The Giant Huntsman – Heteropoda Maxima – is now officially the Worlds biggest spider, taking the crown from the Goliath Bird Eating spider. Find out about this newly discovered mega spider from Laos.
Until 2001 the Goliath Bird Eating Spider of South America was considered the largest spider in the World. In fact if you google “the worlds largest spider”, 90 percent of the information you find will still quote it as the largest spider in the World. But this mammoth arachnid has lost his title…
The Giant Huntsman – Discovery
In 2001 a group of scientists went on an exhibition into the jungles of Laos to find new species. They were rewarded for their trouble with the discovery of multitudes of species, including a huge spider. This spider was found in the north of Laos in the mouth of a cave. The scientists that found it could not believe that a species of spider so big could have remained undiscovered by modern science for so long.
The Giant Huntsman – How Big Is It?
The body of the Giant Huntsman is approximately 4.6cm and the leg span is over 12 inches or 30cm long. That is the size of a large dinner plate!! You can see why it has been named the Heteropoda Maxima meaning largest. As you can see from the picture the Giant Huntsman has wide bands on the its legs and is lightly colored with dark spots arranged irregularly on its body. The legs bend forward like a crab and the male has special hairs on it’s hind legs – possibly for walking on cave walls.
The Giant Huntsman – Is It Really The Biggest Spider?
There is still some debate over whether the Giant Huntsman of Laos is the biggest spider or if the crown still belongs to the Goliath Bird Eating spider of South America. The reason for the confusion is on what you are measuring the spider by.
The Giant Huntsman is undoubtedly the largest spider when you are looking at leg span with spiders having been found with a diameter exceeding one foot – 30cm. The Goliath Bird Eating Spider generally only grows to around 11 inches in diameter.
When it comes to body mass, the Goliath Bird eating spider still reigns supreme weighing in at a huge 6 ounces or 170 grams. The reason for the heavier body mass is the size of its body in comparison to leg length. While the Giant Huntsman has a body of around 4.6cm long the Goliath Bird Eating Spider has a body length up to 9cm long.
The Giant Huntsman – Why So Little Information Available?
Compared to its competitors, the Giant Huntsman has very limited amounts of information available about it. The reason for this is the fact that it has only been discovered so recently. While other spiders such as the Goliath Bird Eating spider are kept as pets around the world, the Giant Huntsman of Laos has only even been seen by a handful of people in the wild and much is still to be learnt about this magnificent spider.