Huntsman Spiders

Heteropoda javana

Heteropoda javana is a species within the genus Heteropoda, which is part of the family Sparassidae, commonly known as huntsman spiders. Huntsman spiders are known for their size, speed, and mode of hunting. They do not construct webs to catch prey but rather actively hunt them down, using their speed and agility. Heteropoda javana, like other huntsman spiders, has a flat body and long legs, allowing it to squeeze into tight spaces and move rapidly over surfaces. Its coloration generally helps it blend into its surroundings, providing camouflage against both prey and predators.






















Heteropoda javana

Other Information


This species, as with most huntsman spiders, possesses venom that it uses to subdue prey. However, the venom of Heteropoda javana is not considered dangerous to humans. While a bite may cause temporary pain, redness, and swelling, significant medical complications are rare.

A Danger to Humans?

Heteropoda javana poses minimal danger to humans. These spiders are generally shy, avoiding human contact, and will only bite if cornered or threatened. Even then, their bites are not typically medically significant.

Population Status

There is limited specific information available on the population size of Heteropoda javana. However, huntsman spiders are adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, suggesting that their populations are stable where environmental conditions are suitable.

Huntsman Spiders (Heteropoda javana), Photo by David Lowenthal

Life Span:
The lifespan of huntsman spiders, including Heteropoda javana, can vary but typically ranges from 2 to 3 years. This includes their time as juveniles through to adulthood.

Weight and Length:
Huntsman spiders can be quite large, with Heteropoda javana reaching leg spans of up to 15 cm (6 inches) or more. The body length can be several centimeters long, though specific weight data is not commonly noted.

Heteropoda javana is found in Southeast Asia, including Java (from which its name is derived), and has been observed in various other tropical and subtropical regions due to accidental human-mediated dispersal.

Habits and Lifestyle:
As nocturnal hunters, Heteropoda javana is most active at night when it searches for prey. During the day, it hides in crevices, under tree bark, or within foliage. Its flat body allows it to fit into narrow spaces, making it a proficient ambush predator.

Diet and Nutrition:
The diet of Heteropoda javana primarily consists of insects and other small arthropods. Its hunting strategy involves actively pursuing prey rather than capturing it in webs.

Mating Habits:
Mating behavior in huntsman spiders can be complex, with males performing courtship rituals to avoid being mistaken for prey by females. Males may gently stroke the females or perform vibratory signals through the substrate to communicate their intentions. After mating, females lay eggs and may guard them until they hatch.