Oct 7, 2009

Huntsman Spider (Isopeda Isopedella)

huntsman spider

The common huntsman spider is found throughout south-eastern Australia. It lives anywhere, favouring plants which will offer shelter such as ivy. It is very common to have huntsman spiders in urban areas, and the spiders will come inside your house.

These large spiders move very quickly, they are hairy with long legs. They often shock people who are not from Australia, as Australia has a reputation for dangerous creatures. Due to their size and speed, they do manage to intimidate a lot of people. However, these spiders are harmless. The spiders can measure up to 15 cms wide from leg to leg. They have a flat body, which is useful for them to crawl underneath bark and other such hiding places.

They can bite you, and if they do, it will be painful and swelling may occur. A cold pack may relieve the symptoms, but if pain persists please see a doctor.

Mating begins with the male's pedipalps, a pair of leg-like appendages located between the fangs and the first pair of true legs that aid in scent detection, manipulating prey and reproduction. The male drums his pedipalps on a tree trunk to attract nearby females. He then inserts the pedipalps into his mate to fertilize her eggs. The pregnant female then builds a silken retreat where she lays up to 200 eggs inside a flat, silken egg sac. She spends about three weeks aggressively defending her eggs, during which time she won't leave or eat. When it's time for her spiderlings to hatch, the attentive mother may even tear open the egg sac to help free them.

They feed on insects and other such invertebrates.


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