12 Biggest Spiders In The World

Spiders, with their eight legs and intricate webs, have long captured our imagination and stirred a mix of fascination and fear. Among these arachnids, there exists a remarkable creature that stands out as the biggest spider in the world. But several other of the biggest spiders in the world are worth mentioning. After all, when a spider is bigger than your hand, it’s just a really big spider.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest spiders in the world.

Biggest spiders in the world

If you are ready to learn about some of the world’s most horrifyingly large spiders, you are in the right place. Here’s a breakdown of the world’s biggest spiders.

1. Giant huntsman spider

Scientific name: Heteropoda maxima

Other names: Giant crab spider, giant wood spider

Size: Leg span of up to 12 inches!

Where to find it: Southeast Asia

The giant huntsman spider, also known as the largest huntsman spider or the giant golden silk orb-weaver, is a formidable arachnid. It can grow to an impressive size, with a leg span of up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) and a body length of around 2 inches (5 centimeters). With its elongated and flattened body, this arachnid possesses long, slender legs that allow it to move swiftly and gracefully.

Found in the warm and tropical regions of Southeast Asia, the giant huntsman spider calls countries such as Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam its home. Its active nature and nocturnal habits allow it to roam through forests, caves, and even human settlements, where it seeks shelter in crevices and corners. Known for its incredible speed and agility, this spider can cover considerable ground in its search for prey.

2. Goliath bird eater tarantula

Scientific name: Theraphosa blondi

Size: Leg span of up to 12 inches!

Where to find it: South America

The goliath bird eater tarantula lives up to its name, as it can grow to astonishing sizes. With a leg span that can reach up to 11 inches (30 centimeters) and a weight of over 6 ounces (170 grams), it is considered the largest tarantula species in the world. While it’s size is similar to the giant huntsman spider, the goliath tarantula is significantly heavier.

Visually, the Goliath Bird-Eater is an intense sight to behold. Its body is covered in dense, dark brown or black hair, providing excellent protection and insulation. Its legs are robust and muscular, equipped with sharp claws and distinctive red or pink-colored hairs on their joints.

The Goliath Bird-Eater has an appetite for various invertebrates, small mammals, frogs, and even small birds. But generally, these spiders don’t pose a threat to humans. (Unless you faint at the sight of large spiders!)

The large spider is native to the rainforests of northern South America, primarily found in countries such as Brazil, Suriname, and Guyana. Within its natural habitat, this impressive tarantula constructs elaborate burrows in the ground, lined with silk and camouflaged with surrounding foliage or debris. Interesting, females can live up to 20 years. But males only live 3 to 6 years.

3. Hercules baboon spider

Scientific name: Pterinochilus murinus

Size: Leg span of up to 7 inches!

Where to find it: Sub-Saharan Africa

The Hercules baboon spider can grow to a substantial size, with a leg span of up to 7 inches (18 centimeters) and a body length of approximately 3 inches (7.5 centimeters). This spider’s striking appearance is characterized by its vibrant orange-brown coloration and a sturdy, robust body covered in short, dense hairs.

As a predator, the Hercules Baboon Spider displays a diverse diet. It preys upon various invertebrates, including insects, other spiders, and small vertebrates. This species possesses powerful fangs, which it uses to deliver venom to subdue its prey. While its bite can be painful to humans, it is not considered highly venomous.

The Hercules Baboon Spider is native to parts of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly found in countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. Within its natural range, it inhabits diverse habitats, including savannas, grasslands, and woodland areas. These spiders are often found in burrows they dig themselves or in pre-existing burrows abandoned by other animals.

4. Brazilian salmon pink bird eater

Scientific name: Lasiodora parahybana

Size: Leg span of up to 10 inches!

Where to find it: Brazil

The Brazilian salmon pink bird eater is an opportunistic hunter can reach a substantial size, with a leg span of up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) and a body length of around 4 inches (10 centimeters). This tarantula showcases a striking appearance, with its vibrant salmon pink or reddish-brown coloration, along with a robust and hairy body.

It primarily feeds on insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles, but has been known to capture small vertebrates such as lizards or mice. With its strong fangs and venom, this tarantula subdues its prey and immobilizes it for consumption.

The Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird-Eating Spider is native to the rainforests of Brazil and can be found in the northeastern regions of the country, particularly in the states of Bahia and PiauĂ­. Within its natural habitat, it constructs burrows in the ground or seeks refuge in tree hollows.

5. Brazilian giant tawny red tarantula

Scientific name: Grammostola anthracite

Size: Leg span of up to 8 inches

Where to find it: Brazil

The Brazilian giant tawny red tarantula can grow to a significant size, with a leg span of up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) and a body length of approximately 3.5 inches (9 centimeters). This tarantula is known for its striking appearance, characterized by its dense golden-brown or tawny red hairs covering its robust body.

As an ambush predator, the Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula preys upon various invertebrates, including insects, spiders, and even small vertebrates. It uses its strong fangs and venom to immobilize and subdue its prey.

6. Chaco golden-knee

Scientific name: Grammostola pulchripes

Size: Leg span of up to 7 inches!

Where to find it: Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil

The Chaco golden-knee can grow to a moderate size, with a leg span of up to 7 inches (18 centimeters) and a body length of around 3.5 inches (9 centimeters). This tarantula is renowned for its distinctive coloration, with vibrant golden bands on its dark-colored legs and a dark body covered in dense bristles.

It feeds on insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles, as well as small arthropods. This tarantula uses its fangs and venom to immobilize and subdue its prey, after which it will consume it at leisure. Within its natural habitat, it can be found in dry, scrubland areas, particularly in grasslands and savannas.

7. Colombian giant tarantula

Scientific name: Megaphobema robustum

Other names: Colombian Giant Redleg

Size: Leg span of up to 8 inches!

Where to find it: Columbia and Brazil

The Columbia giant tarantula is easily recognizable due to its unique physical features, including its dark-colored body with striking red hairs on its legs and abdomen. With a with a leg span reaching up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) and a body length of around 4 inches (10 centimeters), it’s difficult to miss.

As an active hunter, the Colombian Giant Tarantula preys upon a variety of invertebrates in its natural habitat. Its diet mainly consists of insects such as crickets, cockroaches, and grasshoppers. It is native to the tropical rainforests of Colombia and is specifically found in the regions of Magdalena and Cauca. Within its natural habitat, it constructs burrows or hides in natural crevices and fallen logs.

8. Camel spider

Scientific name: Solifugae spp.

Other names: Sun spiders, wind scorpions

Size: Lengths of 6 inches

Where to find it: Africa, Middle East, Asia

The camel spider has made a name for itself with its uniquely fierce appearance. Camel Spiders can vary in size, with some species reaching lengths of up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) or more. But these critters aren’t technically spiders. In fact, camel spiders (Solifugae) are part of an order of arachnids with very intimidating jaws.

Camel spiders are primarily nocturnal predators, preying upon a variety of small animals such as insects, spiders, and even small vertebrates. These arachnids possess impressive speed, using their powerful jaws to capture and immobilize their prey.

Camel Spiders are commonly found in arid regions around the world, including deserts and scrublands. They can be found in various countries across Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia.

9. Brazilian wandering spider

Scientific name: Phoneutria spp.

Other names: Banana spider

Size: Leg span of up to 6 inches!

Where to find it: South America

The Brazilian wandering spider is one of the biggest spiders in the world. And it’s impressive features don’t stop with size. The spider also showcases a variety of colors, including shades of brown, black, and yellow, with distinct patterns on its body and legs. It is primarily found in tropical regions of South America, particularly in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. It often inhabits forests, gardens, and human dwellings, making it a potential hazard to humans who may encounter it.

Notably, the venom of the Brazilian Wandering Spider is highly toxic and can cause severe symptoms if bitten.

10. Israeli Desert Huntsman

Scientific name: Cerbalus aravensis

Size: Leg span of 5.5 inches!

Where to find it: Middle East

The Cerbalus aravensis spider wasn’t discovered by the scientific community until 2018! It was spotted on the Israel-Jordan border, hiding in the sand dunes of the desert. The huntsman has leg span reaching up to 5 inches (13 centimeters) and a body length of around 2 inches (5 centimeters). This spider displays a distinctive physical appearance, with long, slender legs and a beige or yellowish-brown body, allowing it to blend seamlessly into its sandy desert habitat.

The Cerbalus aravensis spider is endemic to the Arava Valley region, located in the southern part of Israel and adjacent areas in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. It is specially adapted to arid desert environments and is often found in sandy habitats, including dunes and dry riverbeds.

11. Indian ornamental tree spider

Scientific name: Poecilotheria regalis

Size: Leg span of up to 8 inches!

Where to find it: India

The Indian ornamental tree spider is one of the biggest spiders in the world, with a leg span of up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) and a body length of around 3 inches (8 centimeters). This spider displays a vibrant and intricate coloration pattern, with a combination of metallic blues, greens, and yellows on its body and legs.

The Indian Ornamental Tree Spider is native to the southwestern regions of India, particularly found in the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats.

12. Extinct giant spider: Mongolarachne jurassica

Scientific name: Mongolarachne jurassica

Size: Leg span of possibly up to 4 inches, difficult to determine on a fossilized spider.

Where to find it: Extinct

Mongolarachne jurassica is a prehistoric spider existed during the Jurassic period. Although its exact size is challenging to determine from fossil records, estimates suggest that Mongolarachne jurassica could grow to a substantial size compared to modern spiders. Even if this spider wasn’t the biggest in the world, it’s a very cool discovery.

Based on fossil evidence, Mongolarachne jurassica possessed long legs and a segmented body, typical of spider morphology. While its specific diet cannot be determined from fossils, it is believed to have been an active predator, feeding on small invertebrates and possibly even small vertebrates that were present during the Jurassic period.

Fossils of Mongolarachne jurassica have been discovered in the Daohugou Beds of Inner Mongolia, China.

Frequently Asked Questions: The biggest spiders in the world

You have questions about the biggest spiders in the world. We have answers.

Are there any precautions to take when encountering these spiders?

If you encounter one of the world’s largest spiders, it’s best to maintain a respectful distance and avoid provoking or handling them. Spiders generally do not seek out human interaction and are more likely to retreat if they feel threatened.

What defines the size of a spider?

Spider size is typically measured based on a combination of factors, including leg span (the distance between the tips of the outstretched legs) and body length (the size of the spider’s actual body, excluding legs). These measurements provide a general understanding of a spider’s overall size.

Which spider holds the title for the largest spider in the world?

The Goliath Bird-Eater (Theraphosa blondi) is widely recognized as the largest spider in the world, both in terms of leg span and body size. It can reach an impressive size of up to 11 inches (28 centimeters) in leg span.

Final take on the world’s biggest spiders

If you run into one of the world’s biggest spiders, it’s natural to feel a spurt of adrenaline. Most spiders would prefer to give humans plenty of space. As long as you don’t pick one up, they don’t pose a significant threat.