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Appearance - Come in a variety of colours and patterns but are mostly brown, black and grey (there are over 100 species of Huntsman spiders in Australia). Some species are very large reaching over 160mm in leg span.
The two back pairs of legs are shorter than the ones at the front and the legs fan out sideways enabling them to walk forwards and sideways often giving them a crab-like appearance.
The female Huntsman produces a flat, oval egg sac of white papery silk and lays up to 200 eggs. She then places it under bark or a rock and stand guard over it, without eating, for about three weeks.
The appropriate time, the mother spider opens the egg sac to help her spiderlings out and she may stay with her spiderlings for several weeks.
The lifespan of most Huntsman species is about two years or more.
Huntsman spiders occur Australia-wide and are usually found on tree trunks, under bank, beneath stones or on the walls of houses. Some species are extremely compressed and live between the hairline cracks of sandstone and granite outcrops. The huntsman eats a variety of insects, arthropods, small lizards and frogs. The prey is not captured in a web but actively stalked and run-down with stealth and speed.
Danger to humans and First Aid Procedures
Poisonous to humans but not fatal. The fangs are large and powerful and hold the food item until it is immobilised by the spider's venom. Although bites can be painful to humans and occasionally cause mild nausea and headaches, the symptoms are usually only localized pain and swelling.