Today for breakfast I had a house guest in my kitchen. A Male giant crab spider also known as common house spider(Heteropoda venatoria), huntsman spider, banana spider (due to its occasional appearance in marketed bananas) appeared over a kitchen tile. He was a huge guy, body around 3 inches in size. He was patient enough to give me several of his nice poses as he was cleaning his fangs with his palps. I unhurriedly took several of his great shots using my trusty Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro on my Canon EOS 5D mark II. Here are 3 shots one full body and other head shot for your appraisal. The background you see is the yellow kitchen tile. These spiders belong to family Sparassidae.
Giant Crab Spiders get their name by waiting for prey to come close, and like lions, chase their prey for short distances. Contrary to their gangly and cumbersome appearance, these spiders are very fast and are able to chase down their prey with ease. These spiders are extremely aggressive, will arch up to make displays to frighten off perceived threats, and will tenaciously cling to attackers or perceived attackers if they think it will protect them. Given any other circumstance, these spiders are designed to slip through holes and cracks and will escape if they feel outmatched.
Huntsman Spiders are not harmful to humans, and although big and scary, are certainly not strong enough to carry off or take a bite out of a human. They will bite in self-defense, in which case they are not venomous, and the only result will be a big red spider bite. As mentioned before, they do cling if picked up, and will most likely bite, making a close-up Huntsman encounter a frightening and potentially painful one, but ultimately not life-threatening. These Spiders mainly eat insects, other spiders and sometimes small lizards and snakes.Big enough Hunstmen might kill and digest very small rodents.
Ever seen Arachnophobia (1990) with Jeff Daniels and John Goodman? It also starred an unnumbered cast of Delena cancerides, aka Avondale Spiders. These little, harmless, yet ultimately frightening spiders are Family Sparassidae (same family as our Giant Crab Spider) and come from Australia. They were “trained” by an entomologist to move through and into scenes on cue using hair dryers to goad them along. Note: The big spider in the movie is actually a species of tarantula. They eat birds among other things but are relatively harmless to humans.