Home | Arachnids | Hunting the Huntsman – Keeping the Giant Crab or Huntsman Spider – Part 2

Hunting the Huntsman – Keeping the Giant Crab or Huntsman Spider – Part 2

Huntsman spiderIn Part I of this article I talked a bit about collecting (or trying to collect!) the Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria, in a most unlikely setting.  Usually purchased as a “curiosity”, the Huntsman often surprises its new owners with a range of interesting behaviors – if you thought that spider pets were limited to tarantulas, please consider this fascinating alternative!

Caution: Although Huntsman Spiders are not considered to be dangerously venomous, they are fast and aggressive, and will not hesitate to bite.  We know little about spider venom, and the possibility of an allergic reaction must be considered (central nervous system reactions have been reported on rare occasions)….please do not touch any spider with bare hands.

Natural History

The Huntsman Spider likely originated in southern India and Sri Lanka, but is now well-established in warm regions worldwide (including Florida).  They frequently enter buildings, where they sometimes welcomed for their roach-catching abilities.

The alternate name, Giant Crab Spider, took hold because these spiders hold the first 2 pairs of legs spread-out like a crab on guard.   Huntsman Spiders build no webs, but rather run down their prey, and are quite ravenous.  I’ve observed youngsters being dragged about by roaches three times their size, and adults sometimes catch lizards and small bats.

Huntsman Spiders are entirely arboreal and adapted to living upon flat surfaces, such as walls and tree trunks, as opposed to branches.

Huntsman Terrariums

In captivity, they take readily to cork bark  and will climb terrarium glass as well.  Position cork bark slabs near the glass, so that the spiders will remain visible when using the reverse side of the bark as a shelter.

While arboreal tarantulas (i.e. Pink-toed Tarantulas, Avicularia spp.) do well in standard aquariums turned on end to provide additional height, I hesitate to recommend such for Huntsman Spiders – opening the screen cover leaves a wide area available for escape.  I much prefer a “tall or high style” aquarium, with the cover is on top.  Alternatively, a Faunarium turned on its end might work, as the access door is small and should limit escapes.

Heat and Humidity

Huntsman Spiders favor warm, humid habitats, and should be maintained at 77-85 F and provided daily misting and a moisture-retaining substrate.


Huntsmans take nearly any insect prey available, but particularly favor roaches.  Wild caught moths, katydids, beetles and grasshoppers should also be provided whenever possible.


Male Huntsman Spiders are smaller and thinner than females, and their carapace bears darker markings.  When ready to breed, males cease feeding and develop noticeably swollen pedipalps (leg-like structures bearing sperm packets).  They wander about in search of females to mate with (and, usually, to be consumed by!). I’ve had breeding males escape with their lives, but none have survived for long afterwards.

The female carries her uniquely flattened egg case below her body.  The young stay on her for a short time, and then disperse.  If you are raising this species, be sure to cover the terrarium’s screening with an extra layer of mosquito netting, lest the hatchlings escape – a colony established in the home is not to everyone’s liking!

Further Reading

Huntsman and other spiders produce a range of sounds.  An interesting article on this topic, which includes photos of males in breeding condition, is posted here.

A video showing this species’ speed and hunting style is posted


Huntsman Spider image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Ed g2s and Saperaud


  1. avatar
    Derek Griscavage

    Hello. I read your blog and got alot of information from it. I do have a question. I was fortunate enough to catch a huntsman spider. A sizable specimen! I am against keeping animals from there natural habitat but I seemed to have gotten attached to this incredible creature. I am wondering your opinion on if I should keep it or not. I have a tererium and I will feed and care for it as it needs it. Also, I would appreciate any tips on care such as lighting( how much light it needs), should I put a source of water in his cage(wet cottonball) and what can I put in it’s cage to make it feel more comfortable. Thank you for your help.

    • avatar

      Hello Derek, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog. This species originated in India but has become established in warm regions worldwide, and so it is a good species to collect and keep. Just be careful about escapes, and don’t try to handle it as they do bite.

      Normal room lighting is fine…they are largely nocturnal but will hunt by day. A night-viewing bulb will allow you to observe it after dark. Water should be supplied by lightly misting the terrarium (be careful if top is open, as they take off when hit by water. The most important cage furniture is a flat piece of cork bark propped against the glass – they stay on wide, vertical surfaces (walls, tree trunks) in the wild.

      Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio

  2. avatar

    I live in Phoenix and have seen plenty of giant crab spiders in my backyard. My son loves spiders, but I’m terrified to keep one in the house. You gentleman sure are brave. The nice thing about a crab spider is it isn’t very harmful so I don’t mind him playing with one as long as they stay outside.

    • avatar

      Hello Marie, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog. Great that you son is interested in spiders. However, please keep in mind that we know very little about their venom – several, including the giant crab spider, can break the skin with their fangs. Sometimes spiders that are not considered dangerous can cause severe reactions in people who are sensitive or allergic; also, in Arizona, spiders introduced from Mexico or released pets can survive, and so there is the potential for a dangerous exotic to become established. Depending on your son’s age and maturity, you may want to encourage him to observe only and certainly no spider or scorpion should be handled.

      Not meaning to scare you, I’ve worked with spiders since childhood and have never been bitten, and they are fascinating but must be treated with caution.

      Good luck and please keep me posted.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  3. avatar

    Thanks Frank! I will definitely be more cautious when my son finds spiders.

    • avatar

      Hello Marie, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for the feedback, I’m sure he has a great many interesting times ahead, my own Mother was a big influence on me, sometimes to her chagrin (escaped flying squirrels and thousands of mosquito eggs hatching in the house, etc!); keep it up!

      Please let me know if he needs info on books, collecting equipment or spider care as ime goes on,

      Good luck and please keep me posted.

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  4. avatar

    Hi my name is Luccas I live in Kuna Idaho which is about ten minutes from Boise I am new here and I am just curious as too what types of Spiders I can be expecting here thankyou for your time.

    • avatar

      Hello Luccas, Frank Indiviglio here.

      Thanks for your interest in our blog. Well, there are several hundred species in your state, and a few undiscovered ones I’m sure. This site provides info and photos of many; another good source is the Audubon Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders.

      Good luck, enjoy and please let me know what you find and if you need further info,

      Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  5. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Many thanks for your articles on H.venatoria.

    I’ve been keeping assorted inverts (mostly tarantulas and other arachnids) for a few years and had been toying with the idea of obtaining a couple of specimens of H.venatoria but never quite got around to ordering any.

    After reading your article I contacted my supplier and took delivery of a lovely male. I’d read about their speed but thought I’d get time for a couple of macro shots before transferring him into his permanent enclosure. Three quarters of an hour later I managed to recapture him and introduce him to his permanent home!

    I’ve since obtained a recently matured female and would like to take the next logical step, though the thought of 100+ tiny jet-propelled animals is tempering my enthusiasm somewhat (and my significant other’s not too keen on a colony taking up residence at the top of our house).

    My plan is to allow natural cannibalism to cull the smaller, less fit individuals hopefully leaving me with a more manageable clutch.

    Do you have any pointers as to the best way of thinning out the slings?

    Thanks again for an excellent blog and for the kick-start I needed to get hold (!) of this fascinating creature.

    All the best,


    • avatar

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks so much for the kind words.

      I’ve usually raised them in large terrariums or exhibits with plenty of flat bark to allow them to split up a bit; plants help as well. I do as you describe, providing lots of food and not worrying about cannibalism. Splitting them is difficult, as you’ve seen, in any event! If need be, to transfer a few, you can try gently lifting a piece of cork bark and sliding it into a pillow case of the like, and then inverting it within another enclosure; Be sure your tops fit tightly, and use fine screening…unless your sig other believes in long shot coincidences, you’ll be blamed when huge, fast-moving spiders start showing up on the walls!

      Enjoy and please keep me posted, best, Frank

  6. avatar

    Thanks for that, Frank – much appreciated.

    I think I’ll sate the female’s appetite over the next week and introduce the lucky little fella at the weekend.


    • avatar

      My pleasure,Dave,

      Please let me know how all goes..we still have much to learn about their courtship and behavior, hope you get to see much of interest, Best, Frank

  7. avatar

    As the male had refused all food for the past few weeks I decided to introduce him to the female this evening. I’ve been feeding her up for a couple of weeks on gut-loaded field crickets and locusts.

    There was a 30 second stand-off while both parties took stock of the situation before the male started vibrating his abdomen. This continued for no more than 30 seconds prior to his drumming very loudly with his pedipalps.

    Rapid vibration of legs 1 and 2 on one side of his body, then the other side of his body followed. This was repeated several times with the occasional body shake. Then a more insistent drumming with the pedipalps.

    The female visibly tensed then relaxed in a way I’ve not seen before – difficult to describe. Without wanting to anthropomorphise, she seemed to become hypnotised, almost an alpha wave state.

    The next phase was something I’d not expected in the least (my experience has been with tarantulas, not araenomorphs) – the male darted down below the female (which was in typical head-down position) and then ran up over her so his head was pointing up above her abdomen.

    He then caressed her with leg pairs 1 and 3 before grasping her with these same legs. His head moved to the left of her abdomen and he reached around her pedicel with both palps probing for the genital operculum. When he was close he used leg one on the opposite side of her to squeeze tight, both pushing his embolus into her while lifting her up to facilitate entry. The entire manoeuvre was repeated on the other side.

    This process was repeated over and over, spending about 10 seconds on each side.

    After around 20 minutes the female started reaching down to her operculum with her palps and then up to her mouthparts, presumably checking for successful insemination(?). When she did this the male tapped between the femur of her leg 4 and her abdomen which stopped her “tasting”. (Does this stimulate some sort of endorphin response in the female?)

    Unfortunately I had to leave the proceedings after about an hour and a half and when I returned she was enjoying a large, protein-rich meal which should help the development of her egg-sack.

    All-in-all a truly fascinating experience.

    I’ve a few photos if you’re interested?



    • avatar

      Hi Dave,

      Wow!…I was hoping you’d get to see something of interest, looks like you hit the jackpot! Thanks so myuch for sending this along. Photos would be wonderful, if you get the chance:


      The tapping you asked about is intriguing…I can;t say for sure. I’m going to pass this onto an arachnologist friend to get his thought, and will be back to you as soon as possible.

      Best regards, Frank

  8. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Delighted to re[ort the male’s death wasn’t in vain and she’s carrying a lovely big egg sack.

    Did you get the pics? If not i’ll resend.



    • avatar

      Hi Dave,

      Thx for the update…I did get the mating photos, and emailed a thank-you; sorry it did not reach you. I’ll save and hope to use to in a future article, if you don’t mind; sent along to an arachnologist friend as well.

      If you have a chance to keep track, notes re time from mating to deposition, hatching, temps, etc. would be very useful.

      Good luck and please keep me posted, Best, Frank

  9. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    A rough timetable of events:
    23 May Mated. Female ate male.
    26 May Took medium field cricket
    29 May Took adult female field cricket which was heavy with eggs
    29 May Created egg sack overnight
    12 June Light spraying to moisten substrate
    20 June Light spraying to moisten substrate
    01 July Fully formed slings visible moving within sack
    02 July Egg sack open. Several slings on outside of sack. (Attached photographs were taken at this time)
    03 – 05 July More slings out of sack but no signs of dispersal.
    06 July Many of the slings have dispersed throughout enclosure. Still showing signs of communal behaviour – some still touching each other. Those that have moved furthest from the female seem to have spaced themselves one full legspan away from each neighbour. Approximately 50 – 70 hatchling field crickets added to enclosure.
    Largely ignored by the majority of slings, though a few fell on the prey with relish. I suspect this will increase their prey drive and incidents of cannibalism will increase exponentially.
    The spider room temperature varies between 72 and 77F and has an ambient relative humidity of between 50 and 60%. (The animal’s enclosure is sprayed every 7 – 10 days, lightly moistening the substrate (3″ coir) which is allowed almost to dry out completely between spraying – enclosure humidity unknown but > 50 – 60%).
    They young are absolutely delightful and staggeringly quick.
    14 July Egg sack abandoned – all young hatched. Another 50 – 70 hatchling crickets added. No real sign of predation from the slings, though the female took quite a lot of these tiny prey items. Didn’t think she’d bother with something so small.
    25 July Female took one adult male cricket. Approximately 50% of slings lost to cannibalism (expected and desired)
    28 July Female took one large, gravid female cricket.

    05 August A second egg sack produced! Unexpected – didn’t know they could double-clutch.

    • avatar

      Hi Dave,

      Great info, thanks so much; I’ve stored all and will pass along, esp. to an arachnologist friend with a special interest in related species. I too was surprised that female took such small food items. Very good to have info on second clutch. e still have much to learn about sperm storage in inverts, herps and others; I’ll ask around and see if this has been documented for Heteropoda (my sense is that it occurred in our exhibits, but it was difficult to keep accurate records at the time….either way, very interesting and valuable.

      Enjoy (no need for me to say that!), Best, Frank

  10. avatar

    Certainly wasn’t expecting the double-clutch!!!

  11. avatar

    hey just wondering what spider in the wild that we can keep but that isnt venomise to others? are all wolf spiders venomise? and i love spiders an wanting to keep a wild one as a pet like a huntsman 🙂 can i keep one of thoughs at home long as i got the stuff to look after it with.

    • avatar

      Hi Robby,

      Thanks for your interest. All spiders use venom to kill their prey. In most cases, the venom is only strong enough to kill the insects they feed upon, but some species are dangerous to humans (black widows, brown recluse, etc). Almost any type makes an interesting pet, but none should be handled, as we know very little about the effects of the venom of most species on people. Also, some people can be allergic to the venom of harmless species, as happens with bee stings. Please let me know if you need any further info, best, Frank

  12. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    A quick tip on the control of jet-propelled spiderlings…..

    I’ve been seperating out some of the slings from the first egg sack produced by my H.venatoria to cut down on some canabalism on the new slings when the second sack hatches and thought I’d pass on a couple of tips to minimise escapes. (Dear God the little blighters are quick!)

    Tip 1 – Get a pooter! They’re inexpensive enought to buy but are very easy to knock up.

    Tip 2 – Put about an inch of water in the bath and stand the enclosure in it (assuming there’s enough substrate to give it a stable weight). If any of the animals decide to make a break for it when the lid’s off they only run down the outside as far as the water level and can easilly be pooted up for transfer into another container. (A couple made a suicide dive into the water but again were easily collected).

    Infestation of large hungry spiders averted.



    • avatar

      Hi Dave,

      Great ideas! Thanks; pooters, also known as aspirators, are wonderful little tools used by entomologists to collect tiny insects. Ignored in the pet trade; but you reminded me of an old friend, who kept and bred poison frogs (Dendrobates) years before most zoos. He was largely bed bound, and so needed to be very careful about overfeeding, cricket escapes etc. He used a pooter to select the right number of tiny crickets needed for each of his tanks…worked very well. I’ll pass along your thoughts re using it for spiders.

      The water idea is excellent as well. When I worked with imported insects at the Bx Zoo, US Dept of Agriculture regs required that tie tanks were serviced on a table that had a built in “moat” of water or oil, so that escapees would be less likely to get off the table.

      Always glad to have your posts, enjoy, Frank

  13. avatar

    Hello, Thanks for having such a great site. I have a very bad fear of Huntsman and I live in Arizona, home to Olios giganteus. (bad luck i know hahaha) but I’m hoping to get over this fear by the end of the year. My fear is so bad that I have suffered a heart attack due to being so scared. At the moment I have a male and im hoping he will help me with my fear. he wandered in the other night sending me into a freak out session and the poor thing ended up being locked up in a ziploc box taped to the wall until my boyfriend could remove it…

    well the boyfriend came home and fell in love with this little guy and he is now been added to my growing spider collection. Thanks again for having such great info. i never knew that Huntsmen could be pets but i see from your site that they can (i hope ) be a joy to have.

    • avatar

      Hello Jessica,

      Thanks for the interesting note and kind words!…O.giganteus can give pause to even the most hardened arachnologist, so you’re in good company. However, I have heard of others who shared your deep fear..this is not my area of expertise, but you may wish to consult with a doctor before going too far in experimenting on your own. Here is an article on spider/snake fears; the article linked under Further Reading shows a photo of someone holding a large tarantula, so do not click the link if that may be upsetting. Good luck and please keep me posted, Best, Frank

  14. avatar

    Sorry for the laps in time, I have been out sick lol.
    Thanks for the link. Always good. As far as other spiders are concerned, I have almost no fear, Even with the larger Bird Eating Spiders. I have had an L. parahybana for several years now and she is becoming quite the beast in size but sits or walks on me most of the time while I’m on the computer or watching shows. (she right now is not making it easy to type because she wants to be on my laptop…)So the size thing is not what triggers my fears. Though I’m still not sure what in fact is triggering this silly fear. Things are progressing well on the “O.giganteus fear project” as I like to call it. lol I have him in a 10 gal. long cage that has a side door. On day 1-4 I used a method that another spider lover told me and it seems to be helping… using macro shots of faces of this species… and they seem to be down right CUTE! when using that it was helping me trick my mind I guess and yesterday I was able to put my hand through the door to get his water dish and hand feed him with 10″ hemostats. (for me 10″ was way to close for comfort about a week ago. hahaha)

    My Dr. is also working with me on this and he wants me to keep a journal on everything dealing with this fear. Good and Bad. He got me in touch with a guy that is local who has a few different species and would eventually like me to go see his exhibit… he thinks that I’m only going to be accustomed to this one “pet” spider and just block the fear for “it” and not truly get over the fear, and I think he is right. The thought of dealing with another spider other than my “Bubba” (he is quite fat lol) and another species does make my hair stand up. But that is for another time when I’m not feeling so under the weather.

    I will keep you posted on this. Thanks again!

    • avatar

      Hello Jess,

      Thanks for the update and glad you are doing well. However, one point I’d like to make is that we do need to be realistic concerning spiders…their nature, what they can and cannot learn or comprehend, etc. For example, I’ve been working with them, professionally, for over 30 years, yet never touch or free handle a spider of any kind. They bite, and cannot be trained or tamed in any sense of the word. As you’ve seen, they can, like most animals, become calm if handled carefully, but there is absolutely no way to predict what will cause a spider to bite. They react to scents, chemical ques, vibrations etc. that we ourselves cannot sense. We know little about the venom of most, and even those considered harmless can cause serious problems in the way of allergic reactions, etc. Nearly invisible hairs that remain on the fingers of are wafted into the air can find their way into eyes and nostrils – a co-worker of mine had to undergo major eye surgery for this reason.

      I don’t mean to dampen your enthusiasm, but please understand that no good will come from an unscientific view of any animal. Spiders and reptiles do not benefit from being handled, and do not view it as we do; they cannot. Remember too that stress is nearly impossible for even well-experienced experts to discern; inverts and reptiles may appear at ease, while inside stress chemicals are flowing. This explains the deaths of many creatures that appear to have been given good care, but are handled regularly. Unfortunately, the internet is crammed with photos of people “safely” handling all sorts of animals. Please pay these no attention.

      Best, Frank

  15. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Just a quick one to let you know her third clutch has just hatched!

    There seem to be about 8 survived from the first clutch, each around the 1cm mark. I’m going to separate these out this evening. I hope to end up with about 25 from the three clutches and each should be the fittest of their respective geberations.

    As an aside, I managed to pick up one of the Chilean Sicarius sp (possibly S.terrosus) earlier this week. What fantastic creatures, even though 99% of the time you’re looking at what appears to be a box of sand!



    • avatar

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the update…I’m wondering how many a female can produce. Some tropical spiders seem able to breed nearly year-round, depending on food supply. A friend once experimented with one of the large N American wolf spider and was surprised at the output (3 clutches, I think) as the species he had was reported to produce only one each season. Sicarius are fantastic creatures, but please be careful. Not much is known about their venom, and it may have effects that are very difficult to predict/treat. Related species have caused health problems that persist for years, and allergic reactions are a real danger. Best, Frank

  16. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for the heads-up regarding the Sicarius venom – I keep its enclosure inside a second, locked tank, partly to keep out unwanted finger, but mostly because I’m so unbelievably clumsy.

    I believe the venom contains quite high (in relation to the brown recluse) concentrations of Sphingomyelinase D, a rather unpleasant cytotoxic necrotising agent. As you say, the effects of the venom may be very long lasting, with increased propensity to incidents of aneurisms and heart attacks due to long-term damage caused to the circulatory system.

    Luckily the animals themselves are incredibly placid creatures and exhibit no defensive threats. (In fact they like to play dead a lot, going completely limp and unresponsive – the only thing that lets you know they’re alive is the absence of a death curl.

    Anyway, all a bit off-topic on your huntsman page.

    Take care and I’ll keep you posted with any developments.


  17. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Sorry to spam you huntsman page but while researching Sicarius venom I came across the following excellent paper, “Brown Spider (Loxosceles genus) Venom Toxins: Tools for Biological Purposes” which covers toxicology as well as proposing various uses for some of the 50+ toxins present.

    Full text:




    • avatar

      Hi Dave,

      great to have this type of info, please don;t hesitate to post. My arachnologist friend wrote back that Sicarius bites can be very severe…as with other spiders, difficult to predict effects on victim, treatment not standardized, Best, Frank

  18. avatar

    I have harry n vendetta and they have been mating for 11 hours . So far harry is ok

    • avatar

      Hi Paula,

      Interesting…I’ve not known any to mate for that length of time. Please keep me posted…I’d say the male deserves a break after that, so I hope he escapes! Best regards, Frank

  19. avatar

    I, this past year purchased 3 huntsman. 2 being H. Venatoria males, and 1 tanzanian huntsman. She already had one egg sac, which is strange. When I got her, she was really skinny, but wasn’t eating. Most of the slings she had, died. Now she is bearing another sac. Feeding the surviving 3 slings on fruit flies. Hope I can get them through their microscopic instars.
    This is not my first experience with huntsman. Back in 2011′, I visited Nepal to see friends. There were always the same huntsman hanging out in the same spots in the bathroom and in my room, which I didn’t mind. Im a spider buff, so they were totally welcome. I knew well enough what they were, so I gave a couple of them a tap and they would dart away. I have stood my test with venom allergies from my bee sting at the age of 6 or 7. That was 23 years ago. Im well adjusted, and love many of the low profile creepers that are much unknown and go much unnoticed. Its just a nice perk.

    • avatar

      Hello Dan,
      Thanks for the interesting observation; there are quite a few related species that are rarely if ever kept. Nice to hear of your interest; good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted,

      best, Frank

  20. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Final update on my venatoria female – she’s just died nursing her fourth clutch of eggs. Always sad to lose an animal, but three successful clutches of viable eggs represents a fair scattering of DNA – she didn’t die in vain!

    As discussed earlier, I let nature take its course and have ended up with around a dozen specimens. These should be the fastest, best hiding and generally genetically superior animals.

    Anyway, many thanks for your excellent blog which gave me the little poke I needed to branch out into Araenomorphs – I’ve got my eye on a couple of N. American wolf spiders next……

    Just one more spider….. and so it goes!

    Take care,


    • avatar

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks…a great experience for you I’m sure, glad all went so well. There are some fantastic wolf spiders and fishing spiders here; I usually collect one or another each year; another group that for some reason gets little attention from keepers. Thyere are 1-2 dealers who sometimes stock native species, let me know if you need info. Best, Frank

  21. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Greetings from Malaysia here! I am lucky enough to catch a Huntsman Spider near the kitchen just now. So i decided to keep it as my pet, it is cute! But there are few question come into my mind now. After i read your blog, my concern is on the humidity part. I was wondering this type of spider does it depends on high humidity? If so, can i just wet the cotton wool and place it into the terrariums? And do you mind to share some general tips on how to take care of this “baby” as i am still a newbie for this!
    By the way many thanks to your useful blog that helps me to understand it within few minutes!

    Take Care! =D


    • avatar

      Hello Wade,

      Spraying the tank 1-2 x daily with water is fine….they are very adaptable. Care very simple, provide a meal every other day or so. Be sure not to touch or get bitten…there are many similar-looking spiders in malaysia; ID by appearance alone is not reliable, and the venoms of most have not been studied…always a chance of a dangerous species or an allergic reaction to any bite. Best, Frank

  22. avatar

    I am very interested in Huntsman spiders.
    I live in south florida and, to be honest, my wife will not allow me to own any spiders.
    As far as she is concerned the crab spiders outside the window are already too much (amazing webs, with anchor lines more than 10 feet long).
    In response to an earlier post you offered the name of a dealer who sells spiders.
    Are there any in south Florida? I have some more questions about the life cycle of the Huntsman and my gut says that the breeders/dealers will have most of the answers from experience.
    Thank you,

    • avatar

      Hi Josh,

      The dealer who most often had them. Strictly Reptiles, has just closed; but keep an eye on the spider ads here…most are for tarantulas, but others show up. Huntsman spiders are also established in Fla, so you may come across one …very fast though, and hard to catch.

      I can help you out with any life cycle etc questions you may have, they breed regularly here.

      The orb-weaving spiders you see are usually of the genus Nephila; typical crab spiders live in flowers and ambush bees, butterflies etc. w/o using a web.

      Enjoy, best, Frank

  23. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    As I was taking my dog out, I noticed something incredibly fast running up the trunk of the tree next to me. I was lucky enough to snap a few photos of it (see link below). I’m curious if what I found looks to be an Hunstman Spider? I live in Boise, Idaho, so I’m not entirely sure if we have them here; however, I have never seen a spider such as this particular one and seen one that moves so fast!

    Any thoughts you may have would be greatly appreciated.


    • avatar

      Hi Brent,

      It does look to be either the species mentioned in article or a relative…a male, likely, due to thinner build; no native spiders of that appearance in Idaho, as I recall, but I can check a bit. Would not survive Idaho’s winter (nor would I!) unless in a greenhouse, home. Thanks, interesting bit of info, best, Frank

  24. avatar

    Frank, really appreciate you getting back to me. I’ve done some more research online as well and so far haven’t been able to identify this as a native species either.

    I was able to actually safely capture it. Since I breed zophobas morio beetles and dubia roaches, I will have plenty to feed it (in addition to all the other critters crawling around here).

    – Brent

About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.
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