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Learn more about the Huntsman spider

GIANTS spiders are just awful to come across, especially when called a Huntsman spider.

Despite its name, the Huntsman spider is not deadly to humans and here’s what you need to know about it.

What are Huntsman Spiders?

Huntsman spiders are known for their massive size, with males reaching a leg span of between 10 and 12 inches.

They are sometimes called giant crab spiders or wood spiders because they like to live in wooded areas such as woods, barns and woodpiles.

Huntsman spiders are members of the Sprassidae of which there are more than 1,000 species.

They live in warm tropical climates around the world in places such as Australia, Asia, Africa, America, and the Mediterranean.

The hunter spider can grow up to 30 cm long

They are common in Australia but have been accidentally introduced to parts of the US, Pakistan, India, China and Japan.

Adult Huntsman spiders do not build webs, but search for food.

Their diet consists mainly of insects, but they are also known to eat small reptiles such as skinks and geckos.

In Australia, a hunter spider was seen dragging a dead mouse against the side of a refrigerator.

Photos of a terrifying Huntsman spider took to the internet in 2016 after the creature was found on a farm in Queensland, Australia.

And people’s fears have been rekindled after a plate-sized monster spider went wild at the home of a terrified couple in Queensland on July 23, 2017.

A woman in Australia found a fighter the size of a saucepan in her living room in 2019.

Hunter spiders use venom to stun their prey and aid in digestion.

Do Huntsman spiders exist in the UK?

The huge creepy critters require warm temperatures to survive and are therefore not found in the wild in the UK.

If not a hunter, a less harmless version of this spider can be found in the UK.

It is called the green hunter spider and they are very rare.

You can see them in the forest from May to September, especially if you go to southern England or Ireland.

There have been instances where an original Huntsman spider managed to make its way to the UK.

In July 2017, a huge 18cm beast was discovered lurking in a shipping container at a moving company in Mertsam, Surrey.

The spider had hitchhiked on a family’s belongings from Brisbane, Australia, to the United Kingdom.

In January 2017, a huge hunter was found in a shipping container in Suffolk.

The 12cm long eight-legged beast arrived here from Japan, the UKTN reported.

In September 2016, a Huntsman the size of a plate ended up in Scotland via a sea container from China.

It was found again in February 2022 in Hull.

The fighter entered the country with a shipping container that came from China.


These huge, crab-like spiders can have a wingspan of 25 to 30 cm.

They normally live in small holes in tree bark, but often wander into homes and cars in search of food. They move at lightning speed, can walk over walls and even ceilings and can suddenly jump enormous distances.

Unlike other spider species, they go out to stalk and kill their prey rather than spinning webs, feeding on insects and small animals such as mice and lizards.

You don’t want to upset a mummy hunter – they fiercely defend their young, attack and bite those who threaten them.

When touched, they have a “cling” reflex and will hold on tightly. Shaking them off doesn’t work, but it does make them angry and can bite.

Although most commonly found in the Southern Hemisphere, they have been known to stow away in cargo and arrive unexpectedly in Europe. However, they wouldn’t last long in the UK’s winter cold.

Despite their fearsome appearance and aggression, they should not cause too much panic – their venom is not fatal to humans, although it has been known to cause headaches, vomiting and palpitations.

Are Huntsman spiders dangerous to humans?

Hunter spiders are known to inflict a defensive bite when provoked by humans or other animals.

Mothers are known to bite while defending their eggs.

Hunter spiders are known to bite humans, but they are generally not considered a threat to humans.

They are often highly regarded for repelling cockroaches and crickets.

The effects of bites are varied.

Some people experience localized swelling and pain, sometimes accompanied by nausea, headache, vomiting, irregular heartbeat and palpitations.

However, a study of spider bites in Australia, in which Huntmans was prominent, revealed no serious consequences of being bitten.

There are no reports of deaths from Huntsman’s spider bites.

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