Spiders are arthropods that have 8 legs and fangs for injecting venom. There are more than 40,000 species of spider and many of these species are no larger than a few centimeters. However, some spiders can grow to impressive sizes and many of these larger spiders belong to the tarantula family. If you have ever wondered which spider is the largest in the world, keep reading to find out.
Which spider is the largest in the world?
The largest spider by leg span is the giant huntsman spider. It has a relatively small body length of 4.6 cm (1.8 in), but has an impressive leg span that can be more than 30 cm (12 in). Amazingly, the giant huntsman spider is only a recent discovery and it was first identified in Laos in 2001. This spider belongs to the huntsman (Heteropoda) family of spiders.
Before the giant huntsman was discovered the Goliath birdeater spider was known as the largest spider. This spider has a much larger body than the giant huntsman and has a leg span that can reach 30cm (12 in). The Goliath birdeater is now considered to be the largest spider by weight and an adult member of the species can weigh over 170 g (6 oz). Despite its name this spider does not regularly eat birds, but got this name from early explorers that claimed to witness the spider eating a hummingbird. This spider belongs to the terantula (Theraphosidae) family of spiders.
The following is a video of a Goliath birdeater eating a grasshopper.
Did you know?
Despite their impressive size neither of these large spiders are dangerous to humans. The venom of the huntsman is non-toxic to humans and the Goliath birdeater’s venom is mostly harmless.