What Is The Size Range Of The Giant Huntsman Spider, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?

Are you fascinated by the world of spiders but have no idea how to care for them as pets? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the size range of the giant huntsman spider and uncover the secrets of proper care in captivity. Whether you are a seasoned arachnid enthusiast or just starting to dip your toes into the captivating world of spiders, this article is here to provide you with the essential knowledge and tips to ensure the well-being of these amazing creatures. So, get ready to embark on an adventure and discover all there is to know about the size range and care of the giant huntsman spider!

What Is The Size Range Of The Giant Huntsman Spider, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?

Size Range of the Giant Huntsman Spider

Average Size of the Giant Huntsman Spider

The giant huntsman spider, scientifically known as Heteropoda maxima, is a truly impressive arachnid in terms of its size. On average, these spiders have a leg span of about 25-30 centimeters (10-12 inches), making them one of the largest spiders in the world. It is important to note that the body size of these spiders is relatively smaller compared to their long and slender legs, which are their distinguishing feature. So, if you were to measure only the body, you would find it to be around 2-3 centimeters (0.8-1.2 inches) in length. With their enormous leg span, the giant huntsman spider can appear quite intimidating, but their actual body size is manageable.

Largest Recorded Giant Huntsman Spider

While the average size of the giant huntsman spider is already impressive, some individuals can grow even larger. The largest recorded specimen had a leg span measuring a whopping 35 centimeters (13.8 inches), making it an exceptional example within its species. This particular spider was found in Laos and gained quite some attention due to its remarkable size. Although it is rare to come across such gigantic specimens, it showcases the incredible potential for growth that these spiders possess.

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What Is The Size Range Of The Giant Huntsman Spider, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?

Habitat and Natural Behavior

Natural Habitat of the Giant Huntsman Spider

The giant huntsman spider is native to the warm and tropical regions of Southeast Asia, including countries like Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Within its natural habitat, these spiders can be found in a variety of locations, ranging from forests and caves to human dwellings. Despite being primarily terrestrial, they are also capable of climbing trees and vertical surfaces. This adaptability allows them to establish their homes in a wide range of environments, making the giant huntsman spider a versatile creature in terms of habitat preference.

Nocturnal Behavior

Like many other spiders, the giant huntsman spider is primarily active during the night, earning it the classification of a nocturnal hunter. During the day, they usually seek shelter in dark and secluded areas such as cracks in tree bark or under rocks. As the evening approaches, these spiders emerge from their hiding spots and set out on their nocturnal hunt, searching for prey such as insects, small arthropods, and even other spiders.

Prey and Hunting

The giant huntsman spider relies on its exceptional agility, speed, and keen eyesight to capture its prey. While its name hints at its hunting behavior, it is important to note that these spiders do not actively pursue their prey like typical hunters. Instead, they utilize a sit-and-wait strategy, patiently waiting for their unsuspecting victims to come within striking distance. Once a potential meal is within reach, the spider will swiftly pounce on it or use its long legs to immobilize and inject venom into the prey. This venom helps to subdue the victim, allowing the spider to feed at its leisure.

Venom and Bite

While the giant huntsman spider possesses venom, it is not considered highly dangerous to humans. In fact, the venom is relatively mild, causing only mild pain and localized swelling if a bite occurs. However, it is important to remember that individual reactions to spider bites can vary, and some individuals may be more sensitive to the venom than others. As a precaution, it is advisable to seek medical attention if bitten by any spider, including the giant huntsman spider, especially if symptoms persist or worsen.

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What Is The Size Range Of The Giant Huntsman Spider, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?

Caring for the Giant Huntsman Spider in Captivity

Choosing an Enclosure

When considering the prospect of keeping a giant huntsman spider in captivity, it is essential to provide them with a suitable enclosure. A clear and well-ventilated glass terrarium is an excellent choice. Due to their leg span and need for height, a larger enclosure with dimensions of at least 60x40x40 centimeters (24x16x16 inches) is recommended. It is crucial to ensure that the enclosure has a secure lid or lid lock system, as the giant huntsman spider is incredibly agile and skilled at escaping.

Temperature and Humidity

Recreating the appropriate temperature and humidity levels is vital for the well-being of a captive giant huntsman spider. These spiders thrive in warm and humid environments, so maintaining a temperature range between 24-28°C (75-82°F) with a humidity level of about 70-80% is ideal. This can be achieved through the use of a heat mat or heat lamp in combination with a misting system or regular spraying to maintain adequate humidity levels.


While the giant huntsman spider doesn’t necessarily require special lighting, providing a natural day-night cycle can help establish a more realistic environment for them. This can be achieved by using a timer to control the lighting within the enclosure. Natural lighting from nearby windows or ambient room light is usually sufficient, but be cautious of direct sunlight, as it can raise the temperature within the enclosure to undesirable levels.


Selecting the appropriate substrate for the enclosure is crucial to ensure the comfort and safety of the giant huntsman spider. A mix of peat moss, coconut fiber, and vermiculite creates a suitable substrate that mimics the spider’s natural environment. This substrate should be kept moist but not waterlogged, allowing the spider to burrow comfortably and regulate its own humidity levels.


Feeding a captive giant huntsman spider is relatively straightforward. These spiders are voracious eaters, and their diet consists primarily of live insects. Crickets, roaches, and mealworms are common food sources that can be offered once or twice a week, depending on the individual spider’s appetite. It is important to ensure that the prey provided is of appropriate size, as overly large prey may pose a choking hazard to the spider.

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Handling and Safety

Handling a giant huntsman spider should only be done by experienced individuals who are confident in their abilities. It is worth noting that these spiders are incredibly fast and agile, making handling tricky and potentially dangerous for both the spider and the handler. If handling becomes necessary, it is recommended to use gentle and cautious methods, such as using a soft paintbrush or cupping the spider with your hands. A calm and controlled approach is essential to prevent stress or harm to the spider or yourself. If unsure about handling, it is best to admire these magnificent creatures from a safe distance.

In conclusion, the giant huntsman spider is an awe-inspiring arachnid, both in terms of its size and its fascinating natural behavior. While their large leg span may seem intimidating, they can be cared for in captivity by providing them with suitable enclosures, appropriate temperature and humidity levels, proper lighting, and a consistent diet. However, it is important to approach handling these spiders with caution and expertise. By respecting their natural habitat and needs, we can appreciate these incredible creatures and learn more about their remarkable adaptations.

What Is The Size Range Of The Giant Huntsman Spider, And How Is It Cared For In Captivity?