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Spider Photos - Huntsman -  Rain Spider

The Common rain spider (Palystes superciliosus), formerly P. natalius, is a species of huntsman spider native to Southern Africa. It is the most common and widespread species in the I genus. Its distribution ranges from KwaZulu-Natal province in the east, then westwards to the provinces of Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and North West in the north, and Eastern Cape and Western Cape in the south. It has a body length of 25Ė30 mm.The species was first described by Ludwig Carl Christian Koch in 1875. Its preferred habitat is scrubland and savannah woodland. Spiders in the Palystes genus are commonly called rain spiders, or lizard-eating spiders. Palystes spiders will often enter homes before rain, where they will prey on geckos (usually Afrogecko porphyreus in the Western Cape, or Lygodactylus capensis in the eastern parts of southern Africa). Males are regularly seen from August to December, probably looking for females. After mating in the early summer, the female constructs a round egg sac about 60Ė100 mm in size made of silk, with twigs and leaves woven into it. These egg sacs are commonly seen from about November to April. The female constructs the sac over 3Ė5 hours, then aggressively guards it until the spiderlings, who hatch inside the protective sac, chew their way out about three weeks later. Females will construct about three of these egg sacs over their two year lives. Many gardeners are bitten by protective Palystes mothers during this period. The size of these spiders, combined with the yellow and black banding on the underside of the legs exposed when the spider is in threat pose, give them a fearsome appearance. An experiment was done in 1959 where a Palystes superciliosus was allowed to bite an adult guinea pig on the nose. The guinea pig died within 7 minutes, leading to a belief that the spider's venom was dangerous. However, further research on anaesthetized guinea pigs showed that the original guinea pig had actually died of shock, rather than as a result of the spider's venom. In humans the bite is no more dangerous than a bee sting. It causes a burning sensation, and swelling which lasts for a few days. Recovery is spontaneous and complete. P. superciliosus (and other Palystes spiders) are also commonly seen paralysed, being dragged by a large wasp called a Pompilid wasp. Sometimes the wasp will not be present. Pompilid wasps only hunt spiders, which they paralyse by stinging them. They then drag the spider back to their nest where they lay an egg on the spider, then seal the spider and the egg in. When the egg hatches, the larva eats the paralysed spider, keeping the spider alive as long as possible by eating peripheral flesh first, and saving the vital organs till last. By doing this, the spider stays fresh long enough for the wasp larva to mature and pupate. The Pompilid wasp species Tachypompilus ignitus is at least largely a specialist hunter of mature Palystes females. Info - Wikipedia

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 2018 Unidentified Spiders 2017 Unidentified Spiders 2016
Unidentified Spiders 2015 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 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2005 (3) 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 & Brown House Spiders Bolas Spiders
Brown Recluse Spiders Candy Stripe Spiders Common House Spider
Crab Spiders Cyclosa Conica Daddy Long Legs
Daring Jumping Spiders Dew Drop Spiders Fishing Spiders
Funnel Web (Aus) Furrow Spider Garden Orb Weavers
Ghost Spider Giant House Spider Golden Orb Weavers
Grass spiders/Funnel Weavers Ground Spiders Hacklemesh Weavers
Hobo Spiders Huntsman Spiders Jewelled Spiders
Jumping Spiders Lace Web  Spiders Ladybird Spiders
Leaf Curling Spiders Long Jawed Orb Weavers Lynx Spiders
Marbled Orb Weavers Micarathena Mouse Spiders
Mygalomorphs Net casting Spider Neoscona Semarak
Nursery Web Spiders Parson Spiders Pirate Spiders
Pseudoscorpion Purseweb Spider Red & Black Spiders
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
Tengellid Spiders Titiotus (Recluse look alike) Two Spined Spiders
Trapdoor Spiders Tree Trunk Spider Venusta Orchard Spiders
Wandering Spiders White Tailed Spider Widow Spiders
Wolf Spiders Woodlouse Hunters Yellow & Broad faced Sac Spiders
Zoropsis spinimana

Zygiella x-notata

 
2012 - 2014 2011 2010 2008 - 2009
2007 - 2008  2005 - 2006 2001 - 2004 Banded Huntsman
Rain Spider   Badge Huntsman Green Huntsman  
RAIN SPIDER

21 October, 2018:  
Hi , just want to know what spider this is? Itís been in my house a few days, it doesnít want to go outside, and I donít want to harm it. It is harmless? Or should I worry that itís in my room while I sleep? Thank you so much, Regards, Savannah

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25 October, 2017:  
Hi there! Can you help me id this spider? This was taken in Pretoria, South Africa at my mom's house.

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25 October, 2017:  
Hi there, This morning I tried to save this spider's life, and it fell on my feet and bit me the little bugger. The spider throws itself on its back and play dead ... Quite funny how he does this. Do you perhaps know what kind of spider it is ? I am in Cape Town South Africa. Below is photo of spider laying on its back

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25 October, 2017:  
Hi Glen, Thought you might like this pic, its a rain spider (or huntsman), it has made a home in my home above my tanks of various other tarantulas (various south american tarantulas and some smaller "bitches" like black widows, recluse and several others. Also my prize bird eating spider, she is mostly docile but can get very irritable very quickly! If she allows me I will measure her again but last count she was 28cm's from her right front leg to her left rear leg laying in a semi prone -lying position ( wasn't going to press her flat anymore than she wanted to go!) The rain spider was about the diameter of a cigarette butt when I first saw her about 3 weeks ago and she is now about the diameter of a tea cup. I have had a bad encounter with one of her sisters before, they jump when startled and they love to hold and bite! Which normally results in several bites in one place (I received 4 bites in a space of 3 cm!) Very painful but besides the local pain no other symtoms besides a slight headache. I would love to still find a small baby and hand rear her to be less agressive and allow herself to be handled although I doubt that it is in there nature but time will tell :) Rgds Sidney (South Africa) P.S: have recieved 3 black widow bites (naturally, not controlled) and they really not all that they made out to be, painful bite area soothed with a antibiotic cream like bactroban and a more irritating headache than painful!

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16 March, 2017:  
Good day , I would like to share my pic of my Common Rain Spider . She has been guarding her nest . I haven't seen a Common Rain spider so huge , so hope you enjoy . Deon. I live in Randburg in Johannesburg .

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Reply: Not sure, could be a rain spider, but there are some differences - glen

5 March, 2017:  
Hi there, I hope that this email finds you well. Are you able to identify the spider in the attached photo? I reside in the Tableview area, Cape Town and found the spider in my garden. Kind regards, Nicki.

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Reply: Not sure, could be a rain spider- glen

16 January, 2017:  
Good day, I wonder if you could help me identify the attached spider please? We found it in South-Africa, Mpumalanga Highveld area 😊 Regards Melanie

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2 December, 2016:  
Hello there, I am trying to find out what spider this is? It was found in Sabi, South Africa. Regards Linda

 

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2 Nov, 2016:  
the eggs are dried now and we scooped them up with spoon and put them in small container. they are still not in a sack but she is doing well. i will keep you updated with beautiful photos and info

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23 February, 2015:  
Thanks so much for getting back to me so quick. I thought it was a golden orb, just didnt know which, as the body confused me! I have pulled these new pics from my facebook page so they arent as high rez as the others - I know its a rain spider but which one? This one was rather large! One of his slightly smaller relatives decided to park off on my face a while ago. I have a feeling it probably slept in my hair that night! Managed to remove it safely without hurting it. By the way are any of these poisonous? Thanks again Jackie

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13 Feb, 2015:  
Hi Glen Iím from Vanderbijlpark in South Africa I found this spider in my garden yesterday is this a Wolf or Fishing spider I took top and bottom the size of the spider about full hand? Thanks Linda

 

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30 January, 2015:  
Hi, I hope you can positively this spider for me, please? I say it is a rain spider but a spider club says its a nursery-web spider. Thank you and regards, Carol

 

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13 January, 2015:  
Hi again I apologize again for the poor quality photo, and I must say.. your site is awesome.  By the way, I had a Huntsman (Rain) Spider which I kept for 4 months, fed crickets. She laid an awesome egg-sac and I had to let her go free, cos we didn't want a ga-zillion Huntsmen! (I set her free with her egg-sac in a nearby park) - I'll attach a pic for you which you are welcome to use on your site-- it's her underbelly though, but very pretty.  ThanQ and regards Carey-An

 

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17 December, 2014:  
Hi, My boyfriend was confronted by this 'little' guy while driving to work the other day. The pictures were taken in Johannesburg South Africa. We were just curious as to what spider it is. Regards, Dee

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Reply: Maybe be a rain spider - glen

18 December, 2014:  
Photo taken in Kwazulu-Natal South Africa - could you possibly identify this spider for us? Thank you

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Reply: Maybe be a rain spider - glen

18 December, 2014:  
What kind of spider is this? I am from South-Africa. All spread out, is this spider almost as big as a manís hand. Thanx

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Reply: Not a sac spider, could be a rain spider - glen

18 December, 2014:  
Can you please help confirm the identifcation of this spider, is it a SAC spider ???? Regards Jan South Africa Pretoria

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Reply: Could be a rain spider - glen

8 June, 2014:  
Hi Glen. A friend of mine send me the attached photo of a spider he found in his garden near Mossel Bay, in South-Africa. The size is about 100mm. Do you perhaps know what it is. Regards. Boet

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14 June, 2014:
Hi Glen. My name is Phillip and I live in Hermanus SA. Our garden is home to a huge variety of spiders and my wife and I love them very much. We just leave them be usually. These two pics are the biggest we have found so far. Its just a golden orb and a rain spider. Will send more soon  

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18 April, 2014:
GOOD DAY, I LIVE IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA AND PHOTOGRAPHED THESE 2 SPIDERS ON A WINDOW PANE LAST NITE. THE TOP ONE LEFT FIRST WHILE THE BIGGER ONE UNDERNEATH WAS GONE THIS MORNING. CAN YOU IDENTIFY THEM AND TELL ME WHETHER THEY ARE MATING IN THAT WEIRD POSITION?? BEST REGARDS WOLFGANG

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Reply: This looks like a huntsman - glen

19 December, 2013:  
Good day Could you assist in the ID of this spider. Its very aggressive and the second one, we find them in the kitchen. I live in South Africa, gauteng area. Thank you

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Reply: This is a huntsman  too- glen

10 August, 2013:  
Hi glen Please identify this spider for me. Found in our backyard. Central south Africa, Bloemfontein free state. Thanks

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Reply: This could be a huntsman - glen

17 May, 2013:
Hi, I think it might be a wolf or huntsman. I've already posted on this forum without success. Spider was found in johannesburg, south africa. http://4x4community.co.za/forum/showthread.php?p=1653317#post1653317 Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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Reply: This is a huntsman - glen

13 April, 2013:
Hi there. I saw this spider in Sandton, Johannesburg and would very much like to know what type of spider it is. It looked like it was sleeping. It was pretty much alive, just not very keen on moving. Please identify the spider for me. Kind regards, Thea

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This is a huntsman -  glen

2 February, 2013:
Hi there mate i'm Richard from Zimbabwe  - the second are some close ups my sister took of a unidentified guy:) many thanks and hope your well mate regards, Richard

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20 December, 2012:
HHello, Found this on my door last night. I live in Swaziland. Looks like a violin spider but I know there are look a likes. No web, alone on wall next to front door, in electric light, 11 pm. Thanks! Ben

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Reply: This is known as a rain spider in South Africa, it is know as a huntsman in other parts of the world- glen


3 March, 2012:
Hi There. I came across you site trying to find out what kind of spider this is. I think it might be a Rain Spider, but I am not sure. Please let me know. Thanks

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