Huntsman spider, Heteropoda venatoria

Body size

Female to 30mm; male to 22mm.

Appearance

A brown-coloured spider. The oval carapace has 2 cream bands, 1 at the back and 1 under the 2 rows of eyes (photo). The legs extend sideways (crab-like).

Habitat, range and season

Buildings, banana plantations, secondary forest and rocks. Cosmopolitan in tropics and subtropics. A familar spider in SE Asia and the Caribbean where it is welcomed in homes because it eats cockroaches. At night, it emerges from its hiding place to wander over walls. Adults occur throughout the year.

Web

None.

Bite report

The venom causes mild symptoms in humans (Bucherl, 1971). However, a woman bitten in the armpit suffered a painful swelling that lasted many days and left the person in a state of shock.

UK spider bites