australia and had the wonderful experience of finding this large spider in my shower. The tiles make it look rather small, but it was close the the size of my hand-possibly bigger. (I'm 5'5'') I was in the Daintree, so the spider lives in the rainforest. Any idea what kind it was? Thanks! Holly

Reply: This is a species of huntsman commonly called the Giant Crab Spider. It's proper name is Olios Giganteus.
6 June, 2009:
Good morning, I frequently camp at the Imperial Valley Hunting and Fishing Club located out by Yuma, AZ. The Club sits on the shore line of Ferguson Lake, about 2 miles north of Lake Martinez/Fishers Landing AZ. I first came across these spiders about 5 years ago and have always wondered what type of spider they may be but never followed up on it. Go any ideas? Iíve searched around but havenít found anything similar. I might be overlooking something though Iím sure. Thank you for your timeÖ - Davy

Reply: No it is not a brown recluse its a huntsman - glen

3 June, 2009:
I found your website and I was wondering could you help us ID this spider that was caught in my living room tonight. We have suspicion that its a venomous Brown Recluse. I live in Orlando Florida. Here are the pictures My name is KC.


Reply: This is a huntsman - glen

3 June, 2009:

Hi Glen, Your website is awesome! Can you please tell me if this is a wolf spider? Thank you so much, Tina


Reply: This is a huntsman - glen

3 June, 2009:

Hi, I discovered this on my kitchen cabinet door, and I left part of the hinge and the screw head in for scale. It runs very fast, as I discovered when I knocked it off with rolled up paper. The body measures one CM across. I hope you can identify this as non-poisonous. Carl


Reply: This is a huntsman - glen

5 May, 2009:

He was really fast and about as big as my hand (with fingers)...is he dangerous??? We live 30miles west of Gainesville,FL. Thank You!!! -KC & Brent


Reply: This is not a wandering spider, it's a huntsman - glen

4 May, 2009:

I am trying to ID this spider. Three of them were hanging out around the roof inside my cabin at La Sleva Jungle Lodge, Ecuador. They moved in after a hard rain. The manager removed them very quickly when I asked him about them. I thought they were wolf spiders, but now am thinking they are a wandering spider. Any info. would be appreciated. Thanks, Nikki


Reply: This is a huntsman - glen

23 April, 2009:

When I was in Honduras, we found this huge spider in our shower. Not sure what kind it was, but I'm very curious. It was about 5 inches across, and very fast (went from floor to ceiling in about 2 seconds). Would love to know what it is. Thinking either wolf or huntsman. Thanks, Kurtis. (Also sending another pic of a turantula in the kitchen) *>*>KURTIS<*<*



Reply: I think it's a huntsman - glen

23 April, 2009:

Hi Glen I found this spider inside the house i have encounter several ones, i dont know what kinde it is can you please tell me?, we live in Mexico en the caribbian



Reply: I think it's a huntsman - glen

9 March, 2009:

I've got two spiders living in my house. Can you please help to identify them for me? I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two pictures are attached. Hope you can help. Kind regards



Reply: It's a huntsman - glen

9 March, 2009::  

hi, since hurricane katrina, these spiders invade our home every spring. just this past week, the weather got warmer, and i saw four of these spiders in just a few days. not sure what they are or if they are dangerous, but i worry because i have a toddler and the spiders seem to be nocturnal. the one pictured has 2-2 1/2 inch legs (the longest), and its body is probably a little over an inch long. thanks, cynthia in new orleans



Reply: No it's not a wolf spider, it's a huntsman - glen

27 January, 2009:  

Hi Glen, This spider has been living above my kitchen window in the Blue Mountains, east of Sydney in Australia. We assumed it was a Huntsman but are wondering if it is in fact a wolf spider? Can you tell? The rear abdomen part is about 1 inch in diameter. Many Thanks, Emily.

Reply: They both look like banded huntsman but the first one is missing its abdomen. It could be the exoskeleton left behind after it had moulted.
January, 2009:  
Dear Glen, Wonderfull site!! Vacationing in Australie for 5 weeks we saw a couple remarkable spiders. Found in Bunya mountains in the school where the chocolate bats are housed were two spiders. The brown-white one was dead in the morning. Or maybe at the time I photographed her, it was already dead? Are they both banded huntsman? Is is possible the black-white one killed the other? They were about half a meter apart. Thanks Yvonne (Holland)


Reply: No its a huntsman.

23 December, 2008:

Glen, I found several of these living in a carport in Zephyrhills. They are not shy but when approached they would run away. I found one in an attic and this one one was outside running around. Is it a wolf spider? I don't know what it is but its about two inches across. Great site!


23 December, 2008:
Here's another  huntsman that I found in the kitchen. It's about 5cn from leg tip to leg tip so not a big one. However its colouring shows how hard they are to tell from fishing spiders!! glen

Click for a larger view


13 November, 2008:
Here's another beaut huntsman that scared the living daylights out of me when I opened my front door and it popped in. It's very similar to the one from the laundry but I don't think its the same one. glen

Click for a larger view

13 November, 2008:
This spider was on the wall inside my garage last night. From looking at your website (great resource, btw!) I think it is a wolf spider. I have seen two of these spiders together on the ceiling of my back patio a couple of times before, always late at night. This spider is very large; I'd say the leg span is 3-4 inches. While I'm not thrilled about having such large creepy crawlies around my house, I'm hoping they're better than the alternative--lots of other smaller creepy crawlies! I hope they won't harm my 3 golden retrievers. If the spiders are a threat to my dogs, then I won't be willing to "live and let live." I live in Yucca Valley, California, on the edge of the Mojave desert of Southern California. Tami

Reply: I think its a huntsman not a wolf spider - glen

13 November, 2008:
My fiance is attending school in Grenada and found this spider in his bathroom. I'm supposed to be going there in January and am absolutely TERRIFIED of spiders. Can you please tell me what this is and if it is dangerous? Thank you! Merisa

12 November, 2008:
Hey, I keep finding these guys in my apartment in the Guangdong countryside. So far, I've been letting them live and enjoy dining on our huge population of insects that also always find a way in. Is this some type of fishing spider? Are they dangerous? Some are as big as 5 inches including the legs. Thanks, Dave

12 November, 2008:
Here's a baby huntsman that lives in my bathroom. It's tiny compared with Henry below who lives in the laundry. Notice it only has 3 legs on one side but gets around ok. It would only be about 2 cm including the legs.


30 September, 2008:
Here's a few photos of a huntsman I called Henry who I found downstairs in the laundry. First day she was curled up on the door surrounds and today she was on the screen door but in no hurry to go anywhere. glen
Click for a larger view.