The biggest spiders in the world – Top 10
Many people are terrified of spiders and others find them simply fascinating. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica. They live everywhere with the exceptions of air and sea. Spiders have eight legs and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. Almost 46 thousand species of spiders have been described so far. Have you ever wondered what the biggest spider in the world looks like? In this article, you will find out. Let’s get to know the largest spiders in the world.
Characteristics of the largest spiders
14. Tegenaria parietina – 14 cm (5.5 in)
The wall angle spider or house spider reaches a body length up to 2 cm (0.79in), males up to 1.7 cm (0.67in) with legs up to three times as long. The leg span between the rear and front legs can be up to 14 cm (5.5 in). The females are up to 8 years old and the males usually die shortly after mating. They live in houses in quiet places and in old walls. In the open air, the spiders live in crevices, under rocks and loose bark of dead trees. The species is predominantly found in southern Europe.
13. Cerbalus aravensis (huntsman spider) – 14 cm (5.5 in)
This spider was discovered in 2003 in the sand dunes of the Arava in southern Israel and Jordan. The females grow up to about 2.65 cm long (2.20–2.65 cm (0.87–1.04 in)), the males remain a little smaller (1.85–2.40 centimeters (0.73–0.94 in)). Together with its legs it reaches a size of about 14 cm (5.5 in) and is the largest giant crab spider in the Middle East.
12. Brazilian wandering (Phoneutria) – 15 cm (5.9 in)
The Brazilian wandering spider or banana spider is considered to be very aggressive and highly poisonous. The females reach a body length of 3 to 5 cm and a leg span a leg span of 13 to 15 cm (5.1 to 5.9 in). The males are slightly smaller. Instead of lurking on the prey like most spiders do, these spiders go hunting at night. During the day they hide in dark, humid places, often in human dwellings. You’ve probably heard of highly poisonous spiders in imported fruit crates in the media. Other names: armed spider, banana spider.
11. Camel spider – 15 cm (5.9 in)
The body length is up to 7 cm (3 in). Legs span of 12–15 cm (5–6 in). Other names: wind scorpion, sun spider, solifuge.
10. Golden silk orb-weavers (Nephila) – 15 cm (5.9 in)
The length of the silk spiders can be up to 6,9 cm (2.7 in) depending on the species and the leg span can be up to 15 cm. Females typically are 4.8–5.1 cm (1.5–2 in) and males less than 2.5 cm, (1 in). Their habitat is restricted to the tropics and subtropics. A 165 million year old female specimen of a silk spider was found in China. The silk spider Nephila jurassica has a leg span of 15 cm (5.9 in)and is thus one of the largest fossil spiders discovered so far. Other names: golden orb-weaver, giant wood spider, banana spider.
9. Giant baboon spider (Hysterocrates gigas) – 20 cm (8 in)
The Hysterocrates gigas is one of the tarantulas and lives in Cameroon. It lives in tropical wooded areas with high humidity in the ground. It is a relatively large tarantula and reaches a body length of about 8 to 10 cm (up to 4 in). The females leg span is up to 20 cm. males – up to 13 cm (5 in). Other name: Cameroon red baboon spider.
8. King baboon spider (Pelinobius muticus) – 20 cm (8 in)
This rare spider is a tarantula native to East Africa. It reaches a body length of 10 -13 cm (3.9 – 5.1 in). The leg span is also about 20 cm (8 in). The color of the spider varies from reddish brown to golden brown. At the slightest disturbance, she goes into a threatening position and strikes with her legs. Not infrequently it bites too.
7. Colombian giant tarantula (Megaphobema robustum) – 20 cm (8 in)
Megaphobema robustum is also known as the Colombian giant tarantula or Colombian giant redleg, has a span of 6 to 8 inches. This spider can be found in the tropical rainforests of Colombia and Brazil near logs. The spider eats crickets, other large insects, small lizards and various mice. It is known for its defensive behavior. Other name: Colombian giant redleg.
6. Poecilotheria Rajaei – 20 cm (8 in)
This spider has a leg span of up to 20 centimeters (8 in), has vivid yellow and gray piping on the first and fourth legs with a pink abdominal band. It prefers to live in old-growth trees, but is considered rare due to deforestation in its war-torn habitat and has taken to living in old buildings. The venom of P. rajaei is not lethal to humans but can kill small rodents, birds, lizards and snakes.
5. Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula (Grammostola mollicoma) – 26 cm (10.2 in)
These spiders are medium to large in size and usually brown in color, with pinkish or orangish-red hairs.
4. Xenesthis immanis – 22 cm (8.7in)
The following spider lives in rainforest areas in self-made caves. It reaches a body length of 6 to 7 cm (2.4 – 2.8 in) with a leg span of about 17 to 22 cm (6.7 – 8.7 in). In case of danger, she can use her irritant hairs. Irritable hairs can cause itching and burning of the skin and respiratory tract. It can also bite hard. The poison bite itself is not as dangerous as the infection by bacteria. Therefore, the wound must be disinfected immediately.
3. Giant huntsman spider (Heteropoda maxima) – 30 cm (12 in)
The main distribution area of Heteropoda maxima is located in the tropics and subtropics of Laos. It does not build a net, but lurks for its prey. It feeds on insects and other invertebrates. The booty animal is grabbed with the four front legs and a poison is injected with the poison claws. The killed booty is then sucked out. The Heteropoda maxima is very large in relation to the maximum leg span of 30 cm (12 in). But the body is relatively small with a maximum of 4.6 cm 1.8in. This is why the Heteropoda maxima ranks third among the largest spiders.
2. Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula (Lasiodora parahybana) – 27.8 cm (11 in)
This tarantula also has a maximum leg span of 28 cm. But thanks to a length of 9-10 cm it occupies the 2nd place of the biggest spiders in the world. The spider has a shaggy appearance with longer and dense hair. It has a black basic color, which is a little bit greyish. It lives in dry forests and steppes in Eastern Brazil. If it produces cocoons, they contain up to 2000 eggs. However, the newly hatched young animals are usually very small compared to other tarantulas. Females can weigh more than 100 grams.
1. Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) – 28 cm (11 in)
The biggest spider in the world. With a body length of up to 11.9 cm (4.7 in) and a leg span of up to 28 cm (11 in) cm, the Goliath tarantula has made it to first place. It is very hairy and its color is rust-brown to chestnut brown. Females can reach a weight of up to 175 grams. The biting claws of the giant tarantula reach a length of approx. 2.5 centimeters. The abdomen can reach the size of a tennis ball in captivity with excessive feeding. These spiders live in the tropical rainforest of South America, northern Brazil, Surinam and French Guiana. It is also called the Goliath bird-eating spider. Females have life span of 15 to 25 years. Males die soon after maturity and have a lifespan of 3 to 6 years.
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