In the comments beneath the Leaf Curling Spider post, macmsue and I have been comparing Huntsman Spider stories, so I thought this might be a good time to post a photos of one. It has been sitting there, waiting for an opportune time!
I rescued this spider from the flue above the stove in the kitchen by coaxing it to crawl onto the end of a broom handle, then walking (very, very quickly) to the door to toss it out. I went back for the camera to record it for the species list, and there it has sat for some time. A few weeks ago, I used a drinking glass and some stiff paper to scoop up another one which was on the curtains in the lounge room.
I noticed the second one had black feet, and this one doesn’t. In her post macmsu’s photo has what appears to be stripes on the legs. This made me wonder if there was more than one species of Huntsman. It turns out that, according to the Australian Museum there are 94 species of Huntsman Spider, with the Museum Victoria site describing three species being found in Victoria. One of them does have black feet! Now I wish I had photographed that one too!
While these spiders are very large, usually they are harmless enough if they are left alone. They can bite, but they are not deadly. Huntsman Spiders don’t build webs. They walk around hunting insects and invertebrates. When they are not in houses or cars, they hide in crevices or under bark. When worried, they can run very fast – sometimes toward you. Aaahh!
I can’t work out which species this is – it does’t quite match any of the photographs Museum Victoria display.
I thought I would put the photo at the end of this post for those who would not get past the image. 🙂