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Communal Huntsman Spider

Communal Huntsman Spider

Communal Huntsman Spider
Communal Huntsman Spider
Photographer - Alan Henderson
Source - Museum Victoria

Delena cancerides

Amongst the world fauna of spiders, it is rare to find species that live as a colony.

Sometimes hundreds of individuals of this species may be found living together under the loose bark of trees and within logs.

Communal huntsmans are venomous but not dangerous to humans. They use their venom to kill and aid the digestion of their prey, which mainly consists of other invertebrates such as moths, cockroaches, crickets and other species of spiders.

These spiders are mainly nocturnal and it is during this time that they do most of their hunting. They hunt by simply waiting until suitable prey ventures too close then rushing and grabbing it using their fangs.

This species sometimes share their catch, or co-operate in subduing a large insect. In this species it is not unusual to see large and small spiders feeding on the same prey side by side.

Being cold blooded, they are more active during the warmer months of the year when there is also a greater abundance of prey around.

During this period, males and females will mate. The female lays the eggs in an egg sac, which is disk shaped and is constructed of papery white silk.

Once the young hatch, they do not disperse as with other species of huntsmans, but remain and grow within the colony.

Communal Huntsmans usually live between one and two seasons

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