The Huntsman Spider: How Dangerous Is Australia’s 8 Legged Wonder

Huntsman spiders

The Huntsman Spider: How Dangerous Is Australia’s 8 Legged Wonder

Australia’s Huntsman Spider, an iconic arachnid of the Sparassidae Family, captivates with its impressive size and distinctive hairy appearance. Often mistaken for tarantulas, these spiders generally cause unease due to their sudden presence in homes, lurking under toilet seats or hiding behind the sun visors in your car.

Despite their intimidating looks, Huntsman Spiders are essential insect population regulators in their environments. Let’s jump right into the captivating traits of this common spider, exploring their habitats, feeding patterns, and unique behaviors.

By learning about their life cycle, breeding habits, and potential risks associated with encounters, readers gain a comprehensive insight into these eight-legged marvels. Through a professional lens, this piece aims to educate and enlighten audiences about the intriguing yet occasionally misconceived nature of Australia’s Huntsman Spider.

Key Takeaways

  • Australian Huntsman spiders are large, hairy spiders that are often found in homes and cars.
  • They have flattened bodies adapted for living in narrow spaces under bark or rock crevices.
  • Female Huntsman spiders can lay up to 200 eggs in a flat, oval egg sac and guard it without eating for about three weeks.
  • Huntsman spiders have a lifespan of about two years or more and undergo several moults to grow.

Overview of huntsman spiders

Huntsman spiders are large, long-legged arachnids known for their grey to brown coloring and banded legs. These Australian spiders have flattened bodies, adapted for living in narrow spaces under bark or rock crevices, with legs that spread out forwards and laterally in a crab-like manner (hence the nickname “Giant Crab Spiders”). While some species of Huntsman spiders can be found in houses and cars, they are generally distributed throughout Australia and are known for their presence in various habitats.

What do Huntsman spiders look like?

Huntsman spiders are large, long-legged arachnids with mostly grey to brown coloration and sometimes banded legs. Their bodies are often flattened, especially in species like Delena, Isopeda, Isopedella, and Holconia, adapted for living in narrow spaces under bark or rock crevices. Unlike other spiders, their legs are twisted to spread out forwards and laterally, resembling a crab-like appearance.

  • Flattened bodies
  • Long, slender legs
  • Brown to gray coloration
  • Various markings or patterns
  • Leg span up to 30 cm

what does a huntsman look like

How Many Eyes Do Huntsman Spiders Have?

The Huntsman spiders possess a total of eight eyes, allowing them a wide field of vision and enhanced sensory perception. These spiders are known for their ability to see well in various directions simultaneously.

Despite their intimidating appearance, huntsman spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, as their bites are typically not harmful and rarely result in severe symptoms. Proper precautions can be taken to safely remove them from homes.

Huntsman Spider Fangs

Within the morphology of the huntsman spider, the fangs play an important role in capturing and immobilising prey. Huntsman spider fangs are designed to inject venom into their prey, aiding in digestion.

While huntsman spiders are not considered deadly to humans, a spider bite can cause localised pain and discomfort. These fangs contribute to the huntsmen spider’s reputation as one of Australia’s “Scary” spiders.

Do Huntsman Spiders Jump?

Australian Huntsman spiders possess remarkable agility, showcasing swift movements in their natural habitats. These arachnids are known for their ability to move quickly and stealthily, making them efficient predators.

However, when it comes to jumping, huntsman spiders are not known for their jumping abilities. Instead of jumping, huntsman spiders rely on their speed and agility to catch prey and escape predators. While they may not jump like some other spider species, huntsman spiders can move rapidly in short bursts. So, if you encounter a huntsman spider, you are more likely to see it scuttling away quickly rather than leaping towards you.

How big Can a Huntsman Spider Get?

Huntsman spiders can reach some pretty impressive sizes, with some individuals boasting a leg span of up to 30 cm. These giant Huntsman spiders are a species of huntsman spider found in Australia, known for their intimidating appearance.

Some common species include the Australian Huntsman spider and the Badge Huntsman spider. Despite their large size, their bite is not considered dangerous to humans, typically causing only minor irritation. To keep Huntsman spiders away, it’s recommended to seal cracks and crevices in homes and remove clutter where they can hide.


Huntsman spiders can be found inhabiting various natural environments in Australia. These Australian species prefer specific habitats, seeking shelter and safety in:

  • Tree Bark: Huntsman spiders are known to hide under loose the bark of trees, using this space as a refuge from predators and adverse weather conditions.
  • Rock Crevices: Seeking shelter in crevices on rock walls, these spiders blend seamlessly into their rocky surroundings, waiting patiently for prey to pass by.
  • Dead Trees: Huntsman spiders can be found under the crevices of tree bark on dead trees, forming social groups like Delena cancerides, creating a haunting yet fascinating sight.
  • Warmer Months: Particularly active during the warmer months, these spiders emerge from their hiding spots to hunt and mate, showcasing their adaptability to seasonal changes.

These adaptable creatures also occasionally venture into man-made structures like houses, cars, and gardens, sometimes leading to surprising encounters with humans. Despite their intimidating appearance, Huntsman spiders play a big role in controlling insect populations and maintaining the delicate balance of Australia’s ecosystem.


The distribution of Huntsman spiders are generally widely spread throughout the country, with some exceptions such as Heteropoda being absent from most of Southeastern Australia. Tasmania only hosts a few Huntsman species, notably Delena cancerides and Neosparassus sp.

Understanding the distribution of these arachnids is essential for managing encounters with them effectively and dispelling misconceptions about their threat to humans.

Life Cycle

The female Huntsman spider produces an oval egg sac of white papery silk and lays up to 200 eggs. The life cycle of the Huntsman spider is a fascinating journey that showcases the marvels of nature.

  • Maternal Care: Female Huntsman spiders exhibit remarkable maternal instincts, guarding their eggs without eating for about three weeks.
  • Protective Measures: Some species carry their egg sacs under their bodies, showcasing a nurturing behaviour uncommon in other arachnids such as the white tail spider.
  • Family Unity: Young spiderlings stay with their mother for several weeks, undergoing moults and colour changes under her watchful eye.
  • Survival Instinct: The Huntsman spider’s lifespan of about two years or more highlights their resilience in the harsh Australian environment.

This cycle of life for the Huntsman spider, known as Australia’s 8 legged wonder, portrays a story of dedication, protection, and adaptation within the spider species.


A variety of predators, including birds, geckoes, Spider Wasps, nematode worms, egg parasites and other common spiders, pose a threat to Huntsman Spiders in their natural habitats. These predators play a big role in controlling the population of Huntsman Spiders by preying on them.

Birds and geckoes are known to feed on these spiders, while Spider Wasps target them as hosts for their larvae. Nematode worms and egg parasites also contribute to reducing the numbers of Huntsman Spiders in the wild.

While these predators help regulate Huntsman Spider populations, humans may encounter these arachnids in their homes or surroundings.

huntsman spider

Are Huntsman Spiders Dangerous?

Huntsman spiders are generally not considered dangerous to humans, as their venom is not lethal and their bites are typically only painful with localised symptoms.

However, concerns may arise regarding the potential danger to pets such as dogs and cats if bitten by a huntsman spider, as their reactions can vary. It is important to understand the venomous nature of huntsman spiders and take necessary precautions, especially if living in areas where encounters are common.

Danger to humans

Huntsman spiders are not considered dangerous to humans, as their venom is relatively harmless and their bites typically only cause localized pain and swelling. Symptoms of a Huntsman spider bite may include redness, itching, and mild discomfort, but severe reactions are rare. If bitten, it is recommended to apply a cold pack to alleviate pain and seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

Huntsman Spider Bites

The potential danger posed by huntsman spider bites to humans is relatively low compared to other venomous spiders.

  • Common Symptoms: Huntsman spider bites may cause local pain, swelling, and redness.
  • Treatment: Applying a cold pack can help relieve discomfort.
  • Seeking Help: If severe symptoms persist, medical assistance should be sought.
  • Avoidance: Killing a huntsman spider is unnecessary; use pressure bandage for redback spider bites instead.

Symptoms of a Huntsman Spider Bite

Symptoms of a bite from a Huntsmen Spider may include local pain, swelling, and redness. In severe cases, abdominal pain and allergic reactions may occur. If bitten, apply a cold pack to relieve pain and seek medical attention if symptoms persist. It’s important to differentiate between Huntsman Spider bites and those of the more dangerous spiders such as the Funnel Web Spiders, Mouse spiders and other types of spiders with deadly venom.  First Aid training is recommended to handle severe bites effectively.

First Aid Treatment for Huntsman Spider Bites

First Aid Treatment for Huntsman Spider Bites rarely involves medical attention but appropriate first aid measures.

spider bite treatment

  1. Apply an ice pack to relieve local pain
  2. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist
  3. Use a cold compress for mild symptoms

If symptoms and intense pain persists, see a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Are Huntsman Spiders Dangerous to Dogs?

Concerning the potential danger posed by Huntsman spiders to dogs, it is essential to understand their impact and behavior around these animals. Huntsman spiders are generally not considered dangerous to dogs.

While a Huntsman spider bite can cause mild symptoms like localized pain and swelling in humans, these spiders are not venomous enough to cause significant harm to dogs.

If a dog is bitten by a Huntsman spider, it is advisable to monitor the area for any signs of infection and consult a veterinarian if the symptoms persist or worsen.

To prevent encounters between dogs and Huntsman spiders, it is recommended to keep the dog’s living area clean and free of clutter where spiders might hide.

Are Huntsman Spiders Dangerous to Cats?

Huntsman spiders are generally not considered dangerous to cats, as their venom is not potent enough to cause significant harm to felines. Despite this, encounters between cats and huntsman spiders can be distressing for pet owners.

it’s rare for cats to experience severe reactions from huntsman spider bites. If a cat is bitten, it’s recommended to monitor for any signs of discomfort or unusual behavior and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

Are Huntsman Spiders Venomous?

The venom of huntsman spiders poses minimal risk to humans due to its low potency. While the huntsman species of spider are hairy and can be intimidating due to their size, their bites are not considered deadly. In fact, huntsman spiders are generally considered reluctant biters and would rather retreat than attackand the majority of spider bites attributed to them result in only mild symptoms such as local muscle weakness and muscle pain.

What Attracts Huntsman Spiders?

An environmental factor that can attract huntsman spiders is the presence of ample prey, such as insects and other invertebrates, in their habitat. Huntsman spiders are drawn to locations rich in prey for their sustenance.

Golden Huntsman Spider: These spiders are particularly attracted to areas with abundant insect populations.

Green Huntsman Spider: Green huntsman spiders are commonly found in environments teeming with invertebrates for them to feed on.

Loose Bark: Huntsman spiders are often found residing under loose bark where their prey seeks shelter.

Dark Corners: These spiders are attracted to dark corners where insects tend to hide.

How Aggressive Are Huntsmen?

Displaying territorial behaviour, Huntsman spiders can exhibit varying levels of aggression towards perceived threats in their environment. When provoked, a Huntsman may raise its front pairs of legs and show defensive behaviours, such as rearing up or scuttling away quickly.

If a bite does occur, it is typically due to accidental contact or mishandling, resulting in a mild reaction for most individuals.

Severe symptoms are rare, but individuals experiencing persistent pain or additional symptoms such as a swollen tongue or severe pain, this could be a sign of an anaphylactic reaction and should seek emergency medical treatment.

While bandage alternatives and first aid measures can be useful, understanding the behavior of Huntsman spiders can help prevent unnecessary encounters and minimise the risk of bites affecting blood flow or causing more severe reactions.

Should I get rid of huntsman spider?

It is recommended to assess the necessity of removing a huntsman spider from your environment based on individual comfort levels and safety considerations.

Considerations when deciding whether to remove a huntsman spider:

  • Understanding the potential benefits of having huntsman spiders around, such as their role in controlling insect populations.
  • Evaluating personal comfort levels and tolerance towards having spiders in the living space.
  • Weighing the risks associated with potential spider bites against the benefits they provide in natural pest control.
  • Reflecting on the importance of coexisting with diverse wildlife and maintaining a balanced ecosystem in your surroundings.

How to Get Rid of Huntsman Spiders?

To effectively manage huntsman spiders in your living spaces, consider using natural oils like peppermint, tea tree, or citrus to deter them from entering. Sealing cracks and crevices in your home can help prevent these spiders from gaining access indoors. These strategies can serve as proactive measures to keep huntsman spiders at bay and create a more spider-free environment.

How to Stop Huntsman Spiders Coming Inside?

Implementing effective emergency pest control measures can help minimise the presence of Huntsman spiders inside residential and commercial spaces.

  • Seal Entry Points: Close gaps around windows, doors, and pipes to prevent spiders from entering.
  • Declutter: Remove piles of debris, wood, and rocks near buildings where spiders can hide.
  • Use Natural Repellents: Peppermint oil, vinegar, or citrus peels can deter spiders.
  • Regular Cleaning: Vacuum regularly to remove webs and spiders, especially in dark corners and under furniture.

Natural Oils to Get Rid of Spiders

The use of natural oils can assist in repelling and eliminating Huntsman spiders from indoor spaces. Essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, and lavender are known for their strong scents that spiders find repugnant.

Simply dilute a few drops of these oils in water and spray around entry points, windows, and areas where spiders may hide. Another option is to soak cotton balls in the oils and place them strategically to deter the spiders.

Citrus oils like lemon or orange can also be effective in keeping these arachnids at bay. Regular application and reapplication of these natural oils can help create a spider-free environment in a safe and eco-friendly manner.

How Do I Know If I’ve Been Bitten By A Spider?

Identifying a spider bite can be challenging because the symptoms vary depending on the species of spider and individual reactions.

huntsman spider bite treatment

Common signs of a spider bite may include:

  • Redness, swelling, and pain around the bite area
  • Itching or rash
  • Blistering or ulceration
  • Mild to severe pain
  • Muscle pain or cramping
  • Headache
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty breathing (in rare cases)

If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a spider and experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention, especially if the symptoms worsen or if you have a known allergy to spider venom.

Hiring Professional Pest Control for Spider Removal

For reliable spider removal services, consider booking with The Local Guys Pest Control. If you’re experiencing symptoms or concerns after a suspected spider bite, seek professional assistance.

The experts at The Local Guys Pest Control specialise in efficient spider removal, ensuring the safety and peace of mind of individuals in spider-prone environments. Our trained professionals have the knowledge and tools needed to identify spider infestations, locate hiding spots, and effectively eliminate them from your premises. Attempting removal without proper expertise can be risky and ineffective.

By hiring The Local Guys Pest Control, you not only get rid of existing spiders but also benefit from preventative measures to minimise future infestations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Huntsman Spiders Spin Webs to Catch Their Prey?

Huntsman spiders do not spin webs to catch prey. They are active hunters, relying on speed and agility to capture insects and other invertebrates. Instead of webs, they use their keen senses and quick reflexes to secure their meals.

Are Huntsman Spiders Venomous to Humans?

Huntsman spiders are venomous to humans but their bite is typically not dangerous, causing localized pain and swelling. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist. Use a cold pack for relief. Understanding their behavior and habitat can help prevent encounters.

Can Huntsman Spiders Jump or Fly?

Huntsman spiders cannot jump or fly. They move swiftly and can cover significant ground with their agile legs. Their mode of travel involves running and climbing, utilizing their speed and sharp senses to hunt for prey efficiently.

Do Huntsman Spiders Make Good Pets?

Huntsman spiders can make intriguing pets due to their unique appearance and behaviors. While not venomous to humans, they should be handled with care. Providing a suitable environment and proper care can make them fascinating additions to some households.

How Do Huntsman Spiders Defend Themselves Against Predators?

Huntsman spiders defend themselves against predators through agility, speed, and camouflage. They can swiftly move to escape danger, blend into their surroundings, and may use their venomous bite as a last resort.

Final Thoughts

Exploring the enigmatic world of Australia’s Huntsman Spider reveals a fascinating creature that evokes both awe and caution. Despite their intimidating appearance, these arachnids play a vital role in controlling insect populations and maintaining ecological balance. Understanding their habits, habitats, and unique traits enriches our appreciation for these eight-legged wonders.

For those seeking peace of mind in spider-prone environments, professional pest control services, such as those offered by The Local Guys Pest Control, provide a reliable solution. Their expertise ensures effective spider removal while prioritising safety and wellbeing. By entrusting the task to professionals, individuals can enjoy a spider-free environment without the risks associated with amateur attempts.

In essence, embracing knowledge and taking proactive measures empower us to coexist harmoniously with Australia’s Huntsman Spider, appreciating its place in the intricate web of nature while safeguarding our living spaces.


The information presented on this webpage provides general knowledge about Australian spiders and potential treatments. It is important to note that this content is not meant to serve as medical advice. In the case of a medical emergency, please dial 000 promptly and adhere to the provided guidance.