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Large Spider - Heteropoda venatoria - male

Large Spider - Heteropoda venatoria - Male
Palm Bay, Brevard County, Florida, USA
May 26, 2005
Size: 4-inches w/legs
This spider is in our pool screen enclosure in Central Florida. I couldn't find it in any of the common Florida spider web sites. I've seen one other one on the side of my neighbor's house that was about 6 inches in length. It looks kind of like a fishing spider but we don't live near water.

Images of this individual: tag all
Large Spider - Heteropoda venatoria - male Large Spider - Heteropoda venatoria - male

The Huntsman Spider--Heteropoda venatoria
I live along the coast of southwest Florida. Last night I found this same giant spider crawling in my garage. It is a big as my hand. I nearly had a heart attack. I managed to catch it alive and I found your picture on the web. I looked up the Heteropoda venatoria name you had attached and found a common name called the Huntsman Spider. It is a tropical spider that has become established in Florida. They are aggressive if you go after them and have a bite with some poison, but are not considered venomous, although you get an allergic reaction. I found out that they eat cockroaches and are extremely fast at catching them. Don’t know how I managed to catch it. In tropical countries people like to keep them around to eat the cockroaches. In exotic pet stores they sell for $10 to keep as pets in a terrarium. The males are usually eaten by the females after mating or they die shortly after maturity. The photo here is of a male. The female is stockier and is likely to carry a large flat eggsac that looks like an Alka seltzer tablet with 200 eggs. The best way to discourage these is to cut off their food supply by regular spraying for bugs. Here are some excellent websites about them:

I always get confused trying to decide between DimDim vs GoToMeeting.

I would be one of these peopl
I would be one of these people susceptible to arachnophobia. I live in southwest florida, just drove to Wendys to buy my mom some dinner, and just as my window went down my girlfriend saw this GIANT spider climb down the windowsill into my car. She could barely speak, and I let out quite a loud high pitched scream and swung a water bottle at it, missing terribly, and helping it get further into my car! So wherever he (or she.. O.O) is, she has alot of old dirty clothes to hide in and old moldy taco bell wrappers.. not a fun night.

Large Florida Spider
Okay, I don't know if this is a wolf, banana or oak spider, but this is what I do know.
I have only seen these in Florida, for myself. They can get the size of a mans hand and they pair. What I mean is where there is one there is two most often than not, one male and one female.
These spiders do not have what we have come to know as actual spider webs, but a long line of a web. Now it can have several lines all over the place, even connecting, but not a web, It is used to signal for food.
Yes we tried an experiment and they do for a fact eat the cockroaches and palmetto bugs and it is an amazing sight to see. They are very fast an efficient. They will also eat the poisonous brown recluse that is known to Florida as well.

Large wolf spider
I had one of these in a new house we had just moved into. I almost died when I walked in the bedroom & there it was on the wall. I called my husband to deal with it. You can't believe how fast they can run when sprayed with bug spray. They can go all the way across a room in 2 seconds. We were later told they are called wolf spiders.

Wolf spiders are in an entirely different family known as Lycosidae. The spider in this photo is a huntsman, which is the largest member of the crab spider family, Sparassidae. They have been introduced to the Americas via international commerce, much like a lot of "alien" species.

So huge
It has been a long time since I have seen a spider that big, great picture, beautiful spider

This appears to be one of the
This appears to be one of the giant crab spiders, likely Heteropoda venatoria. It is called the banana spider, which often comes in on shipments of bananas. They are huge, and terrify those susceptible to arachnophobia, but should be welcome as they will eat cockroaches. This species has naturalized itself in the southern part of the US.

Banana Spider is another name
Banana Spider is another name for the Golden Orb Weaver. We have tons of them here in Manatee/Sarasota County, Florida.

That's a pretty impressive spider you have there on the screen :o) I have yet to come across one of those to photograph. And I too, hate spiders. The only ones I like are the Jumping Spiders :o)

The Golden Orb Weaver (Banana Spider)

Not sure it is a Banana Spider
That does not look like what I call a Banana Spider. Here is a link to a description of that spider

Notice how there is a great difference on the legs. A Banana Spider has sorta fuzzy leg warmers on its legs.

Here is a link to a pix of mine showing the leg warmers

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