The Isopeda Huntsman Spider (Isopeda vasta) is an arachnid in the Sparassidae family of common huntsman spiders. It is also known as the Giant Crab Spider. Sparassids are eight-eyed spiders.
The Isopeda Huntsman Spider is reddish-brown, with eight long, thin legs. Its mouth parts are darker than its body. Its legs are spiny, but its body has smooth furry hair.
It measures about 20 centimetres (8 inches) long.
It is found in Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and New Caledonia. It prefers tropical and warm temperate regions. It likes to live under rocks, bark, and logs. It is often found in garden sheds.
It feeds on insects, such as butterflies and moths, as well as other arachnids, such as scorpions. It does not spin a web. It catches its prey and injects it with venom (poison).
The Isopeda Huntsman Spider has a painful bite on humans, causing swelling and sickness.
The female produces an egg sac, the size of a pea. She puts it under her body. It contains about 100-400 eggs. The hatched baby spiders are called spiderlings.
Location of photographs: Adelaide, South Australia
Photographer: Alison Powell
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM