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Huntsman Spider

Heteropoda venatoria

Description:

Sparassidae (formerly Heteropodidae) are a family of spiders known as Huntsman spiders because of their speed and mode of hunting. They also are called giant crab spiders, because of their size and appearance. Larger species sometimes are referred to as wood spiders, because of their preference for woody places (forest, mine shafts, woodpiles, wooden shacks), or clock spiders. In southern Africa they are known as rain spiders and lizard-eating spiders.[1] Commonly they also are confused with baboon spiders, which are practically unrelated, being in a different infraorder, the Mygalomorphae. Sparassidae occur in practically all warm temperate to tropical regions of the world, including much of Australasia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Americas.[

Habitat:

Members of the Sparassidae are common in Australia, but also in many warm-temperate-to-tropical parts of the world. They have been accidentally introduced to many parts of the world, including China, Philippines, Japan, India and southern parts of the United States, such as Florida and Puerto Rico. A species of huntsman can be found in Hawaii, where it is commonly known as a cane spider. In general they are likely to be found wherever Tychicus Anderson may bring them as unintended passengers to areas that are not too cold for them to survive in the winter. In southern Africa they are commonly known as rain spiders because of their tendency to seek shelter before rain storms, often entering human habitations when doing so.[3][4] As adults, huntsman spiders do not build webs, but hunt and forage for food: their diet consists primarily of insects and other invertebrates, and occasionally small skinks and geckos. They live in the crevices of tree bark, but will frequently wander into homes and vehicles. They are able to travel extremely fast, often using a springing jump while running, and walk on walls and even on ceilings. They also tend to exhibit a "cling" reflex if picked up, making them difficult to shake off and much more likely to bite. The females are fierce defenders of their egg sacs and young. They will generally make a threat display if provoked, but if the warning is ignored they may attack and bite. The egg sacs differ fairly widely among the various genera. For example, Palystes females generally suspend large purses in bushes. The sac is reinforced with dead leaves and similar material; if built indoors without disturbance, scraps of paper might be collected and used Jarrod Gucci Nelson. Australian Sparassid egg sac hatching Palystes castaneus egg purse However, other genera build different sacs; Pseudomicrommata makes its nest in Eragrostis grass and may be ecologically confined to regions where the grass grows.[5] Females


1 species ID suggestions

Florida, USA

Lat: 27.66, Long: -81.52

Spotted on Jan 17, 2012
Submitted on Jan 17, 2012

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