Victorian Huntsman Spiders

Spiders of Victoria series

Huntsman spiders are commonly encountered in all sorts of situations – gardens, houses, and even under the sun visor of your car! The reason you tend to find a huntsman rather than a Red-back spider walking around inside your car can be explained by how they catch their prey.

Generally, the ways spiders catch their prey divides them into two categories: web-builders and vagrant hunters. A web-builder spins a web, then sits in or near the web and waits for the prey to come to them. A vagrant hunter such as a hunstman does not use a web to catch its prey; instead it roams, stalks and runs down its prey. The wandering habit of hunting spiders is the reason you are more likely to find them indoors.

Types, habitat and biology

There are three groups of huntsman spiders in Victoria. They all have the following characteristic, which distinguishes them from other spiders: the front two pairs of legs are noticeably longer than the back or hind two pairs of legs.

Illustration of a Huntsman Spider

The front two pairs of legs of a huntsman spider are much longer the rear two pairs.
Artist: Graham Milledge / Source: Museum Victoria

This is not something you would need to measure. The difference in leg lengths is very obvious.

Holconia group

These brown or grey huntsmen are the ones most commonly found in houses, where they hunt at night on walls and ceilings. They also occasionally enter vehicles, causing much alarm. In the bush, Holconia species can be found sheltering during the day beneath the loose bark of eucalypts. They are large spiders and, when alarmed, are capable of moving sideways very rapidly. Food consists of insects and other invertebrates.

Photo of Huntsman Spider, Holconia montana

Huntsman spider, Holconia montana
Photographer: Alan Henderson / Source: Museum Victoria

Their flat, oval egg sac is constructed of white papery silk. It is most commonly deposited beneath the bark of trees. The lifespan of these spiders is about two years.

Neosparassus, the Badge Huntsman spiders

These spiders are usually orange or pink, and have a distinct dark mark on their abdomen. They are active at night and occasionally come into houses, but less frequently than other huntsman spiders. Outside they can be found hunting for prey on the trunks of trees or in foliage. During the day they shelter beneath the bark of trees, where they may build a silken retreat for moulting and egg laying. Some species of Neosparassus build a silken retreat in foliage by gluing several leaves together, and others construct shallow burrows.

Photo of Badge Huntsman Spider, Neosparassus diana

Badge Huntsman Spider, Neosparassus diana
Photographer: Alan Henderson / Source: Museum Victoria

Their flattened circular egg sac is guarded by the female. During this period she can be quite aggressive and will rear up in a defensive display if provoked. Young Neosparassus are often green in colour.

Delena cancerides

This huntsman is the largest of the huntsman spiders, measuring 35 mm or more in body length. It is a very flat spider with a dark orange head and black fangs. It is not often found indoors, but it is common under pieces of flat metal sheets, fibro-cement or roof tiles left lying around in the backyard. In the bush, it can be found if you peel back loose bark on eucalypt trees. Sometimes hundreds of individuals of this species may be found living together under the loose bark of trees and within logs. They feed on insects and other invertebrates.

The female lays the eggs in a flattened circular egg sac constructed of papery white silk. Once the young hatch, they do not disperse as with other species of huntsmen, but remain and grow within the colony. Communal huntsmen usually live for one or two seasons.

Photo of Social Huntsman Spider, Delena cancerides

Social Huntsman Spider, Delena cancerides
Photographer: Alan Henderson / Source: Museum Victoria

Bites

Huntsman spiders are timid spiders and bites are infrequent. Symptoms are usually minor, including local pain and swelling. Some Neosparassus species can give a painful bite.

Further Reading

Brunnet, B. 1994. The Silken Web – A Natural History of Australian Spiders. Reed Books: Melbourne.

Lindsey, T. 1998. Spiders of Australia. New Holland Publishers: Sydney.

Walker, K. L., Yen, A. L. and Milledge, G. A. 2003. Spiders and Scorpions commonly found in Victoria. Royal Society of Victoria: Melbourne.

Comments (303)

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Louise 30 November, 2014 22:33
There was a huntsman in my bedroom the other day and i saftely removed it outside. I just wanted to know what attracts them so I can know why it was there in the first place. I tried googling this question but it never gave me an answer.
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nonzz 24 November, 2014 13:51
Hi I was looking up huntsman spiders and came across this page hoping u might be able to help me. I live in sydney nsw and my story goes like this For 3months my partner and I have been living in our new house. And just last month huntsman have been turning up. The first one was really big anout the size of a dinner plate. Sorry to say I had to extermimate it due to my wifes fear of spiders. The next one came and it was about the same size and I had to so the same thing. I apologize for this bit this all happened5 times in a month. What I wanted to know Is if you kill a huntsman does another one come back and take its place? Looking forward to ur reply.
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Discovery Centre 27 November, 2014 14:49
Hi Nonzz, spiders, like all living things need food and shelter. As we said to a question earlier this year, huntsmans are territorial to some degree in that they look for productive pieces of real estate and remain there if sufficient prey is available, or move on to another location if there is insufficient prey, and will chase off or eat any other spider that enters that real estate. If released outside they may come straight back inside, and take up the same positions again. So if rather than putting the spider outside you are killing it you create a niche for another spider to move into. If there is a good food source it may stay, if not it may move away. Trying to keep them out is difficult but see if you have vegetation in contact with the house or if you have any large, obvious cracks under doors or windows. These spiders do not seek to bite people and are not usually aggressive unless they feel threatened. 
Aal 19 November, 2014 13:14
Thank you for all of your hard word in answering our questions! I have an odd one for you: can spiders be attracted to a particular pheromone or smell a person has? I am afraid of spiders...yet I seem to attract them. The oddest example is when I once woke up with a huntsman laying on the pillow next to me. I was staying in a retreat centre, so I got up carefully packed my things and moved to a room a few doors down on the other side of the corridor. A couple hours later I returned to that room to pick up a notebook and saw the same spider (definitely the same one as it had a missing leg and a distinct marking) crossing the corridor. I stopped to watch and saw it enter my new room. I packed my things and moved even further down the hall...this time I had just put my bags down when I turned around and saw it coming out of the previous room scuttling quickly the 5 or 7 meters down - and again across - the hall to my third room. (At that point I freaked out, put a jar over it and asked a friend to deposit it into the yard) I have had many instances where they've hitched a ride on my shoulder, sat next to me...it doesn't sound like much, but...*gulp* it's like a bad relationship! Could it be a scent of soap or something I'm using that is causing this?
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anne 11 November, 2014 16:01
I have just found a dead huntsman spider(female) and egg sac in some donated articles in the school I work at. I have squished some of the eggs by accident, but not sure what to do with the rest. They are green eggs. I really don't want to look after spiders (I am a labtech) should I freeze them?
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richard 1 November, 2014 17:34
I found one at my school it was about the size of a plate I was so brave that I picked it up with my bare hands (I was lucky it didn't bite me).
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Zoe 21 October, 2014 15:26
Hi. I a friend of mine lives in NSW and has this question: "We have a resident huntsman spider, fondly called Henrietta, and she's been with us about 2 weeks. Every once in a while (24-48 hours) she changes rooms or whatever. There are four of us living in the house, and if My husband, my son or myself, walk past she doesn't move, but if our roommate passes (who has been here at least the same amount of time), Henrietta charges at her about 75% of the time. Like, rushes towards her a few inches and then backs off. She (he?) doesn't do it to anyone other than our roommate. So we're wondering if spiders are known to recognise people, because it's kind of weird.
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Discovery Centre 28 October, 2014 10:44

Hi Zoe - we checked with our Live Exhibits team, and their reply is as follows:

Spiders generally have poor eyesight, but that of huntsmans is better than most as they rely on their vision to capture prey and avoid predators (most spiders rely on their webs to catch prey).  Their eyesight and mental capacity is nowhere near the ability to recognise individual humans, but there may be something about the room mate that triggers a response in the spider. Some huntsmans seem to unexpectedly leap onto passing humans, possibly as an adaptation to travel from one place to another as 'hitch-hikers'. This may have worked well throughout their evolutionary history when a large spider leaping onto a passing mammal went unnoticed by the host, but most humans don't react well to the event. Huntsmans would only see passing a passing human as a dark amorphous mass, but other than this possibility we are unsure how to explain the phenomenon you describe.

Rebecca 22 September, 2014 16:46
Hello, I cannot seem to find any information about a spider that I saw in my yard near Heidelberg VIC. It had a large body and head, about the sizes of a 50c and a 20c piece, both a solid, bright orange-brown colour. The legs were short and thick, in a solid, light, grey-green colour. It had no other visible markings. It's entire size would probably be about as big as an average adult male's hand, fingers outstretched. It looked like it was completely covered in fine hairs. I found it nestled amongst some loose newspapers that had flown onto our garden and remained there for a couple of days. When I picked up the papers and put them in the bin to recycle, the spider climbed out from beneath the papers and over the lip of the bin. As I said, I can't find any information about any spiders that come close the description of what I saw, and since I have two very young children who play in our yard often, I'd like to know if I need to be wary of this spider and others like it. I'd like to know what it is and if it is dangerous. Thank you very much for any assistance you can provide. Kind regards, Rebecca
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Leesha 18 June, 2014 21:35
Hi! How long does it take for a huntsman spider to grow fully? or go from the size of about a 10 cent piece to a large spider?
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Discovery Centre 5 July, 2014 11:52
Hi Leesha, according to an enquiry answered by us on 22 April 2010, it would take about 3-4 months for a Huntsman to reach full size, depending on the food available and the temperature.
Michael 14 June, 2014 14:25
Thanks for the site! It helped me identify the Badge Huntsman I found on the front door. I've always been happy to have the brown ones in the house but had never seen one this colour. Fantastic! https://www.flickr.com/photos/hopkinsii/13980470015/
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Jamie 6 June, 2014 09:22
Hi, I'm from the UK and news has broke out that apparently there are now Huntsmen spiders in the UK. I'm am absolutely terrified of normal spiders you would find in the UK nevermind a huge Huntsman. I was wondering if they would even be able to survive in the UK because of the cold? I would also like some reassuring facts if you have any.
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Discovery Centre 17 June, 2014 16:50
Hi Jamie, there have been a number of stories regarding live huntsman spiders arriving in the UK in freight or luggage. As far as we know these spiders have not established breeding populations in the UK. You could check in with the British Museum who may well be up to date with this situation. Huntsman spiders do not have any interest in people, if you were to stand on one or grab one it may bite in self defence but they are not considered highly dangerous.       
sierra 20 May, 2014 10:11
ijust got bit by a lump spider am i going to die ????????
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sonia 6 April, 2014 13:22
Hi, I have just found what looks like a bright orange huntsman in my kitchen. I have never seen a spider like this before. Was wondering if you could identify it and also if it is dangerous.
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Discovery Centre 7 April, 2014 09:19
Hi Sonia, from your description it sounds like one of the badge huntsmans, Neosparassus sp. A number of these species of huntsman spiders can be orange in colour and have a definite black marking on the underside of the abdomen, hence the name badge huntsman. If you manage to get some images feel free to send them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au Badge huntsmans are not considered highly dangerous but the Australian Museum website details some possible sypmtoms of a bite. 
Naomi croak 1 April, 2014 18:26
Hey, I have a pet huntsman herne, I let live in the house, I'm finding insects on the ground, I read he stalks and kills his prey, but was curious on after that process? , is it him killing them? And does he just leave them there to go down and munch on them when he pleases ?
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Natasha 2 March, 2014 16:46
Hi I'm 12 and am doing research for school. I find these stories about hunts mans quite fascinating. Once with a huntsman it was in my bathroom and I picked it up because I don't have a problem with spiders ( everyone calls me a freak ) anyway I picked it up and flicked it off straight away because it felt really tickly and strange but I picked it back up again and I didn't flick it because I didn't want to hurt it. I put him outside and dad hates spiders because they freak him out a little. Haha 😝 A Huntsman I mean.
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Rachel 2 March, 2014 02:31
Hi. I removed a huntsman from my bedroom tonight as although I love them I wasn't keen on it sitting above my head while I slept. I went to move it when it fell down onto the floor under a pillow. When i moved the pillow it was on it so I just took the whole pillow outside whilst it climbed around on it. I went to put it on a nearby tree but in the dark lost sight of it. i put the pillow down on the ground before taking it back inside, I went back out with a torch to look on the tree for the spider when i noticed it on the ground. It began walking toward the tree but much more slowly than when it was on the pillow. I was worried I may have inadvertently injured it (perhaps it ended up under the pillow when i put it down) but could see no sign of damage when looking at it under the torchlight. I helped it onto a stick & then onto the tree but it was wet & drizzling so I thought I would move it again somewhere dry. It would have none of that however & I could not 'pull' it off the tree with the stick. So I left it & returned half hour later to find it had moved slightly but was just sitting there with its front legs hooked in towards its fangs. Could it have been "playing dead" or stressed by my interference or dying? Or is it normal for it not to scurry away from me? Would the rain bother it? I would have taken it out to the gum trees where I have seen a few under the bark had I had my shoes on & a torch at the time ... but i assumed any tree would be fine. It looked most like the Delena Cancerides. I really hope its okay. Thanks kindly!
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Opal 25 February, 2014 05:25
OUTBREAK! I keep my home perfectly clean, however in the last week I have encountered a number of massive huntsman spiders, randomly appearing on my walls each day. We tried catching them to set them free, but they are to quick! They end up running out of sight and adding to my families anxiety. So I started the shoe splat technique. Thinking, it's the same few spiders we keep on seeing. I was wrong. They just keep appearing! Where have they come from?? About 4 months ago there were two huge jackaranda trees removed from my backyard. Could this be the reason for their sudden appearance? I keep my screen doors shut almost all the time.... I'm worried they are breeding inside the walls or something :-o .... Should I get the place fumigated?
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Discovery Centre 26 February, 2014 10:36
Hi Opal, the spiders are a natural and important part of the environment. They will not seek you out to bite. They will be doing things like catching and eating things like moths or cockroaches that may be inside. It is virtually impossible to 'spiderproof' your house. So if you spray, it will be a short term relief as once the chemicals wear off other spiders will fill the void left by the dead ones. 
Rebecca 21 February, 2014 02:46
I actually live in sydney and have been trying to find out what type of spider scared me to the point of almost falling in the pool a couple of years ago when i stumbled across your website. My partner says it was a bush huntsman but it looked more like a wolf spider. The odd things about it was that it was much larger than your average huntsman, it's legs were totally straight and it's feet were bright red. The rest of it's body was pale brown with black markings on it. It was sitting on a palm tree as i tried to swing by, scared the hell out of me and the poor spider.
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Vytas 14 February, 2014 07:45
Encountered your website when I googled the question: Are Huntsmen attracted to carbon dioxide generated by humans? I'm in the Dandenongs surrounded by trees, so it's not unusual to have up to four guests at any one time. The're quite welcome as long as they observe house rules: Floors, beds and furniture for me, walls and ceilings for them. If there's one stubborn miscreant sitting on my computer keyboard when I turn on the desk lamp in the wee hours, He / she's likely to encounter Mr Miele on full suction power. Here's the thing - whatever room I happen to be using most consistently - that's where the Hunties congregate. Having read the questions and your answers, here's what I think: Lights, glowing computer and TV screens attract insects such as moths. Moths attract Hunties. Ergo, max human action in a particular room results in max Huntie action in that same room. For your amusement, a year ago, I encountered something soft and squishy as I put on my shoe, followed by a distinct tingling sensation. Pulled off the shoe, and one of my guests fell out. Confession: I squealed. Now, I count Hunties in the bedroom before I go to bed. If the number doesn't tally in the morning, I check my shoes! PS: Don't fancy Hunties in the car? Buy a new car with good door seals and keep the windows closed when parked. Spaces between car doors and bodywork are Huntie heaven with free tours thrown in.
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Discovery Centre 15 February, 2014 11:59
Hi Vytas, huntsmans, like all predators, are attracted to areas where their prey congregate. So you're right in that huntsmans gather around lights because their prey gather around lights. Huntsmans have the added advantage that they flourish in the dry environment inside houses that most other spider species cannot tolerate. Although huntsmans are very common both inside and outside houses, and although they occasionally turn up inside shoes, in general they are very reluctant to bite.
Warren 10 February, 2014 21:05
Hi. I just wanted to say what an amazing page. You should be awarded for the information and support your giving to Mr and Miss average who upon reading this learn that there is no need to kill. I have assisted many a huntsman out the door and yes it use to scare me but knowing they are controlling the insects made the task worth wile. Cheers BTW my answer to the anti spam filter question was NOT incorrect. There are eight letters in the name Victoria.
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Nick 4 February, 2014 00:02
Hi, tonight when sitting in bed, my mosquito eating Hunstman mate (who usually hangs around my bedside lamp) made a crazy move. An emperor moth flew straight towards me, and old Harry (all Huntsmans in my life are called Harry, since I was a kid) leapt straight into the air - a good foot at least - and grabbed the moth, then pulled himself back up his very strong silk line onto the ceiling to munch (suck) his prize. My questions: How strong is a Huntsmans silk? How far can a huntsman jump? Is this kind of bungy leap hunting normal? It was pretty damn impressive - I had to give him a round of applause. (Girlfriend not too happy, but I have symbiotic relationships with even Huntsmen). Final question - since I was young I have always had huntsmen hang around my head when sleeping... is there any truth to the rumour they are attracted to the CO2 of breathing, or do they hang around our head to catch the mozzies that annoy us? thanks. Ps - why do so many people call their Hunstmen "Harry"? IS there some cultural etymology?
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Discovery Centre 7 February, 2014 12:47
Hi Nick, huntsman silk, like all spider silk, is not only very strong but also elastic. Pound for pound it’s stronger than steel, and stronger and more flexible than any artificial material - if the silk was as thick as a pencil it would be strong enough to stop a Boeing airliner.

Huntsmans are excellent jumpers, both up, down and sideways. We’ve seen them actively drop vertically at least 2m, and jump sideways from walls at least 50cm. Whenever they leap, they leave behind a silken safety line which they anchor onto the original surface.

Huntsmans don’t have particularly good eyesight but they are sensitive to shapes and movement, so a passing moth would be irresistible to a waiting spider.

There is no evidence that huntsmans are attracted to CO2, and no reason for them to be attracted. Huntsmans are one of the few spiders that do well inside the dry environment of a house, and they like to hide in small dark spaces, which include bedclothes and other things found around the bedroom, so this is the more probable reason that huntsmans quite often occur in and around the bed. Mosquitoes would be a poor substitute for all the moths, cockroaches, crickets and other items of prey that inhabit the average home.

Harry is probably the most common name for huntmans because of its iterative nature (repetition of the first letter).

Christy 30 January, 2014 02:14
G'day ! Was just wandering why in every encounter I've had with the amazing huntsman spiders they end up dying ! It's like they come out and are really active for a few days and then when I see them again they are hardly moving on the wall or sort of found curled dead somewhere. This is not from me using any chemicals because I'm a huge huntsman fan! I feel like they are coming out to be sociable before they die?? This has happened over n over again. I had 2 large ones one evening follow me around the house, one came into my bedroom about 5 mins after I went in to go to bed, it freaked me a lilttle so I went back into lounge room, where the other one was n shortly the one from the bedroom came out n they were there on opposite walls all nyte!! Haha was a bit freaky... But by morning they had gone n 2 days later I found the smaller one dead and a few days after that found the other one struggling! Do you have any idea why this happens, seems no one else has same thing I would love one to be around a lot longer that a few days... Cheers Christy 8 )
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Georgia 27 January, 2014 02:32
Hi there, I was in my bathroom when I noticed a large spider (could be huntsman?) it was up high. My partner is arachnophobic and I have caught a few and released only to watch them come straight back in....I grabbed the insect repellant and sprayed a fair bit to no effect at all, the spider actually came toward me dropped to the floor and reared his front legs up two on each side (striped underneath) and waved them at me aggressively! I could not believe it threw my thongs at it and a towel in fright and stomped on the towel to kill it! I have never seen a huntsman of its size and agression and I am not sure that it was a huntsman at all? freaked me out completely
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Rich 25 January, 2014 02:41
Hi. I'm in QLD. I've been reading through the comments and replies here and I've learned a lot about the Huntsman. Great site. They terrify me sometimes. I jump back and let out an aaaargh when i see one lol. Yesterday morning i was making my bed, and I freaked when I found a huntsman on the bottom sheet, upside down with its legs curled up. So I grabbed it with a tissue and flushed it down the toilet. How did this spider get on my bed, curled up like that? Did he crawl across me in my sleep and i hit it in my sleep? I have been told that they die after getting a fright.. is this true? I slept in the lounge on the Futon lastnight after finding the dead spider in my bed lol. Thanks in advance. I'm bookmarking this page, I may be able to reduce my fear of the huntsman one day lol.
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Discovery Centre 26 January, 2014 14:26
Hi Rich, spiders don't die of fright. A spider's life is full of threatening situations, and they deal with them by rapidly retreating or, if cornered, defending themselves.

Huntsmans are common in all parts of a house, including the bedroom and even the bed. Like it or not, spiders will walk across all surfaces in the house searching for prey, and this may on very rare occasions include a sleeping human. So it's no surprise that they end up in the bed occasionally, and there's nothing we can do about this.

Spiders don't have an internal skeleton so their legs are operated by hydrostatic pressure - when the spider dies it cannot maintain that pressure and the legs curl up. This happens when a spider dies of any cause, and in your case the spider may have died for any number of reasons, including old age.

bec 22 January, 2014 22:19
This afternoon, our friendly Harry was found snuggling up to another, somewhat larger, Harry(ette).this provoked much fascination in our kids and lead me to finding this site, where I have found a great amount of information. We now have kids who are convinced that Harriet and Harry are having babies and spent some time convincing miss 4 + 6 that spiders don't like Barbie beds. Was great to hear discussion from the kids that wasn't full of fear for our resident insecticide on legs 😃
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Nic 20 January, 2014 22:39
Hi quick question I removed a good looking huntsman the other day from my front wall, should of taken photo, I relocated him about 20 meters away. Now he is back in the same spot / or is it more likely a different huntsman, I have one living in my van and one in my shed. Are they territorial? Also wanted to know if I keep the huntsman would that keep down my whitetail population as I have a young curious daughter on the house. Thanks
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Discovery Centre 23 January, 2014 14:47
Hi Nic, huntsmans are territorial to some degree in that they look for productive pieces of real estate and remain there if sufficient prey is available, or move on to another location if there is insufficient prey, and will chase off or eat any other spider that enters that real estate. They are one of the few spider species that do well inside the dry environment of a house, and so if released outside they often come straight back inside, and will take up the same positions again.

Huntsmans will eat White-tailed Spiders but both species are relatively harmless. The bite of a huntsman is generally no worse than a bee sting, and that of a White-tailed Spider not much worse than that. 

hayley 16 January, 2014 10:26
Hi, Uh i don't live im Victoria, i live on the far north coast of nsw, however i do have plenty of huntsman spiders im and around my house.. I actually enjoy having them, (knowing Im giving them a place to live and they help out by being a natural other insect exterminator) however, recently in the warmer months iv had a few funnel webs in my home.. (these Im not so happy to live with) .. Anyway, my question for anyone who knows is, do huntsmans eat funnel webs?? Just out of curiosity, it would be even more of a reason to love them if they did..
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Rach 5 January, 2014 14:23
I have a youngish hunstman living in my loungeroom in Victoria, i was fortunate enough to witness a shedding of its skin...im just wondering how often does this process occur? Also do they change colour? This one seemed to have stripes on its legs after it shed which it didnt appear to have before!
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Discovery Centre 9 January, 2014 14:14
Hi Rach, spiders such as huntsmans moult to give them room to grow, so the frequency of moulting depends on how fast they are growing, which depends on how much food they are consuming. When very young they may moult every couple of weeks, but the rate of moulting slows down as they get older. All spiders (other than mygalomorphs) stop moulting when they reach adulthood.

Immediately after moulting, the exoskeleton of the spider is very soft and pale, and it darkens as it hardens which may explain the change in colour. Also, juvenile spiders sometimes have a different pattern or colour scheme to the adults, so this slowly changes with each moult.

Carolyn 31 December, 2013 01:04
Hey guys :) I live in Adelaide and I have found a huntsman with a colour I haven't seen before. I have a photo and it sounds like it's similar to what the other two or so mentioned about finding one more orange than your photo. I was wondering who I should contact/send photos too being in Adelaide to find out what it is please? Thank you for your time.
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Discovery Centre 31 December, 2013 10:38
Hi Carolyn, for identifications of South Australian specimens try The Information Centre at the South Australian Museum.
Amy 30 December, 2013 16:23
Hi. I have recently discovered that a huntsman spider had layer a best of eggs somewhere in my car and there are now little baby huntsman crawling out of every crack in my car. The mother came out the other day while we were driving on the freeway and we knocked her out of the car. My concern is that the baby spiders will become full grown spiders and I will have them crawling out while I'm driving again. We have sprayed the inside of the car but there are always more. I saw above it said they will take 3 to 4 moths to become full grown, depending on the good supply. How long can they survive without any food? Assuming they are not finding any prey in the crevices of my car!?
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Discovery Centre 3 January, 2014 15:15

Hi Amy, huntsmans don't appear to produce trophic eggs like other spider groups do (infertile eggs that the spiderlings feed on within the egg sac), and in many species the spiderlings can't emerge from the egg sac unless it's opened by the mother's fangs. If kept in a group, huntsman spiderlings very quickly become cannibalistic and so can survive for a considerable time on this diet, albeit with a dwindling population.

Given the propensity of spiders in general to go long periods without food, I'd hazard a guess at a minimum of 1-2 weeks as long as humidity is sufficient. The other tip is to park your car in the full sun with the windows wound up when we get some hot days. As the temperature inside increases rapdily this can encourage any spiderlings still present to move out. 

Samantha 11 December, 2013 14:40
We have a pet huntsman and a month ago an egg sac appeared but no babies ... Any ideas?
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Renee Crawford 9 December, 2013 20:34
Hi, I'm pretty sure it was a huntsman spider that was on my bed the other day. I kicked the bed and the massive spider ran down and under my bed. I have been sleeping in the spare room as I'm petrified it is going to crawl on me at a night time. Will it have left my room by now? How do I find it? Will it know not to go in the bed while I'm in there?? Thanks heaps
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Louise 4 December, 2013 00:42
Can someone tell me how long can a Huntsman Spider go without any food. I have had a Huntsman Spider in the motor area of my car for the past 3 days in the concrete basement of our unit building on the Gold Coast. Do you think it would still be alive?
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Anna 24 November, 2013 22:17
I live in the hills to the east of Perth, Western Australia. It's a brand new, wooden house and we moved in June this year. Since then I've been shocked to see so many dying huntsman spiders on the house. There have been eleven so far, ten juvenile and one large adult, all at different times. Their bodies go into a spasm and it lasts ages (I feel so bad for them but cannot bring myself to finish them off). I've tried to nurture one to health today - removing him from the house and putting him in the garden, but I fear ants took advantage of his weakened state. We have not put pesticides around the property (other than the fact that the wood is treated for termites). Do you have any idea what could cause them to die in such numbers? Whatever it is, it hasn't affected other spiders, flies, lizards or ants. I have photos and short recordings of the one I helped today. I'm concerned there may be some sort of illness affecting these beautiful creatures.
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Jmp 22 November, 2013 23:11
Hi, I live in southern Australia and came across a blue/ grey (predominately blue though) spider that looks like a huntsman. Are there any species that come in this colour or is it not likely to be a huntsman?
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Discovery Centre 30 November, 2013 11:48
Hi Jen, some of the huntsmans can have bluish markings. If you are able to get a good image of the spider please feel free to send it to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we can try and confirm it for you. 
Nerissa 19 November, 2013 23:46
I have a daughter who is at the age of biting, chewing and eating everything she can get her hands on. She recently managed to get hold of a huntsman spider and ate it. I have read many of your replys stating they are harmless if bitten, but what about eaten by a 18 month old?
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Discovery Centre 28 November, 2013 10:38

Hi Nerissa,

Hunstman venom can only be injected through a bite from the fangs, not ingested through the stomach. Even then, the bite is generally no worse than a bee sting. Eating a huntsman is no different in this case than eating any other small creature, such as an insect.

time lord 13 November, 2013 11:56
help i need info on huntsmen i am 10
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Sylvie 2 November, 2013 15:25
There is a huntsman spider tucked in beside the canaries nest that is holding 2 new babies, is it a threat to the babies?
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Izzy 11 October, 2013 13:38
I had a huntsman on my car yesterday and didnt want to squish it, So I left it on my car so it could crawl away. Then, I had a friend tell me that huntsmans cant crawl off your car and will stay and breed in them?! Is this true? The spider disappeared and now Im freaking out, Sorry if this sounds stupid. Haha
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Nikolaus Hinett 19 September, 2013 04:57
I have a ton of huntsmans from the shed to home, should I be worried at all or are they harmless and leave them alone??
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Discovery Centre 19 September, 2013 09:51
Hi Nikolaus, all huntsman spiders possess venom that they use to kill their prey. However, humans are not their prey and they should pose no threat to you, unless you pose one to them. Spiders tend to bite in response to a threat. Sometimes we pose a threat without meaning to, for example if you accidentally stand on one or one is in clothes that you put on and it is being squashed. Even if you do get a bite from a huntsman they are not considered highly dangerous, although it will hurt and could make you feel unwell. Despite the fact that huntsmans are quite common we only get occasional bites reported to the Museum. The spiders will also be catching lots of insects in your shed and garden.
jay 17 August, 2013 14:34
I put my hand in my pocket an felt a sharp sting. I then pulled out a huntsman. It only pierced with one fang on the tip of my pinky. One day later, my finger is fine, but I now have headaches, feel very tired and very queezy. Is this just a coincidence. I am 100% sure it was a huntsman as I encounter them regularly. I live in south Sydney. Cheers.
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Discovery Centre 17 August, 2013 15:00
Hi Jay, bad luck on the bite, we get lots of enquiries about huntsmans and very few of them involve people being bitten. You generally have to grab the spider which is what you have inadvertantly done. Huntsman spiders are not considered highly dangerous, but a bite from some species can make people feel unwell. The Australian Museum suggest use of a cold pack and to seek medical attention if symptoms persist.  
kate 14 August, 2013 11:40
We Have a huntsman spider that has been living in our house for a month now. He's not very big but is adult colour. He's brown and black, fuzzy, and has a distinct pattern on his rump It prefers to be in our lounge room because every time we find it walking on the floor we move it into another room but keeps coming back. Our lounge room is the warmest room in the house in winter. But the last few days he has been curled up alive on the floor and is very slow. Do huntsman hibernate? We didn't put him outside because we thought it would be too cold. We also have Daddy long leg spiders in our house, we keep them so they will eat any red backs that might come inside. Are the daddy long legs eating all the food sources and leaving this huntsman none? Or will a daddy long legs attack a huntsman?
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Discovery Centre 16 August, 2013 12:25
Hi Kate, we have checked with the Live Exhibits Team and huntsmans don't hibernate as such, but they do become inactive over winter as it's generally too cold to move and there's little prey to be found at that time of year. Depending on the species, huntsmans may live only one to two years and if they die it will be during winter when their resources run out. Although some huntsman species may live more than two years, in the best of circumstances (with plenty of warmth and food) they will die when their time is up. An adult huntsman is too big for a Daddy Longlegs and their food sources are different, so the Daddy Longlegs won't be competing directly with huntsmans.  Hope this helps!
Linda Galia 12 August, 2013 21:00
Hi I found a huntsman in my car at night whilst driving it was so big and im tramatised do not even want to get into my car. Question is, is it possible for there 2 be more than 1 after getting rid of the first one? i sprayed mortein spider outside control inside and out of car. will that keep them away?
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pestmall.com 12 May, 2013 01:15
If you have ever seen an earwig in your home, you will be able to notice their slender and long bodies and also their eerie movements of the body. Something that is creepier than that is the myth that gives them their name.
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Ashly 6 May, 2013 02:11
I keep seeing a neon pink and orange spider! What is it?
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Stephanie 26 April, 2013 21:19
I encountered what I am assuming was an extremely large huntsman spider in my grandmother's house today, in Geelong. It looked black from afar but was actually a very dark brown coloured spider with small, paler bands on its legs. The underside of its abdomen was a much paler brown to its back. It was also covered all over in hair, not unlike peach fuzz. I've been reading and researching to find out about these spiders and I don't think it could've really been any other species of spider - The leg shape gave it away. Anyway, I've been reading that these spiders are timid and non-aggressive but the spider I encountered today was definitely NOT timid and acted quite aggressively towards me when I tried to catch it. Now I am quite experienced with catching spiders, having even caught the odd wolf spider from time to time without any worries and have never come across a spider that acted as aggressively as this one. They usually run away from me/my advances and I am able to catch them with ease. Anyway, when I tried to gently prod this spider away from the corner of the wall it was on, it tried numerous times to attack the stick I was holding, refused to move away from the stick and reared up in a threatening manner a few times as well, like you'd see a Sydney Funnel Web do. Unfortunately, I deemed this spider too risky to catch and release in the end and had to use a combination of fly spray and a duster to kill it. I don't like to kill huntsmans or other large species of fairly harmless spiders so felt bad about doing so. I was just wondering why this spider was acting so aggressively? It was not protecting an egg sac that we could find at all and I barely touched it with the stick - I just tapped the side of its leg with it. I'm also wondering if maybe it wasn't a huntsman? Because at one stage, it fell off the wall and managed to let out a spinneret. Can huntsmans do this because I've read that they don't spin webs? Are there other lesser known species of huntsman like spiders in Victoria? It definitely wasn't a wolf spider as it was the wrong shape, wrong colour and was sitting high up on a wall, not on the floor and definitely had the classic huntsman shape with the legs all pointing forwards. I hope you can answer my queries here. Cheers!!
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Rebecca 1 May, 2013 01:20
My experiences with huntsman are that they will let out a very fine thread of silk to 'soften' a hard landing. They don't build webs though, they actively wander and chase down their prey instead. I mainly get holconia immanis or holconia insignis wandering into my house and on close inspection they tend to produce an almost invisible fine single thread of silk before dropping. The spider you describe sounds like holconia because of the banded legs. I have a pet one and she is dark greybrown, downy and with banded legs. The banding is much more pronounced on the underside of her legs. The underside of her abdomen is a little paler than the upperside. I'm also wondering if your huntsman had any markings or patterns on the upperside of it's abdomen as this may also suggest holconia. As for the agressive behaviour it's hard to say. Normally I'd say it was a female guarding an egg sack but you've ruled that out by not finding any trace of one. Maybe it was feeling threatened. You're definitely right when you say huntsman will run for cover if frightened. But I do recall one I encountered a few years ago. I was trying to shoo it off into the garden with a broom. It was on the verandah floor and every time I put the broom near it, it would rear up on it's back legs as if to strike. I'm no expert, but I find that huntsman are very intelligent and also prone to having moody days when they'd rather challenge a threat rather than run from it.
Rebecca 15 April, 2013 22:06
I have a pet huntsman which I caught in my house. She's either Holconia Insignis or Holconia Immanis. She's still fairly juvenile and around two inches in leg span when stretched out. Persia (that's her name) is normally fairly quiet and docile. However, recently she has been behaving oddly and I'm interested if anyone can help identify why. I'm assuming Persia is female due to the long skinny palps. I've had a male previously and was told it was male due to the large bulb shaped palps. I noticed a strange sound which I could hear above the television. She's drumming/vibrating all her legs, one at a time really quickly and firmly against the container sides. It's a fast staccato drumming around the same speed as a cats purr. It's also noticeably loud. She'll then get very active and start running everywhere, then stop again, start the drumming. She's also not in the classic flattened, legs bent forwards crab stance typical to huntsmans, instead she has her legs bent upwards. Another thing is that she's a frequent bather and is always cleaning herself by running her legs through her fangs. However, she is now doing something strange that looks like bathing but instead of running her legs through her fangs she's rubbing her legs up against her butt, right where her silk comes out. In the midst of this she is also occasionally rubbing the underside of her body up against the perspects with legs on one side out straight and flat while dragging her self sideways with her other legs. It's a kind of dip and sway movement. Do huntsmans scent mark? Because it almost looks like this is what she's doing. She had a molt around three weeks ago and has been gorging herself on fruit flies. Surely she's not getting ready for another molt already? I'm torn between thinking she's sending a calling card out for a mate or she's getting ready for another molt? I have a fascination with these lovely creatures and would be very grateful for any insight that can be offered about this behaviour.
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GabiF 23 March, 2013 15:06
I have 3 Huntsman spiders lurking in the kitchen. One is a juvenile, not much bigger than a 20c piece. The other two aren't as big as a female but both are missing one of their front legs. Do the males fight for mating rights and will they grow another leg? We are fairly used to the big girls coming in and hiding behind the pictures to lay eggs and every spring we have a clutch of babies; either in the bathroom or the kitchen, or both! Is there a safe way to get the kids out of the house and into a place where they can feed, they are so tiny, they eventually dry up and blow away. Oh! would that be them moulting and they aren't dead?
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Discovery Centre 30 March, 2013 13:14

There is no record of male huntsmans physically fighting over females. Many male spiders will have showdowns with other males that don't involve physical combat, rather it's a competition over size or strength or the best display. However, huntsmans have a wide range of prey that includes any moving animal within a certain size range, and when other huntsmans fit that criteria they become potential prey themselves. So the spiders with missing limbs may have had close calls with larger huntsmans, both males and females.

The dried-up spiderlings are in fact, as you suggested, empty skins. Spiderlings moult as soon as they leave the egg sac and generally disperse by ballooning on a thread of silk. They naturally have a survival rate of less than one percent, so don't expect too many to be present for too long. If there are enough insects to enable the larger huntsmans to live long term inside your house, there will also be plenty of tiny insects to feed the spiderlings.

Melissa 21 March, 2013 23:48
I've had a huntsman in the house for 2 days now. My partner and I have tried to catch it but we are both petrified and it always gets away. I've only seen it at night. Do they stay hidden during the day usually? Will it make its way out or does it need to be removed? So scared :(
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Discovery Centre 23 March, 2013 11:54
Hi Melissa, huntsman spiders are more active at night. Don't be too worried about the spider, (I know that's easy to say if you are not scared of them). The huntsman has no interest in you or your partner but is in the house because it offers shelter and food opportunities. The huntsman will make its way outside where there is likely to be more food. Bites from these spiders are rare, and probably doubly so for you as you are likely to keep a fair bit of distance between him/her and yourself. In the unlikely event that you were to get bitten these spiders are not considered highly dangerous.  
Asher 7 March, 2013 23:33
In my house we have occasionally seen spiders every now and again, mainly huntsmen, and when the spider is a huntsman we usually just put it outside. However this last night I have discovered some smaller baby spiders, almost defiantly huntsman and all of them on the ceiling, not managing to locate them in any other places. I have resorted to killing them, due their size, and am wondering if this will become an ongoing problem and if it is possible to locate where they are coming from because spiders have never appeared in this room before. There are a few empty boxes laying around, however there were no signs of spiders in the area. I am not 100%, but i am quite certain that they are holconias due to the looks of all the adult ones i have seen previously.
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Discovery Centre 11 March, 2013 11:47
Hi Asher, you shouldn't need to be too concerned. If these are baby huntsmans they are likely to disperse outside fairly quickly. All spiders are searching for food, shelter and a mate. While inside the house might be nice and sheltered there is likely to be much more food outside. The reason you have the spiders in this room is that there must have been an egg sac somewhere close by. 
Azhure 4 March, 2013 21:46
I keep getting large Black huntsmans in my house, they usually stick to the stairs behind the photos and pictures (framed photos) Theyy are very large, black and usually have orange ring like stipes around theknee bits if their legs ....
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Paul 26 February, 2013 17:14
This page is a fantastic servic provided my Museum Victoria! Well done!
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char 12 February, 2013 10:32
Hi just wanting to know if Huntsman spiders eat white tale spiders?
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Discovery Centre 14 February, 2013 09:51
Hi Char, huntsman spiders will kill and eat any moving prey within a certain size range, and as a general rule White-Tailed Spiders will fit within that size range. However, different types of spiders have different strategies for hunting prey, which will in part determine what they can eventually find, kill and eat. Huntsmans prefer to prey on insects and White-Tailed Spiders prefer to prey on other spiders, so it’s actually more likely that the huntsman will be eaten rather than the other way around.
jackbomb90 30 January, 2013 01:24
Hi!! I wanted to know What kind of Huntsman that is COLOR RED AND IT MOVES SUPER FAST!! (really Fast...) It is usually a little smaller compared to a Victorian Huntsman.. Please reply ASAP!! Thanks!!!
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Discovery Centre 1 February, 2013 12:39
Hi Jack, you may have seen a Badge Huntsman, Neosparassus diana. These spiders are not red but often an orange colour, and are often smaller than the large grey and brown huntsmans.
josh wellings 27 January, 2013 11:03
hello i have had to kill lots of huntsmen in the past months and i was wondering if you would have any idea to what repels these type of spiders please answer
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Discovery Centre 28 January, 2013 10:18
Hi Josh, there is probably no need for you to kill these spiders. The huntsmans will not seek you out and will be catching and removing things like cockroaches and moths from your home. However if they really bother you and you need to discourage them from coming inside try to make sure that vegetation is not in contact with the house. Draft excluders can block gaps under doors and good fitting fly wire and wire over vents etc will also help. Bear in mind these spiders can get through quite small gaps and it may be easier to learn to live with them. But other readers of this site may have some good ideas for you on how to keep them out. 
Jess 25 January, 2013 22:41
Just sent a pic of a huntsman with her babies. I have had a red back inside recently also ( inner city melb). Would keeping huntsmans or daddy long legs around 'protect' my family against red backs? Seeing one in my home, near my babies was truly terrifying.
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Discovery Centre 29 January, 2013 10:42
Hi Jess, a Huntsman Spider may eat a Redback Spider if it comes across it whilst wandering around. On the other hand, a Redback Spider is more likely to eat a Huntsman that stumbles into its web. Spiders such as White-Tails and Black House Spiders are better at controlling Redbacks than Huntsmans are.
Sarah 21 December, 2012 02:52
Hi, I live in a house that's very vegetated so huntsmans are to be expected but we have both the badge huntsmans and grey ones, is it common for both types to live in the same place? And what are some humain ways of keeping expesially badge huntsmans away from the house? We don't like killing them but my 3 year old daughter has been bitten a few times at night and they have a habit of hiding in my underwear, so every night we have to check the house and on average we kill 6-8 badge huntsman's. we can not catch and release them as inside the house they are very very aggressive. If you know a more humain way of getting rid of them we would gladly appriciate it. Thanks
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Discovery Centre 23 December, 2012 11:22

Hi Sarah, it is possible to have more than one species of huntsman in your home. You have been unlucky in terms of bites, we get large numbers of enquiries regarding these spiders and very few bites are reported to us. Spiders do not seek us out to bite so unless you grab one or stand on one they generally move out of the way. They can be hard to keep out of the house as they can flatten themselves and get through some quite small cracks and crevices.

Try to make sure that there are no obvious cracks around your windows and doors; also that flywire on windows isn't loose or doesn't have any holes in it. Having said that if the spiders do want to come inside looking for insects to eat they can usually find a way, the best you can hope for is to minimise their numbers. The Australian Museum has some information on how to minimise spider numbers in the home and garden.

Six to eight badge huntsmans per night does sound like quite a lot, if you can safely get some good quality images feel free to send them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au we can have a look and just confirm that is what you are getting.   

 

Tiana 19 November, 2012 07:37
Hi there, I have just woken up to find what looks like a 'Holconia' Huntsman inside my heater.! He is lying flat against the glass of the heater and is huge.! I am highly scared of these creatures (stupid I know) and am wondering what I can do. Of course with 'him' being inside the heater it is a bit hard to just 'throw outside' How can I go about removing this huge spider? Thank-you
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Discovery Centre 21 November, 2012 12:48
Hi Tiana, try not to be too concerned, the spider has no interest in you. The spider may already be gone but if not it will move once it is hungry and will head off in search of prey. Huntsman spiders do not sit in a web so should not stay in the heater.
Tiana 19 November, 2012 07:09
Hi there, I have just woken up to find a 'Holconia' Huntsman inside my heater.! He is laying against the glass on the inside and I am not too sure what to do. I have a huge fear of spiders and this bugger is huge.! Since he is inside the heater it is not so easy to just 'throw outside'. How else can I go about removing him? Thank-you
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Tanya 13 November, 2012 00:30
Hi Huntsman discovery centre, I am petrified, I have just walked into my bedroom and found near 100 baby huntsman spiders on my ceiling, they were not there yesterday as I cleaned the cobwebs from my ceiling and would have noticed them. Where do you think the mother would be? I read in an earlier comment that she was in another room but unsure how quick the babies move around, they are only in my room so that would mean mum would be close?? I certainly hate spiders and have vaccumed them up but now have to deal with a vaccum full of spiders. :( Could you please give me an idea of how many babies a spider has in a hatch and if it would be likely that she would still be in the same room? Please respond for my reassurance
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Discovery Centre 13 November, 2012 12:49

Hi Tanya, check out the answers above, particularly the comment from the Discovery Centre dated March 13th 2011.

Reasha Pye 10 September, 2012 21:42
I have found three huntsman spiders now and I live in the snow.. They have found there way into our house so i put them in our wood shed below the house. Do you think they will survive happily down there? One was clearer than the other so i believe it was either out in the snow for two long or a different breed? I don't know why I care so much but i hope i done the right thing.. please reply for my reasurance.
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Discovery Centre 12 September, 2012 09:39
Hi Reasha, I'm sure the spiders will be fine. Assuming they are from that area and haven't hitched a ride from somewhere warmer in a car they will be adapted to the cold conditions. The wood shed will be a good option for them as they will be able to get under the bark of the firewood or into cracks and crevices in the shed for shelter if they need it. Good on you for caring.
Laurence 17 June, 2012 15:52
Hello, while visiting a local nursing home, I spied what I thought was a mouse running in my peripheral vision. It turned out to be a spider, very similar to a huntsman but instead of being 'flat' when it ran it more resembled the shape of a mouse and about every 2 metres it did a little jump. When it ran under a cupboard I could hear it hitting the bottom of the cupboard when it jumped. I'm almost 50 and I've seen many, many huntsmans and found this spiders behavior totally bizarre. Is this description/behavior perhaps a characteristic of another spider? I wish I'd been able to get a photo or some footage of the critter in action!! Thanks for any help you can give me...keep up the great work!
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Discovery Centre 18 June, 2012 10:34

Hi Laurence, there are a couple of thousand different types of spiders in Australia and without a photo it's difficult to determine what it would be. But here are some options.

There is a family of spiders called Jumping Spiders but these tend to be small (the largest are less than 1cm long). Some huntsmans will jump when being chased and can move with remarkable speed, but they are usually flat-bodied and unmistakenly huntsman-like. A subgroup of huntsmans called Badge Spiders are not particularly flat but are usually coloured yellow or orange.

Wolf Spider are a ground-dwelling family that also move with speed but they are not known to jump. Wolf spiders are round-bodied and do superficially resemble small mice.

There is also a spider species called the Mouse Spider (Missulena bradleyi), which is very mouse-like but is large and black and also does not jump. Trapdoor spiders sometimes enter houses and fit the physical description but again do not jump.

You can search the Museum's website for the common names of the spiders listed above and see if any match the physical description, but your description of the spider's behaviour does not match any species we're aware of.

Robert 14 June, 2012 06:30
My daughter-in-law is new to Australia and is terrified of the spiders she encounters here. Can you give us any good reasons to have a huntsman in the house (or at least not to kill it)? Do they eat white-tails?
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Discovery Centre 15 June, 2012 14:14
Hi Robert, huntsman spiders will eat a wide range of insects and invertebrates that can be found in the home such as cockroaches, moths and other spiders. While many people do find their size, hairiness and speed of movement intimidating you can tell your daughter-in-law that these spiders have no interest in people. They come into our homes for the same reasons we do, namely shelter and food. These spiders are not considered highly dangerous but do have venom to kill their prey and if you stand on one or threaten it the spider may bite. Having said that we receive large numbers of enquiries about these spiders and the number of bites are incredibly small.
David 27 May, 2012 22:37
Hello, We had a friendly Huntsman living on the wall of our living room for the last 6 months. Occasionally he would disappear for a few days but when he'd reappear he would again be high up on the wall. However, in the last week we found him several times lower down on the walls and today walking around on the floor. Sadly, this evening we found him dead on the floor. A similar pattern was observed with a black house spider that lived in the corner of our bathroom window for two years. She did not venture far from her web until the week before we found her dead. In that last week we found her wandering low on the curtains and on the floor itself. Is this change in behaviour typical of Huntsman and black house spiders at the end of their life?
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Victorian Huntsman Spiders 5 June, 2012 14:15

Hi David,

Spiders usually lose strength and condition towards the end of their lives and may not be able to reach the heights they did earlier in life. Orbweavers will die at the edge of the web or, more commonly, hanging from a thread in the middle of the web. The behaviour you observed is typical of a spider nearing the end of its life. In both cases it sounds like your spiders had fulfilling lives and you should be pleased with your care of them.

julie 27 May, 2012 11:38
I am paranoid about huntsman spiders, seriously terrified of them which I know is stupid. I stumbled across this site and have got a lot out of reading the questions and answers. Don't like the fact that Huntsman spiders like dropping on peoples heads (that takes bushwalking out of the equation forever for me!) but this site has been very helpful. Thankyou!
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Allie 22 May, 2012 09:22
Hello, I live in America and received a gift from an Aussie friend - in with the gift was a Holconia Huntsman! It had a large nest on the ribbon she tied the package with, I didn't notice it for two weeks while it hung on my bulletin board. The next was ripped open and the huntsman was on it, should I be worried about any babies that may have escaped? I'm reading your site to try to get familiar with these things, and trying really hard not to freak out, lol....
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Discovery Centre 23 May, 2012 11:07

Hi Allie, thanks for the question.  We have contacted the Live Exhibits Team with the details of your enquiry, and they have advised that in most cases when an insect or spider is found in a package sent from overseas, it turns out the creature entered the package after it arrived in the country of destination, and so is not a cause for concern!  We have sent you come further information and details via email.

Lynda 13 May, 2012 08:16
I live in the Adelaide hills and my son took a huntsman outside as his sister felt it too close to her bed. My son returned quite distressd as when he released the spider outside he said it turned white. He will not allow moving any huntsmans from the house as he senses they are harmed or stressed, whilst this is fine with most of our family, my daughter is not as relaxed about spiders as the rest of the family. Would you be able to provide any info on what this huntsman presentation might indicate?
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Discovery Centre 15 May, 2012 12:10
Hi Lynda, what an interesting observation. I wonder if perhaps in a dark room any white markings that the spider may have had have only become apparent when the spider was taken outside? You can tell your son that huntsman spiders were happily living outside before we started building homes in Australia and that putting any future huntsmans outside should pose no risk to the spider.   
Heidiandjenny 26 April, 2012 23:09
we have just had a very scary encounter with a "huntsmen" spider (we think it was a huntsmen?) it was a very different looking huntsmen he/she had a very dark brown colour and was very large in the abdominal region and yellow stripes under its legs. We saw that as he positioned them upright in a form of defence when we were trying to remove it! we have never seen a "huntsmen" like it, just wondering if it may have been another kind of spider maybe? thanks heidiandjenny!
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Discovery Centre 27 April, 2012 12:14
Hi Heidi and Jenny, Museum Victoria has a free Identification Service. However, we need to see either a photograph or a specimens in order to identify something. If the spider is still around, please feel free to take an image of the spider and attach the file to our online Enquiry Form. We can also identify the specimen. Specimens can be posted or personally delivered to the Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre). If you don't want to kill it, we're happy to identify live specimens, but only if you bring them in to us (Australia Post doesn't like live spiders in the post!).
Marianne 26 April, 2012 09:08
Hi, can you please tell me if possums and mice/bush rats eat a lot of huntsmen spiders? since I have heard possums in the roof lately I have not had any huntsmen in the house, though I was wondering if that was due to the colder weather? What sort of birds and animals eat Huntsmen spiders? Thankyou very much
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Discovery Centre 5 May, 2012 14:09
Hi Marianne, Ringtailed Possums would be unlikely to eat huntsman spiders, Brushtailed Possums are omnivorous and in surburbia will eat a range of food. In New Zealand they are a problem for a number of rare bird species in that they will eat their eggs, so spiders may be a possibility but they are not well known for it. The Australian Museum at this link lists the predators of huntsmen spiders as including birds and geckoes, Spider Wasps, nematode worms and egg parasites (wasps and flies).
val 10 April, 2012 23:18
I found what i thought was a dangerous spider went for insect spray but when i got back it was gone, this was about 6 wks ago, now about a week ago i have found a horrible big hairy spider that i wanted to kill but didn't so now he is a permanent resident outside in our patio i am scared of him but also in awe of him - would like to keep in touch with his behaviour - he sleeps most of the time and is not disturbed by me opening patio doors at nite he starts moving around. he is huge - and ugly - and scary - but i have become kinda fond of him - pls help me to understand him
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Nicki 6 April, 2012 11:16
Hello, I once heard that Huntsmans like to sleep on your face mouth/nose at night when you're asleep - To get the warmth of your breath. Please tell me this isn't true as I often find Huntsmans in my bedroom!
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Discovery Centre 7 April, 2012 10:21
Hi Nicki, you can relax, there is no truth to the rumour that huntsmans get on peoples' faces during the night for the warmth.
Selina Jordan 22 March, 2012 17:26
I have a huntsman in my house at the moment, which is quite okay with me, but he/she has been losing her legs, started with 7, then 5, now down to 4. Is there a reason? I like my spidey and would like to help her if possible.
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Discovery Centre 25 March, 2012 13:24

Hi Selina, There are several reasons why huntsmans drop or lose their legs. They may be pulled off by predators, or self-amputated (autotomised) by the huntsman itself to allow it to escape from a predator. Perhaps your spider is having regular near misses with a predator of some kind.

Legs may also be lost during the moulting process, particularly if the environment is too dry, and the legs fail to emerge from the old skin properly. Loss of legs may also be a sign of old age or extremely poor health.

Your spider may be ok - we've seen huntsmans in the wild that have lost all their legs from one side of the body and these individuals can often move almost as fast as they would with the full complement of legs using the palp (a small appendage near the mouth) as a substitute.

Arek 18 March, 2012 16:56
hi guys? Just quickly last night I opened my boot to find a huge huntsman sitting between the seal of the car and door before I got the chance the spider hid in one of gaps in the car I sprayed it crazy with insect spray and flushed water throughout the hole. Do u guys think I killed the spider or it wondered of or I's there a high chance the spider I's still in there? What should I do as I hate spiders? Thank you8
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Discovery Centre 19 March, 2012 11:47

Arek

It is impossible for us to tell if you have killed the spider. The important thing to remember is that they have no interest in people and do not seek us out and they have no interest in you or biting you. To deter the spiders from your car you could try making sure any obvious gaps under doors, windows etc are blocked and minimise the amount of vegetation in your car. If your fear reaches the level where it is impacting on your quality of life you may want to chat to your doctor about attending some sort of desensitisation course to manage the fear, Melbourne Zoo used to run these, you can contact them here.

April 15 March, 2012 01:06
Are huntsman the only spiders that leave that string of silk? Eg. The one you see across the windscreen if not, what other spiders leave a silk line?
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Discovery Centre 26 March, 2012 15:01
Hi April, any spider producing silk has the ability to leave a silk line. If the line of silk was on a car it is quite possible it was a huntsman spider as these spiders don't sit in a web and wait for their prey to come to them, rather they go hunting for it. However, other spiders will also get on cars, you can often get a Black House Spider which has made a web around the side mirrors. Many juvenile spiders also disperse by ballooning, that is being carried through the air on a filament of silk. They may land on cars as well.
Sean 9 March, 2012 16:36
Hello, I am from HAIRYHUNTSMAN fencing. I was wondering if i could please get some photos that you might have on huntsman spiders that i could use as a logo for my business? Any help would be great. Thanks
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Discovery Centre 11 March, 2012 10:56

Hello Sean,

 If you want to use a Museum Victoria image you will need to locate the image you want to use from our website and then submit your image request here. When submitting your request please provide a link to the image you wish to use. Please read through our image request guidelines prior to submitting your request.

aaron 8 March, 2012 01:01
Hey i took over my loungeroom as a bedroom and it got messy and quickly so i cleaned it and about two weeks later i found four white tailed spiders. two huntsmans and what looked like an albino baby huntsman spider, do you know what it might be? as i am now currently not able to sleep due to paranoia.
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Discovery Centre 9 March, 2012 10:53
Hi Aaron, don't get too worried, yes spiders can bite but they don't feed on people and will not go out of their way to bite us. If however you stand on one or grab one then yes it will probably bite in self defence. The small albino looking huntsman that you saw may have been one that had just shed its skin but without images we wouldn't be able to say for sure. This link from the Australian Museum will give you some information on how to minimise spider numbers in the home.  
Robert M 2 March, 2012 13:49
I've been finding a different type of huntsman around the house there body is grey and have black rings running around there body and legs just wondering what type they could be?
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Discovery Centre 3 March, 2012 13:12
Hi Robert, Museum Victoria has a free identification service. If you are able to send us a photograph or a specimen of your unusual huntsman, we would be very happy to identify it for you. Images can be attached to our online enquiry form. Specimens can be sent to us by post or brought into the Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre.
Michele Green 1 March, 2012 16:26
What can i feed my huntsman spider that lives in our video cabinet ( which is built into the chimmney
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Discovery Centre 4 March, 2012 14:06

Hi Michele, The Huntsman has moved inside the house to seek food and the fact that it's still around suggests there is a sufficient supply of food there. If food runs short, the huntsman will move to a different location, most likely outside, and you probably won't see it again.

So it doesn't need to be fed, but if you were to feed it then crickets and moths would be the most suitable diet (and there are plenty of both around at the moment, but not for too much longer). Huntsmans respond to movement so your spider is most likely to take living specimens.

David 28 February, 2012 11:43
Why do huntsman always seem to be found high on walls? We've just removed one this morning on the wall above the window frame. This and above doors seems to be their most common location.
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Discovery Centre 4 March, 2012 13:54
Hi David, Before houses were constructed in Australia, huntsmans lived in trees (either under bark or in foliage). They tend naturally, therefore, to live a certain height above the ground where they are out of reach of ground-based predators. They are also disturbed by the movement of people walking around inside a room. The higher up they are the less movement there is, and the less movement they can see (as they have quite poor eyesight).
Maria 27 February, 2012 18:55
i have found what look like a dead huntsman on my car mat, as I lifted the mat outside it moved realizing that it was just asleep. A week later I noticed web in my car and baby huntsmans, obviously there was a nest. My question is how many spiders can there be in a nest?
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Dan 18 April, 2013 07:03
Hi I have a huntsman in my house it has been there for several weeks now, the first couple weeks it would move to another spot every morning but the last few weeks it has stayed in the same spot is there a reason for this
Discovery Centre 6 March, 2012 10:27
Hi Maria, the female huntsman spiders construct egg sacs which may contain up to a couple of hundred eggs; the vast majority of which will not survive to adulthood. If these small spiders were sitting in a web they may not be young hunstmans but a different species of spider. Huntsmans don't make a web but as the name implies go hunting for their food.
Haylie 25 February, 2012 14:09
Hi I was wondering if you could tell me of a plant or something huntsmans dislike? My friend has arachnophobia and has just moved into a huntsman ridden house..
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Discovery Centre 27 February, 2012 16:16
Hi Haylie, the short answer is that we don't know of any successful plant repellent for spiders. You can assure your friend that Huntsman spiders are shy creatures whose first response to a threat is usually to run. She could try to minimise the amount of vegetation in contact with the house and if there are large cracks or gaps around windows or doors fill these in. The reality is that it is very difficult to keep spiders completely out of a home. The good news is that they have no interest in us or in trying to bite us.   
Hello 25 February, 2012 06:20
Hi guys, I need some help here. I have this huge huntsman that keeps retuning to my bedroom. I found it on my bedroom wall about a week ago and I released it outside the balcony. A few days later it has somehow found its way into the house again and EXACTLY the same spot in my bedroom. This time I threw it off the balcony 3 levels to the bottom into some shrubs. HOWEVER this morning I found it inside the house again and trying to crawl into my bedroom. I have trapped him inside a container and am driving to work today. I will release him in the bush outside work. Is there any reason why this huntsman keeps coming back? Any experts out there? If you are an expert please PM me or let me know. Is it just a freak occurance? Id be interested to know. Thanks
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Discovery Centre 12 March, 2012 14:28

Hi, Hello (25th of February)!

We forwarded your enquiry to Museum Victoria’s Live Exhibits team, our animal keepers, who responded with the following information:

Huntsmans can move considerable distances when they feel the urge, particularly if they find themselves in an unsuitable location. Your bedroom appears to be a suitable location so when taken outside a huntsman will have no hesitation returning inside via the same route it originally used. Another possible explanation is that when you remove a huntsman, another takes its place. They are at their largest size at this time of year, and often look very similar to each other. The only way to be sure is to place a small spot of non-toxic paint on its abdomen when you capture it. If a painted huntsman reappears, you'll know it's the same one.

natasha 22 February, 2012 23:50
Is it true the male pulps are much larger than the female? do you know what percentage of baby huntsman survive to full adulthood. thx
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Discovery Centre 28 February, 2012 11:36
Hi Natasha, the palps of the male huntsman spider are bigger than the female; they are part of the males reproductive system and are used to transfer sperm to the female. The vast majority of eggs that are deposited by the female, (likely to be at least 90%) will fail to become adult spiders.  
Lesley 16 February, 2012 05:45
Hi, Came across your site - really interesting content, I've learned a lot so thanks! As an english native, we don't have poisonous spiders to cope with - I have always been horrified how aussies can live with these poisonous creepy crawlies. Learning that the spiders aren't interested in attacking/biting humans was infomative. Keep up the good work. Lesley
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Andrea 16 February, 2012 04:56
Love your page! I live in inner Sydney and have had Huntsmen inside on and off over the 6 years I have lived here. I have had a huge one high up on my bedroom wall for the last 3 days. He, or I reckon SHE, had a huge body, would it be full of eggs? Then tonight, I get up to go to the loo at about 1am and there are TWO spiders. Are they mating or is it just the one spider molting? There has been a bit of slow and sensual movement so don't know if its love thrusts or getting out of town. They, or it, is hanging by a short thread. it is now nearly 5am and I cannot sleep, it is just a tad too creepy for this normally stalwart Huntsman landlady. There seems to be 16 legs involved whatever is going on.....eeeekkkk!!! Comment?
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Discovery Centre 16 February, 2012 12:09
Hi Andrea, perhaps you can send us an image through our Ask the Experts enquiry service
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natasha 10 February, 2012 00:29
hi i have a sml huntsman on my bedroom ceiling which is sitting a metre away from a sml daddy long legs spider. Can these two spiders co exist together? Ive known daddy long legs to trap other spiders in its web to eat. thanks :-P
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Discovery Centre 12 February, 2012 16:04

Hello Natasha,

Yes the Huntsman spider will eat other insects including invertebrates and Daddy long-leg spiders (Pholcus phalangioides). I guess it just depends on how hungry he is! Further information on Daddy long legs can be found here

Mister Zed 8 February, 2012 05:23
The other day I killed a Huntsman which was crawling across my indoor wall. The body fell to the ground but I didn't do anything to it. The next day when I entered the room, the body had disappeared, except for a few of the legs which were still in the same spot. I do not have pets of any kind. Do you have any idea what happened to the body of this spider?
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Discovery Centre 8 February, 2012 16:07
Hi Mister Zed, it is very hard to say what has happened to the body of the spider. Are you sure when you say you killed it that it was dead? Maybe you knocked a few legs off and it crawled away in the night? Or if it was dead maybe a rat might have dragged it off?   
Tina 6 February, 2012 04:47
hi there, we have just moved into a new house which seems to be riddled with huntsmen, tonight there was a massive hand sized one in the kitchen to smaller ones about a 50 cent piece, a baby one and another massive one, i am Messaging as im worried as the last big one was right by my sleepings sons head, i quickly pulled him into my room, an now we are both wide awake, do you have any advice for me... Are they safe to have around were we sleep especially right by my sons head? Do you think if ive found that many in one night is tge house infested? Thankyou for your time :)
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Discovery Centre 9 February, 2012 10:23
Hi Tina, you don't need to be too concerned, huntsman spiders have no interest in people. They are in our homes looking for food and shelter. Despite the fact that most homes in Melbourne would probably have some of these spiders reported bites are rare. These spiders tend to be timid and their first response to danger is to flee. If you were unlucky enough to be bitten these spiders are not considered highly dangerous. This link has some tips on how to minimise spiders in the house and garden.   
Lucy 1 February, 2012 16:29
is it possible for delena cancerides to live solitary as opposed to socially? or is there another huntsman that looks very much like it. i live near albury southern nsw and we have a spider that fits the physical description of the one pictured here in your article. unfortunately my little digital camera has not taken a very clear picture but will send it on anyway.we have nicknamed it 'sox' for its pretty black feet. it stays mainly on the wall near the ceiling.i am terrified of spiders,(hence the unclear photo as i won't,can't get closer) even tho it is illogical to be and even tho spiders are quite beautiful and very useful. it is better to have spiders than poisonous sprays!they are an important link in our complex life chain and the nauseating fear is not, IMHO, a good enough reason to destroy them. thank you for your informative site :)
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Discovery Centre 2 February, 2012 10:48

Hi Lucy,

Thanks for your comment. We have received your email with a photograph of the huntsman you wish to identify, which we will forward to Museum Victoria's entomologists for assistance.

Michael 1 February, 2012 12:42
Hi, I have a pet huntsman that I keep in a tarrarium. The cage is sealed except for small slits in the top. My spider is a large female and has no chance of getting out, not even blowflys that I catch and put in the cage can squeeze through the slits. Shortly after catching her (the kids call her biggy) she laid an egg sack and a few weeks later we had hundreds of babies. After they dispersed (they can fit through the slits) she went on a feeding fenzy and ate tonnes of crickets, then lo and behold laid another egg sack a week later. Which again produced hundreds of healthy babies. This week she did the same thing again, ate like crazy for a few days and has laid yet another egg sack. But how? There is no male spider and no way for one to get in - unless it is tiny??? Can females store sperm, or maybe mate through the slits in the cage?
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Discovery Centre 2 February, 2012 16:09

Hi Michael,
Museum Victoria's Live Exhibits team provided us with the following information that may assist you:

Like many insects and spiders, huntsmans can store enough sperm from a single mating to last them the rest of their lives. Most insects and spiders that do this tend to mate with multiple partners so they have a mixture of genes in the stored sperm, but queen termites, for example, may mate once and have enough sperm to produce tens of millions of offspring over the next 20 years.

Your female ate tonnes of crickets in between because she was building up sufficient protein to produce further egg sacs, and will continue to do this until she dies.

 

Georgia 25 January, 2012 09:16
Hi there, I have read all the previous comments but one that hasn't been answered is: how do huntsmen get into cars? Can they get in through cracks/crevices or does it have to be an open door/window? Once in the car do they hide in the doors or air con or anything? Or should I be able to see them? I ask because I recently (last week) had one in my car - it crawled up my leg while I was driving. Then yesterday one ran across the outside of my windscreen. It was huge. When I got out of the car to check it was gone. I ask because I a really really scared of spiders. Having a huntsman crawl up my leg is like a worst nightmare for me. Then yesterday I nearly crashed. My brother is my resident spider-removalist, he got the first one out but as I said couldn't find the next one. I actually had to sit in my car til he came - too scared to open the door in case it was outside, at the same time scared it would suddenly appear in the car above my head or something. As of now I am basically too scared to drive my car. I drive to work along the freeway - if a big huntsman crawls across my head or falls on me I will die of fright and then crash!!! I don't wish the spiders any harm. I know that they won't hurt me and my free is irrational and I don't kill them just get my brother to move them outside. But I want to know if I check my car will I find them? Or will they be too well hidden? If I keep my doors/windows closed will that keep them out? Or do they come thorough a crevice? And finally are those two solder incidences likely to be related ? I would really appreciate a reply. Thanks :)
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Marty 18 February, 2013 12:34
Huntsman spiders are generally most active at night (nocturnal). I have had success in removing huntsman spiders from the inside of cars by catching them at night. I leave the car parked and undisturbed until an hour or so after sunset to allow the spider to come out from wherever it was hiding. I then carefully look into the car through the windows with the help of a torch to find the spider. Quite often the spider is close to where it was last seen. Once the spider is located options to remove it vary depending on whether the spider is on a door that when opened might allow it to be brushed out, or in a place with straight-forward access to capture it with a wide necked container. I use a long handled bottle brush or plastic fly swatter. If the spider is difficult to access or close to a refuge point that it might retreat to, you may need to kill it by squashing it or spraying it directly with insecticide (depending on your level of spider phobia, it can be very important for people to be absolutely certain that the spider is gone or dead). People with spider phobia may need to get assistance from a non-spider phobic person to help do this. I live in a semi-rural area and believe that huntsman spiders occasionally fall onto our cars from over-hanging Eucalyptus trees and then get into the car through open windows. I try to always remember to wind up windows, especially overnight, but sometimes forget.
Discovery Centre 25 January, 2012 17:41
Hi Georgia, hunstmans can flatten themselves and get through some impressively small cracks and crevices and so can access cars via doors and windows left just ajar. I am not an expert on the internal bodywork of a car but I assume a spider under the bonnet would be capable of finding some gap to the inside of the car. This is not to scare you and imply that huntsmans are actively seeking out car interiors. A window left down is the most likely access point. Try leaving the car with all the windows wound up in the full sun when we next get a really hot day; most spiders don't like extremely high temperatures either and it may encourage any spider still present to move out.
Nik 18 January, 2012 16:42
I found a spider exoskeleton in my car, on the ceiling. I actually saw it while I was driving and thought it was a live one. After I panicked and threw a book at it (hit it squarely), I realized it was just an exoskeleton. Anyway it looked almost exactly to the shape of the Holconia group spiders above. Is this thing still in my car? I've searched all over but can't find it. I'm just worried it's going to start crawling onto me while I'm driving or something and I'll freak out and crash.
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Discovery Centre 20 January, 2012 10:31
Hi Nik, the spider has probably left the car but what you can do is the next time we get a couple of really hot days, leave the car parked in the sun with the windows up. The temperature inside the car can reach extremely high levels and this should encourage the spider to depart if he/she hasn't already done so.
Discovery Centre 3 January, 2012 10:18
Hi Karen, if you can get some good quality images feel free to send them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we can try and identify the spider for you. As you are in Canberra the Australian Museum in Sydney is likely to have more expertise on spiders of that region, so they are an option as well.   
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Yasmin 1 January, 2012 22:09
Regarding Kate's comment: Kate 16 Sep 2010 13:24 Hi there, I live in Canberra and over the last 12-18 months we have had an invasion of huntsman like spiders. While they are large and hairy like huntsmans there are some differences. They are larger than any huntsman I have ever seen, they are extremely hairy, have large black fangs, are a an overall darker colour (like a gray). The other difference is that when they are sprayed (sorry, I have a rather high fear reaction with all spiders) they tend to fall on a web line. I have also lived in Canberra and have seen the same massive furry spiders, I have had one on my front door that was dinner plate size and with pale grey/brown hair as furry as a bunny!! Could the extra fur be to protect them from the Canberra winter?? The largest(bigger than a plate) darkest (almost black)one I have ever seen was in Telopea Park! I promise I am not exaggerating!
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Sandra 1 January, 2012 12:14
I'm really paranoid about huntsman after one gave birth in my dining room a couple of years ago- the spiderlings freaked me out. Anyway, I'm seeings in the mornings very short cobwebs hanging from the ceiling in my dining room, the are quite fine but then with a thicker end, kind of ropey- could huntsman be producing these?
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Discovery Centre 1 January, 2012 12:25
Hi Sandra, the webs are probably not going to belong to a huntsman as they don't build a web and sit in it waiting for their prey, rather they actively seek out and hunt their food. Even if they were evidence of huntsmans you wouldn't need to be too concerned as these spiders are not considered highly dangerous. They also have no interest in people and while their appearance can give people a fright they do not seek us out to bite.
Cassie 31 December, 2011 01:31
Hi i've been away for a couple of days and when I came back I found that some baby huntsman spiders had made their way into my bedroom. So I had sucked them up with a vacuum but after a few minutes more had appeared. I haven't seen the mother spider so I was wondering where they came from. Do you know and also how to get rid of them?
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Discovery Centre 31 December, 2011 12:06
Hi Cassie, the mother may have died after producing the egg sac. The young spiders will be dispersing searching for somewhere with a regular food source. This is more likely to be outside of the house, so hopefully you will see the end of the spiders soon. 
andy 29 December, 2011 22:59
hi, im in melb , i have been getting alot of little eggs on my clothes line ,on my pegs and my clothes for about 2 weeks , its up setting when there on my clothes and they r hard to see too , how do i get the eggs off my clothes ?and if i miss some, would it b ok to wear ??
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Discovery Centre 30 December, 2011 10:25

Hi Andy, Before we can advise you about the eggs on your clothes line, we would need to identify them. Museum Victoria has a free Identification Service. You can either send us some photos of the eggs via our Ask the Experts form, or bring them into the Melbourne Museum Discovery Centre.

Shan 24 November, 2011 23:22
I came across a spider in my bathroom that I couldn't identify. It was kind of a yellowish orange colour, and had thin, spindly legs like a daddy long legs, with knobbly knees. And it had grey tiger stripes on it's abdomen. That description ringing a bell? I spotted it really close to where my arm had been moments before, freaked out, and washed it down the drain, so I don't have a photo...
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Discovery Centre 25 November, 2011 12:19
Shan - in the absence of an image, we can't really help. You can find out more about our identification services here, or you might want to try to identify what you saw using our Victorian Spiders website here.

Hope this helps

Terise 22 November, 2011 14:41
I had an encounter with a hunstman in my car yesterday. I am vrey scared of these things (silly I know but the fear is irational)Anyway, my question is, are huntsmen capable of spinning webs? I know they dont use one to catch prey but today after checking to see if the spider was still in the car, I found a fair amount of web on my steering wheel and across my front windscreen. Dont know if its just coincidence.
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Discovery Centre 22 November, 2011 16:45

Hi Terise,

Huntsman spiders can indeed produce silk thread, in order to move around, however they do not create an actual web. So it is quite plausible that they are creating the silk threads in your car. If what is on your steering wheel and windscreen is in a distinct web formation, a different spider may be creating these.

 

charlie 16 November, 2011 19:42
Hi there i found a spider that was black in colour my son was playing wiith it on the floor i think it was a huntsman it had a black sort of brown shiny head and legs and a brown hairy abdomen im not sure if it is dangerous so i picked it up with a tissue and put it outside it was not very happy about it reared up and beared its fangs they wherequite a bit larger than any huntsmen ive seen before it was about 2.5 cm long do u have any indication what species it is
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Discovery Centre 17 November, 2011 10:45

Charlie - it isn't possible for an identification to be made from you description - we would need to see the specimen itself, or at least a clear photograph of it. You can find out more about our identification services here, or you might want to try to identify what you saw using our Victorian Spiders website here.

Hope this helps

 

Bec 9 November, 2011 14:06
I've just been having a read of the comments, and I have to say I'm impressed with the effort of the Discovery Centre for answering all these queries! Keep up the good work guys! If I may be of some help, it sounds like a few of these people seeing "huntman sized spiders" with "narrow bodies" may well be seeing Wolf Spiders. Please be careful as some have a nasty bite and females can be very aggressive. Females tend to move in and stay, while males are the wanderers. If you do find a female (usually they have burrows, so if they are inside they are lost) you may need to carefully move it on, or you may have pets and/or people at risk from bites. Happy spider watching all! Our resident garage huntsman has an egg sack at the moment, we may have our own baby spiders soon!
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Olena 5 November, 2011 10:38
Hi. We have just moved into a new house and there are a number of big huntsman outside. I'm petrified of them and would like to be able to do some gardening without freaking out. What's the best way of getting rid of them????
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Discovery Centre 5 November, 2011 11:48

Hi Olena, 

Museum Victoria does not provide eradication advice. Although keeping an area free of spiders is difficult; there are many precautions that can be taken to avoid bites. Avoid walking outside with bare feet, especially at night. When gardening, wear shoes, long trousers and thick gloves to guard against any spiders.

This link from the Australian Museum will provide you with some tips to minimise spider numbers in the home and garden.

Els 4 November, 2011 21:38
I just want to say thank-you to the wonderful Discovery Centre staff for all your answers to questions! And to everyone for their questions to answer! We found hundreds of little spiders on the celing in our office last night, and then found Mum huntsmen spider soon after. We have had huntsmens in our house before and they don't bother us - one lived in our bedroom for months. The first one we had in this house actually scurried out when I unwrapped a basket given to me as a Christmas present. Thank god I'm not arachnaphobic because it was quite a surprise! I put it up on top of a cupboard and it lived with us for about a year. But this is the first time we have seen spiderlings. I was interested to find out how they breed, whether they'll disperse, what their survivorship is like or whether we'll have hundreds hanging around the house now! And I got answers to all of that and more right here! So thanks ;-)
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Kim Franklin ( nee Wallin ) 3 November, 2011 20:24
I'm a shift worker. Was working night shift felt a sharp sting in my toe, I ripped my shoe off only to see a huntsman spider scuttling away. I felt violated because I had had my boots on for 3 hours prior to this - none the wiser there was a spider in my shoe. Will never forget it. This morning my daughters and I were discussing arachnids. No sooner had we finished talking about spiders and I heard my daughter Faith shriek experiencing a huntsman spider in her school shoes. It was enormous but I didn't want to squash it because it had such a big butt on it. My question is do female huntsman spiders carry there babies in their butt ?
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Discovery Centre 7 November, 2011 11:51

Hi Kim,

The answer to your question depends on the species of huntsman.  Some species lay their eggs into a silken egg sac that is either attached to a rock or tree root inside a brood chamber.  Some species carry or attach the egg sac beneath their body when moving about.  When the spiderlings emerge from the egg sac, they may swarm over the female huntsman’s body, but she does not carry them around on or in its body.

Joe 2 November, 2011 19:01
Hi im doing gardening in melbourne and ive come across more spiders than ive seen in my life in the last 3 days, ive seen about 20 brown spiders with big fat white backs or sacks walking through the garden under leaves, grass and weeds, should i be worried about these or not because im petrified of spiders and im scared they might be venemous?
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Discovery Centre 3 November, 2011 10:14

Hi Joe,
All Australian spiders are venomous - that is, all Australian spiders produce venom to assist them to kill and digest their prey. Only a small proportion of spiders have venom that is strong enough to make a human sick. No spiders prey on humans; their first response is to run away from you. People are only bitten when a spider feels threatened. If you wear gloves while gardening and moving items outside, it's highly unlikely that you will be bitten.

Museum Victoria has a free identification service. We would be very happy to identify your spiders for you.

dean 23 October, 2011 22:37
hey i was wondering what makes the orange ones come into houses often and would the weather be a cause of it
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Discovery Centre 28 October, 2011 14:16
Hi Dean, it can be variable, it sounds like you get more of the orange huntsmans coming in, while others get more of the brown huntsmans being present in their home. Huntsmans will enter a house looking for food, a mate or shelter. Many species of insects and spiders have the ability to detect imminent changes in weather.    
Bec 13 October, 2011 05:04
Hey I have read the other comments and most seem to be about one or maybe two huntsmen living in a house etc. in the last 24 hours I have discovered at least 5 large huntsmen surrounding my house high on the walls and ceiling of my wrap around porch that weren't there before and I reckon there are more. What is going on???? And what should i do? I have an extreme phobia.
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Emma 10 September, 2011 23:52
As a courtesy to all the hard work the museum employees are doing on this great comment thread, I would like to offer my assistance by putting here in large letters: PLEASE READ ANSWERS TO COMMENTS ALREADY MADE BEFORE POSTING A QUESTION THAT HAS BEEN ANSWERED MANY TIMES ALREADY!!!! Thank you to the employees for your calm and tireless responses.
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Discovery Centre 11 September, 2011 10:12
Emma, many thanks for your comment!
Alisha 8 September, 2011 23:13
hi I know hunstmans aren't dangerous to adults, but what about babies? would it be worse for a baby if the spider bit him? or is it not likely to spider will bite him. there is a huntsman in my 8month old sons room. when I was feeding him, it was lifting it's front legs & it's fangs/pincers were moving together. it also looks as if it is missing 2 legs on one side. just a bit creepy.
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Discovery Centre 10 September, 2011 11:47
Hi Alisha, don't be too concerned about your baby and huntsmans. These spiders have no interest in people or children. The only reason they are often found in our homes is they benefit from the shelter and warmth and they can hunt insects like moths and cockroaches that may be present. We have not in recent memory ever been contacted by anyone whose baby has been bitten by a huntsman.   
Hayley 4 July, 2011 21:05
is it true huntsman come in threes
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Courtney 26 April, 2011 21:11
Hi. I went to my Aunties house a bit earlier today and I noticed that there was a relatively medium sized spider that was a somewhat darkish pink colour. My Auntie said that it had been there for awhile now (A few days I think) and that during the day it was a brighter more pink orange colour, like the sunset. I was wondering what kind of spider this might be. I was looking over the internet to find what it might be and I came across this site and I thought you might be able to help. I suggested that my Auntie check out this site as well. And at my own house, usually at night this rather large spider (about 10 cm large including legs) comes out and spins a giant web. Then in the morning the web is all gone. It never causes harm or anything however, sometimes I go out there and I just feel a bit scared. I'm pretty paranoid over spiders and I'm not quite used to having other spiders around apart from the daddy long legs spiders we get around the house.
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Discovery Centre 28 April, 2011 12:09

Hi Courtney, Museum Victoria offers a free identification service, but in order for the entomologist to make an accurate identification, a clear image is required  You can send images to the Discovery Centre via the Ask the Experts page.

Anthony 24 April, 2011 23:06
Hi my father found a very large sider in the apple tree at home. i took a photo and would love to sent it to you for identication. as i don't know what it is, and has never seen ant thing like it before. Can you please give me a email adreess so i can send it to you.
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Discovery Centre 27 April, 2011 15:43

Hi Anthony, you can send images to the Discovery Centre, discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au

Tyler 19 April, 2011 06:00
What are huntsmans doing when they bring their front legs almost to the side, so it almost looks like they are butterflys?
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Discovery Centre 23 April, 2011 15:26
Hi Tyler, we've found a few websites that explain why the Huntsman Spider's legs move as they do. Check the Australian Museum's information page on Huntsman Spiders and  this one from the Queensland Museum.
Lucy 12 April, 2011 10:50
How often do they lay eggs?
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Discovery Centre 9 May, 2011 14:19

Hi Lucy, 

Female huntsmans mature at about eight months of age and then mate with a male, generally a couple of weeks after maturing. She will then produce a flat, oval egg sac containing up to 200 eggs, and stand guard continually over it for about three weeks. When the eggs hatch, depending on the species of huntsman, she will often continue to guard them until they disperse.

Females produce egg sacs during summer and, although the records are not readily available, there appears to be a maximum of two egg sacs per summer. The timing of the egg sacs is determined by when she mates (depending on availability of suitable males), how long the eggs take to develop, and whether she gets the opportunity to produce a second egg sac (both of which depend on environmental conditions).

As females can live for two years, they have the potential to produce another two eggs in the second year.

So to summarise, our experience suggests that a female huntsman can produce up to four egg sacs, mainly during the summer months, but the timing is dependent on a number of environmental factors.

Astrid Sweeney 29 March, 2011 20:12
Hi, I was wondering if youwould have any idea what the folowing arachnid is... it is a tiny scorpion with no stinging tail. It is a very dark, almost black colour and the claw leg pair are 3mm and the body is 3mm. i found a live one one day on my bed but let it go when I could not get it ID'd. I have since found an exoskeleton of the creature and am still totally fascinated. Would I be able to send the specimen somewhere if you are unsure of what it is? Thanks a million, Astrid
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Discovery Centre 8 April, 2011 11:30

Hello Astrid! Our entomologist says that this is most likely to be a Pseudoscorpion, which are often found under bark or in leaf litter. They eat even smaller invertebrates (see Melbourne's Wildlife for more information). They're not normally found inside, but might have been brought in on another larger invertebrate, as they hitch rides, or perhaps on some plant material.

Discovery Centre 30 March, 2011 15:38
Hi Astrid, we don't do identifications by description but you can send the specimen to us. Please click on the 'Ask the Experts' link at left, then go to 'Identifications' for further information and guidelines.
Katie 19 March, 2011 13:20
I have recently found and killed three hunsmans around my house and my friends tell me that they come in groups of 6 or 7 is this true? because i thought they were meant to be in groups of 2...
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Discovery Centre 23 March, 2011 12:06
Hi Katie - if you read through the information sheet at the top of this page, you'll see there are a number of species we call Huntsman spiders; including a species called Dalena cancerides, which is commonly called the Colonial or Social Hunstman; As the name suggests, these are communal and are often encountered in groups.
natasha 20 March, 2011 06:04
Thanks , thats good to hear as she has nestled herself and sac on one of my curtains. I thought when her babies are born i would take the curtain outside near the trees. Is this a good idea? that way i dont harm any of the spiders. ☼ My bedroom is fairly clean vintage looking LOL. rgards natasha
Discovery Centre 19 March, 2011 10:15

Hi Natasha, your female spider has chosen to lay her egg sac within your bedroom. She must think that it is fairly good conditions to incubate those eggs. As long as you stop any chemicals such as pesticides from being sprayed near her she should quite happily sit and do her thing. If you do feel you need to relocate her to a place away from the house. You need to carefully disconnect the silk threads connecting her egg sac to the wall and transfer her and her eggs to a dry secluded spot. Good luck.

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natasha 19 March, 2011 00:59
hi, Huntsman are very shy timid spiders unless you provoke them. I think they should be called shy spider not huntsman. LOL I have apregnant female nesting on my curtain, she is very quiet and hasnt jumped out on me even when ive gotten close to her. Huntsman spiders should get more support as theyre not deadly/vicious like some other spiders. Thanks ☼
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Mandie 18 March, 2011 08:29
Hi there, I've had a large grey Huntsman living in my bathroom for about 4 months now. It's about the size of my hand. I've noticed during the day it sits peacefully up on the wall, and then when the sun goes down it's almost a game of 'where will the spider be when I walk in this time'. Lately it's started venturing out into the hallway of an evening, and a couple of times when I've walked in (usually first thing in the morning) it runs toward me with its 2 front legs up in the air and then stops still. I've read above that this isn't normal behaviour for a Huntsman, would you say it's likely I've just startled it? or would it do this when carrying an egg sac? Also sometimes it rests on the wall right next to the toilet, I don't want it to feel to scared or threatened around me. Are they usually OK with people getting close (like sitting on the toilet next to it :-P). I have friends who are worried it will jump on them or attack if they get too close, I've told them it has no interest in them so I would like to confirm... and what if it's defending its egg sac? At night time I usually just turn the light off again for 10 mins or so and quite often it's moved. I think it's lack of knowledge that makes people scared, and I'm disgusted that people spray and kill these beautiful creatures!! This is a great forum and I've learned so much already, thankyou!
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natasha 16 March, 2011 07:19
hello, i hav a female huntsman in my room with her large round sac. will she survive inside my house? i had a huntsman a few mths back that was in my room, 5 days later i found her on the floor dead. I dont want this mummy huntsman to die in my room. Will she survive inside my home for a while?i hope so. thank you ☼
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Nicole 15 March, 2011 23:53
Hey, So I'm deathly afraid of spiders and I currently have a Huntsman trapped inside of my window. How long will it take for it to die? Cheers, Nicole
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Discovery Centre 17 March, 2011 14:06
Hi Nicole. As you are afraid of spiders, you may wish to get someone who isn't to move it outside. Under the bark of a tree is often a good place to leave them.
John Leadwith 14 March, 2011 22:20
Hi, Just wondering what time of year Huntsman spiders mate? Is it the same in Victoria and New South Wales? Cheers, John.
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Discovery Centre 17 March, 2011 14:03

Hi John, Huntsman spiders tend to mate in the warmer months of the year when they themselves are more active. There is very little evidence to know if spiders have mated. Generally they will join together for a few minutes to up to an hour while the male transfers a sperm package into the female. Once that is completed you often only know that it was successful by the female putting on condition and her abdomen enlarging. You often find females sitting with egg sacs this time of the year – or earlier.

Audrey 9 March, 2011 17:52
My mum and I are both really scared of spiders and pretty much kill any on sight, though I try not to cause I know how well they keep bugs out. Anyway, recently my mum found a mother and her spiderlings in her room and quickly got her fionce to remove the mother outside after being sprayed with a lot of bug spray. All the spiderlings scattered and she's been cleaning her room of them all day. I was wondering, how many spiderlings do huntsmans on average have? Just wondering so I can reasure mum a little. Already told her that they'd scamber away on their own and probably leave the house. but she's still determined to kill them all. We have wood panneling on a lot of the walls which have holes in them where the "eyes" in the wood used to be. Could all this easy access make the babies more likely to stick around? Thanks in advance
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Discovery Centre 13 March, 2011 12:54

Hi Audrey! The number of eggs produced by Huntsmans depends on which Huntsman species you have, but the more common species will produce 150-200 eggs. The good news for you, but not for the Huntsmans, is that they have a 99% mortality rate before reaching adulthood. So out of the 200 (at most) that emerge from the egg sac, only about 2 will survive and reproduce. These 2 replace their parents, which keeps the population relatively stable over time.

There are many nooks and crannies around the average house into which huntsman spiderlings can disappear. With holes in the wood panelling there are even more escape routes and there's probably not much benefit in trying to track them all down. The best thing is to let them be and let nature remove the great majority of spiderlings.

Victoria 8 March, 2011 03:26
Hi, lately I have had an odd amount of huntsman's in my house. I usually never see them and they all seem to stay in the same area my kitchen. One is quite large and a dark brown colour the body is very thick. Another is thinner and smaller. I recently found another that is not as big as the other two but still quite thick. I have old vents at the top of my kitchen I think that's were they are coming in. I am very scared of spiders too scared to get rid of them myself. Is there any way I could stop them from coming out?
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Discovery Centre 10 March, 2011 10:34

Hi Victoria, I have spoken with the Entomologist and he has advised that there are a few things you can do to deter spiders from coming in, but unfortunately, you cannot spider proof your home!  Go outside and make sure there is no foliage coming into contact with the house, and block up any visible holes around windows and doors.  You should also remember that they are not interested in you, they are coming inside looking for food and shelter.

Discovery Centre 4 March, 2011 08:26

Hi Jordan, it is possible that the huntsman you keep on finding is the same specimen. There is an even greater likelihood if the only shelter in the paddock is the shed. It will head towards somewhere it can hide away – it certainly does not want to be caught out exposed to predators in the open space. To get rid of it from the shed the best thing you can do is find it a place that provides the same type of shelter that the shed does – under the bark of a tree is often a good place to leave him.

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Discovery Centre 4 March, 2011 08:24

Hi Karra, huntsmen dropping legs is not generally a sign of starvation, more commonly a sign of old age or aggression from other animals in the house. Here at the Museum we keep lots of huntsmen in captivity and one of the first things for them to do before dying of old age is to lose all the fine delicate hairs on their backs and then drop a leg or two.  

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Chris 19 February, 2011 19:47
Good evening :-) I'm just about to move into a house thats infested with Huntsmans, we're talking about 20 a week at the moment. We live in a foresty area with lots of foliage hanging on the roof which we can't relocate. The house is quite old and is riddled with holes, so sealing up is a mammoth task. Is there any herbal or insecticide or repellent that we can us to ward them off?? Kind Regards, Chris
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Discovery Centre 18 February, 2011 15:47
Hi Barbara, not a pleasant way to wake up. Do you have a recognisable spider body remaining or have you disposed of it. If you still have it and can take some images please feel free to email them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we will see if we can provide you with an identification.
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barbara brady 18 February, 2011 04:17
Good Morning (4 a.m.) I am truly ashamed of myself I think I have just killed a huntsman spider. It was black and glossy and bigger than any other I have seen and I have relocated quit a few. It was above my bed I couldn't reach it with my jar and cardboard spider catching kit so I sprayed it. Now I look at the dead body it looks just like a huntsman but black and glossy.Do they come in black and glossy? Will I ever sleep again?
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Discovery Centre 16 February, 2011 15:15

Hi Hal, hunstmans, like all spiders, do indeed produce threads which they lay down at regular intervals as a safety line in case they lose their footing. When this happens, the spider will dangle from the thread and climb back up to safety. Similar to the way rock climbers attach ropes to the cliff face, so that if they fall it is not too far.

Additionally, huntsmans moult out of their old skins by hanging from a thread, and these empty skins are often seen dangling from these threads for months afterwards, usually under the roof of a shed or empty cupboard. Because huntsmans don’t build a web to catch prey, their silk is not so obvious, but for all the other reasons spiders use silk (mating, producing an egg sac, safety line etc), huntsmans use it too.

 

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Discovery Centre 16 February, 2011 13:47
Hi Kate, this is a particularly good year for huntsmans – the rain has brought out the plant growth which has brought out the insects, which are fuelling an unusually large spider population. Huntsmans are one of the few spiders that have adapted to living inside houses, so the increase in prey has meant an increase in huntsmans in the house, but if weather conditions return to normal next year it will be only a temporary increase.

One reason huntsmans are so at home in our homes is their ability to squeeze through the smallest gaps with their flat legs and bodies, and this also enables them to hide away in places where airborne insecticides can’t reach them. The other option is a more residual, more penetrating insecticide but these are considered more harmful to the human inhabitants than the spiders are. And when the insecticides wear off, the huntsmans will just reinvade. The other type, the ‘electric repellent’ you mentioned, has no effect on spiders at all.

Some people use natural remedies such as lemon oil but these generally don’t do a sufficient job for most people’s satisfaction, if they work at all.  The best way is to block the spiders’ entry points (around doors and windows, and particularly from foliage touching the house’s eaves), learn to love them even more, and things might return to normal next year. 

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Karra 15 February, 2011 14:27
We live in Victoria and periodically have huntsmen in our home. No big deal really. I have noticed that right before they disappear, they tend to start "dropping" legs. First one is gone, then two and then the spider disappears. Does this mean they might be starting to starve and its a way to slow the process down or are they being attacked by something. We currently have another visitor (we've started calling them all Emmett)and he seems quite active (only hangs out in the same place a couple of days before he finds a different spot), any ideas on his "abnormal" behaviour? Thanks.
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Jordan 13 February, 2011 15:05
Several weeks ago I found a HUGE huntsman in a shed on our property in Sutherland. No worries. Got the rake. Managed to get him into. Take him down to the back of the property and drop him over the fence. 4-5 days later I notice a huntsman in the shed. Same size. Same cranny. I swear it was the same huntsman? So again I drop him over the fence. Some 15-20 meters from the shed. 3-4 days later (about 2 hours ago) I go into the shed and there he/she is again! I'm absolutely certain its the same spider. Do Huntsman's have the ability to find their way back to their favourite spot? Must I drop this fella in the next postcode to get rid of him?
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Kate 11 February, 2011 10:30
We commonly have one or two huntsmans in the house, (Huntsman spider, Holconia montana i think?)They are huge- the size of a adult hand! Normally in the hallway. However, recently we have had up to 6 at one time in the Bathroom, for around 3 weeks. Im not a huge fan of killing them, however not a huge fan of them forming a gang in my bathroom either! I have an electric 'pest repelant' pluged in to try keep them out, but clearly its not working. They aren't halming anyone or any thing, and my family is not fazed by them, however our friends are, and have been known to avoid using the bathroom or even not visit. Is there a particular way to keep them out? Such as a herbal/natural oil they hate? As I said before, not planning on killing them, but 6 of them gives me the creeps!
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Hal townsend 11 February, 2011 08:46
hey there, I was wondering if you could clear up a long standing argument in our household regarding the huntsman spider. I forget how it ever came up but the crux of it is whether or not the huntsman is capable of hanging from from a silk thread ! I have spent the last 15 years working in and around tree's and have seen them do it countless times ! Non the less the debate continues, the other parties claiming that the spiders in question simply borrow another spiders thread, I find the whole idea absurd and could benefit from your help in putting this debate to bed ! A picture is worth a thousand words in my book ! thanks, regards Hal
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Discovery Centre 10 February, 2011 15:52

Hi Rebecca - huntsmans live under bark and have flattened bodies, they are able to squeeze throughcracks and get into your house. They do this nocturnally. There are a number of traditional remedies to keep them out, including lemon oil – I’ve never known them to work but there’s no harm trying.

Huntsman populations vary from place to place and year to year. In bushy suburbs they will be more common and during warm wet summers their populations will also increase. This summer is a particularly good one, as the rain has brought out flushes of new growth on plants, which has boosted the insect numbers, which in turn has meant a massive increase in spiders, including huntsmans.

Huntsmans have adapted well to living inside houses. Without sealing all external cracks, removing foliage from around eaves and sealing all doors and windows, I’m afraid there’s not much else you can do but to live with them. They will treat you when stationary as part of the furniture, so there is a chance they will crawl on you. Huntsmans also have the bad habit of dropping on people’s heads who walk underneath them, which I suspect is part of their evolutionary adaptation to spreading the species around (they are just hitchhiking in this case).

The good news is that huntsmans generally are very reluctant to bite (I’ve inadvertently walked around all day with one inside my boot and was not bitten, for example) and the bite is no worse than a bee sting.

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Discovery Centre 9 February, 2011 10:50
Hi Josh, I wouldn't be too concerned, we are not aware of huntsman spiders posing any great risk to pets. The Badge Huntsmans may aggressively defend their egg sac but will not seek out people or pets to bite. As you say if the pets chase and grab the spider it may bite. If they do this I imagine the pets will learn quickly not to do it again. I find the spiders usually make their way outside fairly quickly.
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truleigh 5 February, 2011 19:17
hello i live i NSW and i have already found one huntman in my car then i found a dead one then there was another one today i no to leave the car in the sun and check the vissa and all that but seriously i cant deal with these huntsmans stalking me anymore they love my car and they are all huge one today was the size of my hand !!! i need help i am havign pannick attacks everytime i drive my car and also i saw babies aswell i sprayed my car today with mortein but i need them gone in the house watever dont care but car i am sooooooo over it HELPPPPPP
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Discovery Centre 5 February, 2011 14:29
Hi Nicki, don't be too concerned about huntsman spiders in the home. They have no interest in people and bites are rare. They generally come inside while searching for food. Our homes attract an array of meal options for huntsman spiders such as moths, cockroaches and other spider species. Many insect and spider species also tend to have a peak in their abundance during the summer months when conditions and food resources are at their highest level. 
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Josh 5 February, 2011 03:23
hi, i live just outside of brisbane and seem to have a badge huntsman in my house. I am a little worried as i have 2 kittens and a puppy that may see it as a chew toy. is this spider's bite dangerous to my pets or can it harm them if they manage to eat it? also will it leave my house soon or will it stay here a long time? i tried to catch it in a containt but it seemed to jump or move really fast out of the way.
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Discovery Centre 4 February, 2011 14:40
Hi Mez, the best thing to do is park your car in full Sun on a really hot day. Just as we can't stand sitting in there with no air conditioning you'll find any huntsmans inside the car will probably seek cooler places to spend their time.
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Nicki 4 February, 2011 00:23
We have suddenly had a increase of Huntsman spiders inside our house what may have caused the sudden increase? They are all large so not babies
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Mez 3 February, 2011 19:28
Hey a lot of helpful info so far, buuutt there a big brown holconia in my car and it just went in side one of those dents near my steering wheel. How do I get it out? Please help, don't want to have an accident.
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Discovery Centre 25 January, 2011 18:19
Hi Renee, the best thing to do is try and take some images next time you see the spiders and email them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we can try and tell you what species of spider you have. Don't be too concerned, the only spider in Melbourne that we currently consider highly dangerous is the Redback, which your spiders do not sound like. 
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Renee 24 January, 2011 15:58
hi, We have recently moved into a new house and i have been finding these Orange/red looking spiders. They are only about the size of a 10 cent Coin. They almost look transparent. I have a 2 year old and the last thing i want Is for him to be bitten so i killed it, well thought i did but it acted dead For about 5 minutes and i wwtched it run right back into my garage.. Any idead on what it is? As i am particulary worried if its deadly
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Discovery Centre 22 January, 2011 12:21
Hi Jacqui, it can be very hard to keep spiders out of the home as they can get through pretty small cracks. Make sure the flywire on your windows is well fitted and that you don't have large cracks under the door. Some of those draught excluders may help with this. If your phobia is really strong there are courses people can take to try and desensitise themselves. Melbourne Zoo used to run these, you can contact them here.
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Discovery Centre 20 January, 2011 14:54
Hi Chloe, huntsmans actively seek out their food which can bring them into our homes and cars. If there is a lot of food in your home the spider may remain for awhile, (bear in mind he or she will be catching and removing from your home other spiders and things like cockroaches). If food is scarce the spider will make its way outside again.
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Jacqui 19 January, 2011 22:54
We have had 3 very large huntsman in our house in less than a week. I'm absolutely terrified of spiders and simply can't co-exist with these creatures without having a nervous breakdown. Aside from their hunting method of eating, could they be coming inside to escape the heat (we have air-con on)? Is there anything else I can do to prevent entry?
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Nadia 16 January, 2011 22:20
I had a huntsman crawl across my windscreen and then the driver's window today and then disappear under the bumper. i saw it scurrying again later in the day towards the wheel. It is now somewhere under the car. I am petrified it is going to get into the car, as i've had one in the car before that appeared whilst i was driving 110km/hr down the motorway. How do they actually get into the car? and how long is it likely to stay with the car? is there any way i can avoid it getting in? I tried hosing the car, but saw no sign of it.
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chloe 16 January, 2011 08:34
I have a VERY large huntsman in my house at the moment. Im 2 afraid 2 catch and release it. I have opened a window in the room its in and taken off the flyscreen. Will it leave on its own?
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rebecca 11 January, 2011 21:19
we recently have moved to a new home that sits directly under a few eucalypts. it is an older house so has many gaps, unscreened windows etc. and we sometimes keep the back door open if we are entertaining out the back...so we are seeing a lot of huntsman spiders! at least one or two per day. they are often scurrying about, which is different to what we were used to in other houses we have lived in, where the huntsman would sit quietly up near the ceiling. for this reason, we have been a little on edge about the quantity and the more busy behaviour of our spiders, so 2 questions: are they busier and down lower (lower on walls not usually on the floor) for any particular reason? and an aunt told me that spreading a little lemon oil around doors and windows may deter them a little from coming inside...is this true? we don't really dislike them, and we are grateful for any bug control assistance, but i don't think you ever quite stop gasping when a giant hairy spider springs out from behind the dresser! actually, i have one third question: is it terribly unlikely they will crawl on us?
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Discovery Centre 5 January, 2011 12:45
Hi Katie, it is possible that the spider may not have fallen off the car, they do have a good grip. Bear in mind that the spider will have no interest in you or trying to bite you. If you are worried it may have got into the car the next hot day you could park your car in the full sun. This should heat the car up and encourage any huntsman to head to a cooler place.
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katie 4 January, 2011 14:48
Hi there, over the weekend, in the middle of the day an orange-brown monster hunstman ran across my windscreen while I was driving and seemed to vanish! I was in the Grampains at the time. Is it likely that he fell on to my moving car & then fell off or is it possible that he's living in my car & just fancied a stroll?? I'm Irish & not used to spiders of this size so Im suitably petrified!!
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Discovery Centre 30 December, 2010 12:29

Hi Sacha, Lots of questions about your spider. Let’s see how many we can answer! It is quite common for Huntsman to return to the same resting place during the day, especially if it is a protected private spot like a disused letter box. Spiders have fine hairs all over their body that can detect the slightest movement around them. They are very good at keeping out of each other’s way and if they do ‘stumble’ across one another it is normally a big run to escape from each other – unless it is for mating purposes in which case they will caress each other to make their intentions known.

Once huntsmen emerge from their egg sac they will disperse away from one another (unless they are social huntmen). If they find a position that is suitable – plenty of food and shelter it is quite likely that they will choose to stay there until their food supply runs out. If huntsman spiders roam, what distance do they typically travel. Do they stay in a general area or move continually? This is a question that I can’t answer. I’m sure some spiders roam widely – some even hitch rides in cars!

It is quite common for people to mention a spider that has been hanging around in a certain place of an extended period of time. When the spider moults it is very soft and a cream colour. The process to moult does not take all that long as spiders are very vulnerable while they are hanging and removing their old exoskeleton. For the next day or two the spider sits quietly and allows its new exoskeleton to harden. When they are young, spiders moult quite often. If there is lots of food around then the spider eats rapidly and grows out of its old exoskeleton. As they get older the rate of moulting decreases.

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Sascha 30 December, 2010 09:07
Hi, We have had a huntsman in our letter box for some months now (our letterbox is unused so we don't mind it being there). There are five molted shells in there with it. I am wondering if they are territorial. I asume this spider hunts at night and returns during the day, but it is always there. Do huntsman spiders usually return to the same location? Do they argue over hunting grounds? If they live roughly two years, will they stay in the same area for life unless forced to move or is it seasonal? When they come into the house (I notice that it is usually before rain) they leave again after a few days. So would they have a more permanent base nearby? I have removed spiders to the garden of many friend's houses, and several times they appear to return. Is it likely to be another spider that comes in or is it common for them to return to a known hunting ground? If huntsman spiders roam, what distance do they typically travel. Do they stay in a general area or move continually?. Is our letterbox friend unusual in staying put? One more question, My son was wondering if the spider is soft when it molts or is it already a hardened new shell underneath? How often do they molt? Thanks, Sascha
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Discovery Centre 21 December, 2010 12:54

Hi Terri, the young huntsmans will begin leaving the female over the next few weeks, it is quite common for young spiders to stay close to the egg sac for the first little while. They have energy reserves in their bodies already so they don’t start getting hungry for a while. Once those energy reserves are used up they will disperse away from one another and catch small invertebrates like flies to feed on.

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Discovery Centre 20 December, 2010 14:18
Hi Kody, species of Holconia huntsman are not social huntsmans, so you are unlikely to find a nest of them. Huntsman spiders do come into homes to search for food, often on warm evenings or after rain. These spiders are generally timid and their first response is usually to run from danger. If they are provoked or handled they might bite but as your sister is an arachnophobe she is very unlikely to put herself at any risk of interaction with these spiders.  
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terri sharpe 19 December, 2010 21:36
we have a large dark huntsman female with egg sack in the shed, and recently it hatched atleast 50 spiders from it. they have not dispersed, they stay close to her. i have several questions, 1 when will they leave her, 2 what do they eat given they are so small, 3 what and how is she currently feeding them? thanks, terri
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Kody 15 December, 2010 22:06
Hello, Tonight I had a holconia Hunstment in my bedroom. From front legs to back it was about 5 cm. It came from behind my TV cabinet where I know daddy long leg spiders live. Was this a baby, and is it possible there's a nest there, or was it an adult just feeding on the daddy long legs? I am a slight oracniphobe and my sister is a complete orachniphone and goes into shock at the sight of any spider. They aren't welcome in our home because of this, even though besides my sister, even I don't mind huntsmen. If there is a nest, there may be an issue. If it is just one off, there isn't a problem. If it is a nest, how so would I get rid of it without killing them?
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Susanna Sevander 10 December, 2010 07:11
Hi. After reading all the comments and answers I have found mine. This is a great page and very informative.Thank you...
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Discovery Centre 6 December, 2010 16:07

Hi Laura, huntsmans are common in most houses throughout Spring and become more common in Summer, when young ones start to appear. Huntsmans don’t build a nest – instead a female will produce an egg sac, generally wait until the eggs have hatched, then abandon the young spiders to their own devices. You can rest assured that 99% of these young spiders will die of natural causes before reaching adulthood. So the appearance of young spiders is a natural occurrence at this time of year and may or may not have anything to do with the adult spider you removed.

If you don’t mind living with huntsmans, the best thing to do is let the majority of them disperse and enjoy the company of the few that remain. Alternatively, you can catch them as you find them to be taken outside (like the original spider), but you don’t need to worry about being overrun with huntsmans if you leave them in place.

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Luke 6 December, 2010 00:15
Joanne's aggressive spider in Saint Ives sounds like a sydney funnel web to me. I've only seen a hunstman rear once, and then someone was trying to catch it.
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Laura 5 December, 2010 23:09
Hello! The other day there was a large huntsman spider in my bedroom above a poster. I took the huntsman to the garden and have since removed my posters. However, tonight on my cieling I saw 2 small huntsman spiders (each appx 1-1.5cm in diametre) and I'm concerned that there may be a huntsman spider nest or something similar in my bedroom. I know they are not typically dangerous, but it makes me very uncomfortable... What would you recommend I do? Thank you so much.
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Discovery Centre 16 November, 2010 09:56
Hi Joane, we have not heard of huntsman spiders behaving in this manner. Some species will aggressively defend their egg sac which is understandable. But that aggression is usually in response to a threat to them or their eggs, not someone sitting quietly in a chair. If you are able to get some images feel free to email them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we will try and confirm the identity for you.
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Alison 19 May, 2014 15:10
Um, they definitely do behave this way sometimes. I am trying to figure out why myself. I can count 5 sererate occasions at least when a huntsman has run straight at me for a considable distance. I had this occur just today on my balcony when a tiny juvenile huntsmen, a very pretty one with light faun colouring and specked patterning, did just this. I tried to dissuade it by tapping the floor hard in front of it, but it just kept advancing! Finally I just blew it away. This may even work with a larger huntsmen, since even if it was not light enough to be blown away, it might turn tails nonetheless, since they never like winds.
Joanne 12 November, 2010 22:07
Location. St.Ives. Sydney. and for years I have not worried if a huntsman decided to live in the letter box or wander around the house but have now encountered aggressive behaviour for the second time. The first time it was certainly a huntsman and ran across the room towards me without any movement on my part. I thought I was still and just watching. That was 3 years ago. Last night around 1am from the same area emerged another. However this one was far larger than I have ever seen before and once again without any movement from me, raised itself vertically (perhaps 50mm) on its legs, to create a pronounced V pattern with the body suspended half way. It did this a few times. Then it reared and waved its front legs a couple of times. Then it ran 2 metres straight towards me. Once again, I was just sitting quietly in a chair observing. Needless to say...I can't give you a specimen. It scared me by its intensity and the speed of its rush. A thrown shoe kept it away and the spray can and newspaper did the deed. Sorry folks but it seriously did appear to be up to no good. Is this a Huntsman or something new?
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Calindy 11 November, 2010 11:04
Hi! I have noticed for the last couple of weeks a large spider inside our letterbox in Sunbury. Initially from the apparent size and the glimpse I got of the legs I assumed it was a huntsman. However, it has now built in the corner of the letterbox a very thick, almost coccoon type of web, inside which it seems to be residing. I had a quick look yesterday and the abdomen seems much fatter than a huntsman, and the legs thicker. I am now afraid it could be a funnel web - any ideas?
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Discovery Centre 10 November, 2010 09:15
Hi Alyce, huntsmans don't make a web and sit in it waiting for their prey, but as their name suggests go hunting for it. It is difficult to keep them out of homes, you could try making sure any obvious gaps under doors, windows etc are blocked and minimise the amount of vegetation touching the house. The thing to remember is that they have no interest in people and do not seek us out. If your fear reaches the level where it is impacting on your quality of life you may want to chat to your doctor about attending some sort of desensitisation course to manage the fear.
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Alyce Constantine 10 November, 2010 03:15
Hi there. I am so very scared of spiders, tonight i found 3 spiders insider 3 month old daughters room. She was screaming to be fed/changed/held and i was so scared it took me a while to build up my courage to get in there and get her out. I know they are huntman buty question is how do I get rid of them, they aren't welcome in our house and I don't want to kill them I just want them to stay outside.
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Discovery Centre 5 November, 2010 13:17
Hi Lin, our staff in the Live Exhibits Department have said huntsman will eat other spiders and presumably eat each other on a regular basis if they come across each other, although they don’t see it very often in the wild. The exception to this would be the social huntsmans which often live together in large groups.  
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Lin 2 November, 2010 07:43
I'm trying to find out if huntsman spiders eat other spiders? I saw one catch a cockroach once, which is why I always leave them when I see them inside! I'd be extra happy with my guests if I knew they'd also catch other nasties like whitetail spiders.
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Discovery Centre 20 September, 2010 10:56

Hi Kate, from your description the spiders are most likely what are commonly called huntsmans. This term applies to a large number of species ranging in colour from orange to grey. These spiders are not considered highly dangerous and are unlikely to bite unless you step on one or handle one and they feel threatened.

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Kate 16 September, 2010 13:24
Hi there, I live in Canberra and over the last 12-18 months we have had an invasion of huntsman like spiders. While they are large and hairy like huntsmans there are some differences. They are larger than any huntsman I have ever seen, they are extremely hairy, have large black fangs, are a an overall darker colour (like a gray). The other difference is that when they are sprayed (sorry, I have a rather high fear reaction with all spiders) they tend to fall on a web line. I have a 2 storey house with a lot of gum trees and these spiders are generally found on the top balconey and inside upstairs. Is this a type of huntsman or are we dealing with another large scary species?
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Discovery Centre 16 August, 2010 13:55

Hi Nerissa, I'm glad you and the kids are getting along well with your lodger. To be able to sex your spider you really need to be able to get quite close to the spider. Please see our information click here on how to determine if the spider is a boy or girl. Your spider may be quite mobile during the night searching for food and is probably helping keep your household insects under control while you sleep. If the spider is female and she has an egg sac the majority of these spiders upon hatching would leave the house as there is likely to be more food outside than inside. 

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Nerissa 15 August, 2010 15:04
Hello! For about five months we have had what looks like a brown huntsman living on our bedroom ceiling. At first we tried to catch it but gave up and decided to leave it be, and now our kids come in every morning to compete to be the first to spot 'Will the spider". Is there any way of determining whether 'Will' is male or female? I'm just not sure how comfortable I am in having hundreds of spiderlings in my bedroom. And is 'Will' likely to stay with us permanently or will he/she go off in search of a mate? How does he manage to find enough food when he's always on our ceiling? We have actually gotten quite fond of him/her and it's nice that our kids are learning not to freak out about spiders and that it's not necessary to kill them.
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Discovery Centre 12 August, 2010 14:34

Hi Rebecca, huntsman spiders usually come inside looking for food. They do not build a web and wait for their prey to come to them, but rather hunt for it as their name suggests. Try not to be too alarmed at their presence, they have no interest in people. It is likely that they are also in other peoples' units, but you could try to minimise their numbers in your unit by making sure no vegetation is touching your windows or walls and try to find and block any gaps around windows and doors. 

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Rebecca 7 August, 2010 21:50
Hi, I live on campus at uni in Canberra and my roomates and I are PETRIFIED of spiders. We seem to be one of the only areas on campus to get huntsman spiders though. We were wondering, 1)Why do they usually venture inside (is it for food, shelter etc) and 2)why only us? We are pretty clean and don't have any other bugs. Could it be the warmth from keepin our heaters on all day or a certain smell attracting them? Thanks =)
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Discovery Centre 19 July, 2010 16:21

Hi Greg, the Museum does have a free identification service. If you can safely obtain some images of the spiders please feel free to e-mail them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we will try and have them identified for you.

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Greg Adams 18 July, 2010 20:06
Good evening My son and I were removing a pile of bricks that have been there for some years. Whilst we were doing so, we noticed many spiders. The one that was most prevelent looked like a huntsman but was jet black in colour. This spider had no problem fitting into the narrowest of cracks. The legs were developed like a huntsman however the fangs pointed down like a funnel web. Some of them were quite large. At first we thought they were funnel web spiders as we were just north of Sydney. Have you heard of these spiders before?
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Discovery Centre 3 June, 2010 12:09

Hi Stacey, if you can safely collect one of the spiders, place it in the freezer overnight to humanely kill it, put it in a container such as a pill jar and post it to Discovery Centre PO Box 666 Melbourne 3001, we will happily look at it for you and let you know if it is a juvenile huntsman. No spiders feed on people or seek them out to bite but if you step on a spider or if one is trapped in your clothing and being squashed it may bite.

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Stacey 29 May, 2010 14:46
Hi, just wondering if you might know... I have many very large huntsman in my house as I live amongst a lot of trees and bushland.. Quite regularly I notice nearly hundreds of little tiny brown spiders which I assume is the huntsman babies.. They are in my wardrobe and I often find them on my clothes. Can these tiny baby spiders bite.? I recently found I tiny moquito looking but on my leg that later formed a bruise around it, and when I looked closely there were 2 little prong marks on the bite. It was very itchy. Do you think it could be from the babies?
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John Jamieson 15 May, 2010 21:27
Hi! I have a swarm of baby huntsman spiders inside my bedroom. Mum is a few rooms away in the lounge room and I was going to let her stay.Is there anyway I can encourage them to leave the house . I would rather not vacuum them up.
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Discovery Centre 19 May, 2010 15:51

Hi John. See some of the comments above for general advice about keeping spiders away from lived-in areas. Also bear in mind that spiderlings tend to disperse quite quickly. However, if you need to remove them immediately, you might need to vacuum them up!

Ginny 21 April, 2010 03:38
I have caught a badge huntsman which has the very clear badge markings on its underside. Just wondering what use this is? Why the underside and not the topside?
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Cath 20 April, 2010 00:43
I have what appears to be a Badge Huntsman spiderling living in my house and am wondering how long it actually takes for them to grow to their full size?
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Discovery Centre 22 April, 2010 15:24

Hi Cath, we think it would take about 3 or 4 months, depending on how much food it gets. Their development is reasonably slow over cooler months, particularly if food is scarce.

razza 16 April, 2010 19:09
is it true that the huntsman comes in groups of 3??
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Discovery Centre 20 April, 2010 15:52

Razza - no, these spiders do not come in groups of threes. In fact, the vast majority of huntsman spiders are solitary animals, and keep to themselves. The exception to this is the Social Huntsman. They will breed up into large groups which shelter together under the loose bark of acacia and eucalypt trees. Although they shelter together, they still tend to wander around individually.

Janet 6 April, 2010 15:08
The patter of tiny feet can be heard from a huge clump of tiny Brown Huntsman babies who are gathered around Mom, up in a corner of the garage ceiling. It's been raining buckets up here in Cairns for weeks which is possibly why she came inside to lay the eggs. While I'm not frightened of her or the babies I'm not sure if I want them to make homes in the garage. Problem is how to remove her and the gang as she's very aggressive, and also, would she survive out in the wet?
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Discovery Centre 7 April, 2010 15:29

Hi Janet,  we have asked our Live Exhibits Team and they have suggested that the spiderlings will disperse fairly quickly.  If you do chose to relocate them, chose somewhere with some shelter, but rest assured, they can survive in the rain!

Julie 24 March, 2010 07:37
Hi I need help, so far this season I have had 6 huntsmans in my house and 5 in my car!!!! the last one tried to crawl over my head is there anyway I can put a repellant in my car? my nerves are shot and I'm worried I am going to crash my car. Is there a natrual smell that they hate that I can spray in my car, house ones I can deal with but the car ones are freaking me out
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holly 28 October, 2014 23:42
Hi Julie, I was reading the other day peppermint oil helps repel spiders. Try putting some around your door and window frames:)
Discovery Centre 24 March, 2010 12:07

Our Live Exhibits staff are not aware of any particular scent that repels these spiders, Julie, although it's likely that such scents exist as they are very sensitive animals. It may be that the only option for your car is to utilise a surface spray around possible entry points? We'd hate for you to have an accident. Hope this helps.

Sandi 14 March, 2010 12:15
Our small dry warm home attracts many spiders from the cold wet bushland surrounding our house in Southern Tasmania. I’m normally fairly happy sharing my space with the brown, flat bodied huntsman that I have become used to (they look like the ‘socials huntsman’ in the image above and tend to avoid me as much as I avoid them). But recently we have had a huge influx of different types of huntsman that neither my partner or I recognise (and with a rather mobile 9month old baby I’m not feeling as comfortable about our new 8 legged friends.) We googled one as the badged huntsman (with orange stripes on it’s underside and a bolder, more aggressive temperament). And we have found many more that seem to be variations on the Hunsman. Today we caught a huntsman sized spider with a narrow abdomen that comes to a dark coloured point at the end. It also has white stripes and spots on the underside of it’s abdomen, black stripes on its legs, and a white band across what I would describe as it’s ‘forehead.’ This one looks particularly nasty and much finer than the Hunsman that I am used to. Are there any Huntsman, or Huntsman sized spiders, that are dangerous to people (particularly small curious babies who don’t yet know to leave the spiders alone!) I’d also be keen to know if there is a site that I can reference to see images of different types of spiders (particularly different types of huntsmen) as we do seem to have a lot of variety here! Cheers!
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Discovery Centre 19 March, 2010 12:37

Hi Sandi,

If you have access to a digital camera please feel free to try and safely take some images of the spider and e-mail them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we will try and identify them for you. In terms of risk to the baby, no spiders feed on people and bites usually occur when people try to kill the spiders or if they accidentally stand or lie on one. As far as I know for Tasmania the only spider considered highly dangerous is the Redback which most people can identify. You may want to contact the Tasmanian Museum as well to see if they have any information.

Ardie 22 February, 2010 11:37
Hi there! I live in Cranbourne, and a few times now, i have found a spider that is bright orange in colour. Its head is bigger than its abdomen,and its legs are like transparent orange. The body is long and slender. I have looked at your spiders and cant see it listed. Just wondering if you knew of this spider and if its dangerous? Cheers
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Discovery Centre 22 February, 2010 12:36

Hi Ardie,

if the spider is still around please feel free to take an image of the spider and e-mail it to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we will try and identify it for you.

Kirsten 21 February, 2010 00:02
Hi. We have had a massive huntsman in our house now 4 times in 4 weeks and I'm pretty sure it's the same one! First it was in our bedroom and we caught it and threw it off our balcony (3 floors up). Then 2 weeks later it was in our bathroom, caught and released the same way. Then 1 week later the stairwell of our apartment by OUR front door. Caught and released. And now outside our balcony door less than a week later. Is this the same spider? Surely we can't have that many huntsmans around our urban city apartment! And why does it keep coming back? I can only be so nice and understanding about it being giant and crawling around my house, at night when I'm asleep...What do I do? How do I get it to stop coming back?!
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Discovery Centre 24 February, 2010 10:16

Hi Kirsten,

I would be surprised if the same huntsman keeps climbing from the ground back to your appartment each time, but it is possible. The important thing to remember is that whether the spider is the same one or whether your appartment block has a few that the spiders are not at all interested in you or biting you. They do not make webs and sit in them waiting for food but actively hunt for their food, which on occasion brings them into our homes. It is very hard to keep spiders out, but making sure fly wire on windows is well fitted and any obvious gaps under doors and windows are blocked will help a bit. Good on you for trying your best to continue to put the spiders outside. Just make sure you are very careful doing this as the spiders don't know your good intentions and may be alarmed at being trapped.

 

Julianne 9 February, 2010 09:05
I have also had some bright orange spiders that don't look like the badge huntsman. Their abdomens are very fat, no dark badges & legs seem about all the same length. New variety?
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Discovery Centre 9 February, 2010 14:27

Hi Julianne,

Please feel free to take some digital images of the spider and e-mail them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we will try and confirm for you if you have a badge huntsman or a different species.

 

trish shanahan 6 February, 2010 15:33
I had 2 huntsman-1 basically hanging from the other in a sort of "embrace" that lasted 12 hrs+. What was going on here? I have photos of the event.
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Discovery Centre 9 February, 2010 12:00

Hi Trish. The response from Live Exhibits is as follows: What you have witnessed is huntsman courtship (and possibly) mating. The male must firstly introduce himself as a mate (not food) through a series of bodily shudders and vibrations, which culminate in him tapping and caressing her. If successful, he will then proceed to mate by leaning underneath her abdomen and engaging his feelers (palps). The bulbs at the end of his palps are where he stores his sperm. He may mate for quite some time, swapping sides intermittently.

Prepare for the pitter patter of many little feet!

Discovery Centre 8 February, 2010 14:23

Hi Trish, our Live Exhibits team are interested in seeing your photograph to help explain this interesting behaviour.

julianne 2 February, 2010 16:25
I also have twice found large bright orange spiders in my house. They don't look like huntsmans (though closer to them than anything). Fat abdomens and shorter legs, no badge.?? New variety?
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Discovery Centre 3 February, 2010 14:14

Hi Julianne,

The 'badge' on badge huntsmans is located on the underside, (or ventral surface) of the abdomen and so can be hard to see unless the spider is sitting on glass. Please feel free to take some images of the spider and e-mail them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we will attempt to identify the spider for you.

Kylie 19 January, 2010 08:51
I have a huge huntsman in my office. She is bigger (legs and all) than a CD almost the size of a side plate and a very fine specimen. Am I right in assuming she's a she? One day last week she seemed very agressive. Every time I enetered my office she raised her front four legs in a very menacing way even if I was on the other side of the room with my back to her. The next day she was fine again. What could have been the reason for this behaviour on this one day? Also we have those pale skin coloured gheckos in the house which are noisy and extremely fast. Will the ghecko cause trouble for the huntsman or possibly be food for her? I understand the ghecko is introduced and would therefore rather have the spider in the house than the ghecko.
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Discovery Centre 27 January, 2010 16:23
Hi Kylie. We referred your enquiry to our Live Exhibits team who thinks that it sounds like you are in a tropical area and that, most likely, the Asian House Gecko is the species involved. The gecko shouldn’t cause issues for an adult spider, but a big huntsman may capture a small gecko. On the flipside, if the huntsman has offspring the gecko will certainly prey on the youngsters.
nicholas 28 December, 2009 10:30
We just bought a new house and my wife found a very large huntsman like spider in the letter box and I had to remove it, I have seen many huntsman spiders before but this one had a noticeably larger much wider abdomen, possibly 3cm or more wide, I managed to flick it out of the box with a stick, it was very fast but I got it in the end. the spider managed to loose several of it's legs in the proses before its airborne flight, brought on by the stick, two days later it was back less two of its legs and I had to kill it this time, sorry I have no pictures but this was a wider than normal spider and it had big black fangs too, it was mostly dark gray and black but some bit's of brown and a tinge of orange around the fangs, it obviously had great intentions of making our letterbox its home, was this an old huntsman that managed to gow larger than normal or just another species
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Jake 18 December, 2013 23:54
Hi nick, I reckon it is a funnel web spider. Was there any webs around the letterbox or in the ground around it?
Discovery Centre 6 January, 2010 14:34

Hi again Nicholas. As suspected our entomologists are unable to provide an identification without the specimen or an image. There are a number of species that are similar so it's hard without an image. Meanwhile, our Victorian Huntsman infosheet and Victorian Spiders website may possibly help you out.

Discovery Centre 29 December, 2009 11:29

Hi thanks for your enquiry. Normally we do need an image or the specimen itself to do an identification. But we have passed this on to our entomology team for their opinion. We'll get back to you as soon as possible

George 6 December, 2009 12:20
Do some huntsman spiders have long white markings on their legs? We saw one like this in our garden in Melbourne.
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Discovery Centre 8 December, 2009 16:14

Hi George,

There are a number of different species of huntsman spiders and some of them do have a white patterning on their legs. If you still have the image the Museum offers a free identification service. You are welcome to e-mail the picture to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we can confirm if it is a huntsman and try and put a species name to it.

vicky 14 October, 2009 09:43
i have ones around my house that are BRIGHT orange and have had a lot recently do they come in really bright orange or is this another type of spider?
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Discovery Centre 21 October, 2009 16:16

Hi Vicky and thanks for your question. Your bright orange huntsmans sound to me like what are commonly called badge huntsmans. These spiders are mentioned in the information sheet that you have commented on however I have also seen badge huntsmans much more orange in colour than the image we have on our information sheet.

jessica 1 July, 2009 10:29
i think i have one of those spiders in my laundry.... so i always make my husband do the washing.
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Kk 15 September, 2014 11:12
Me too
deb 24 August, 2014 13:57
how can I get one in my laundry?
richard hicks 23 May, 2009 07:58
i got bitten by a spider in a glove the bit that fell out looked like a huntsnans head with 2 fangs .very painful ,still tingling a week later r.h.
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