Table Of Contents
Giant spiders have captured the human imagination for a long time. Their tales in fiction and movies may make you wonder if there are real-life giant spiders. Read on to know the biggest spider in the world and get more information on giant spiders.
This blog post discusses the history and origin of spiders and spider species worldwide. You can learn more about the most enormous spiders in the world by mass and leg span.
This includes a description of goliath bird-eating spiders, giant huntsman spiders, and other large spiders. The post concludes with getting help with spider pest problems getting help with spider pest problems.
History and Origin of Spiders
You can trace the history and origin of spiders back to the late Devonian period. This period is around 380 million years ago. Fossil records reveal that ancient arachnids existed at that time.
Later on, the primitive arachnids developed typical characteristics like the ability to spin webs and produce silk. This naturally led to a broader diversification and adaptation to a more comprehensive range of environments.
Spiders likely share a common evolutionary ancestor with arachnid groups like mites and scorpions. However, they have had significant anatomical and behavioral adaptations since then. This is an underlying factor in their success as a group of predators on the planet.
Spider Species in the World
Knowing more about the world's most enormous spiders is helpful, even if you fear them. For instance, such knowledge can be put to use when you are planning your next vacation.
The number of species of spiders exceeds 48,000, each with unique ecological roles and adaptations. For instance, they act as predators of insects and small animals. Another critical role is the provision of silk for uses, such as in the construction of hunting webs.
Spiders can generally be grouped into araneomorphs (true spiders) and mygalomorphs. Araneomorphs are a group that includes 90% of spiders, and such spiders are more evolved. On the other hand, mygalomorphs are more primitive and maintain features such as large sizes and downward-pointed fangs.
Tarantulas belong to the mygalomorphs group and feature giant spiders such as the West African Hercules baboon spiders (Hysterocrates Hercules) and face-size tarantulas Poecilotheria rajaei that can be found in Sri Lanka. Another example of an enormous spider is the Brazilian salmon pink bird eater (Lasiodora Narayana).
The Biggest Spider in the World
The Goliath Bird-Eating Spider
National Geographic names the Theraphosa blondi – the Goliath Birdeater – the world's most enormous spider. This is unsurprising as the body mass can reach 175g while its body length can be up to 13cm.
Meanwhile, the Guinness World Records also describes this 11-inch length-sized and 6-ounce weighing species of tarantula as large enough to cover your dinner plate. The nickname "Goliath birdeater" arises from an 18th-century engraving that depicts a tarantula feeding on a hummingbird.
However, this spider species prefers eating arthropods and rarely eats birds. You can typically find them in South America's rainforests. Goliath bird-eaters line their burrows with silk that they produce rather than spin webs. You will likely not need medical attention if a Goliath bird-eater bites you.
This is because even though most giant spiders (Goliath bird-eaters) are venomous, these spider species are not toxic to humans. Nonetheless, threatened tarantulas can release hook-shaped bristles referred to as "urticating hairs" that help to drive predators away.
Spider Sizes in the World Based on Leg Span
Here are just the most enormous spiders in the world if you're considering leg span:
- Giant huntsman spiders have 12-inch leg spans
- Goliath birdeater spiders have 11-inch leg spans
- Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating spiders have 10-inch leg spans
- Brazilian giant tawny red tarantula spiders have 10-inch leg spans
- Face-size tarantula spiders have 8-inch leg spans
- Hercules baboon spiders have 7.9-inch leg spans
- Colombian giant redleg tarantula spiders have 7-inch leg spans
- Camel spiders have 6-inch leg spans
- Brazilian wandering spiders have 5.9-inch leg spans
- Cerbalus aravaensis spiders have 5.5-inch leg spans
Giant Huntsman Spiders: The largest spiders by leg span
The Heteropoda maxima – or giant huntsman spiders can measure up to 11.8 inches/30 centimeters across. This makes them fit the bill as the largest spider species in the world by leg span. They can also get up to the size of a dinner plate.
Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird-eater
A fact that you may find interesting about the Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater, also called Lasiodora parahybana, is its characteristic of weighing as much as a banana. The females can get over 100g in weight. They can be laid back but may give a painful bite when threatened.
Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula
With a leg span of up to 23cm, the Brazilian giant tawny red tarantula or Grammostola anthracina can live up to 30 years. Brazilian giant tawny red tarantulas are common as house pets and are in high demand in the illegal tarantula trade market.
Chaco Golden-Knee Tarantula
Also called Grammostola pulchripes, the Chaco golden-knee tarantula is handsome and hairy. Their leg span can get up to 20.3 cm.
King Baboon Spider
The king baboon spider, or Pelinobius muticus, is an African spider with rusty-brown coloring. The bite of these king baboon spiders is painful and venomous, and they use a stridulation technique to deter predators. This involves rubbing the airs on their front legs together to create a raspy and hissing sound. Indeed, king baboons are known for being aggressive and for their painful bite.
Colombian Giant Tarantula
Also known as Megaphobema robustum, the Columbian giant tarantula is shy. They would rather run than be defensive. However, they have a defensive tactic that includes spinning in circles and using their spiked back legs to kick out.
Another name for a face-sized tarantula is Poecilotheria rajaei. It is globally ranked as the fifth largest spider species. This Sri Lankan spider can use its venom to kill prey such as lizards, birds, and rodents. However, the venom is not toxic enough to harm you.
Brazilian Wandering Spiders
The Brazilian wandering spiders or Phoneutria sp. can vary in size, with leg spans up to 18 cm and a body length of around 5 cm. People also call them banana spiders because they may hide like banana plants in dark and moist places.
Sand-Dwelling Huntsman Spider
An interesting fact about sand-dwelling huntsman spiders or Cerbalus aravaensis is that you can find them in sand dunes in Israel and Jordan. They are rare and can use silk and sand to create clever dens. These dens have hinged trap door entrances that help them hide from predators.
The camel-colored camel spider is of the order Solfigae and typically lives in the desert. Like a cross between an actual spider and a scorpion, it has two large chelicerae (fangs) for biting and stridulation. While it is fast, at about ten mph (16 km/h), it is also nonvenomous.
Consult Experts About Getting Rid of Spiders
Spiders will not usually harm you unless they are disturbed. They prefer environments that provide hiding places. You can certainly take steps to fill up holes and hiding places.
Using a pest control service is the best and most effective option for preventing and eliminating spiders in your home or business. You may only know a little about real-life colossal spiders besides what you see in live science images or National Geographic videos of giant spiders.
However, you now see a lot more from this blog post on the biggest spiders in the world, including goliath bird-eating spiders and giant huntsman spiders. This post also discussed the history and origin of spiders and spider species worldwide.
A reliable pest control service can help you with spider infestations or problems. Such service companies usually have the experience to ensure pest management services that protect you, your household members, and the environment.