The 5 Largest Spiders in the World

Spiders might make us itch but they are still fascinating animals. And despite popular belief, did you know spiders are not actually insects – but arachnids. A closer kin to scorpions and ticks than crickets or roaches!

Spiders are also known for their amazing ability to make fire-resisting silk and build intricate webs! And as much as they ick us out, humans still need spiders as they keep insect populations in check!

From 12-inch venom-spewing tarantulas to the littles ones we encounter at home – these eight-legged creatures are just so much fun to explore!

Wanna know more? Keep reading!

Where Did Spiders Come From?

Spiders have been around for 350 million years. Making them of the most ancient even pre-historic animals in the world! No wonder, even today – there are 40,000 resilient species still alive. Besides the odd continent of Antarctica, spiders are found in pretty much every part of the world!

So whatcha’ waiting for?! Lets meet the five largest spiders in the world!

1. The Goliath Birdeater (Theraphosa blondi)

Body size: up to 12 cm

Legspan: Up to 28 cm

Family: Theraphosidae

Genus: Theraphosa

Named after a legendary biblical figure, this spider tops our List of 5 Largest Spiders in the World!

Goliaths are native to the tropical forests and swamps of South America – and as their vicious-sounding name suggests – they do, in fact, love feeding on birds and other small mammals.

Weighing up to 175 g, this mother of all tarantulas is known for its barbed hair, which are toxic for humans, and can cause minor infection lasting up to days! Best watch out!

When attacked, Goliaths tend to rub these hair – producing a hissing noise you can hear from as good as a few meters away!

2. The Giant Huntsman (Sparassidae)

Body size: up to 8 centimeters

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Legspan: Up to 30 centimeters

Family:  Sparassidae

Genus:   Heteropoda

Only found in a cave in Laos– these giant tarantulas are an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare!

Due to their twisted legs, these spiders have a rather crab-like walk and appearance!

Mind you, in terms of legspan (as opposed to body-mass), Huntsman are the largest spider in the world. And long legs give them incredible speed, so they’re super-fast – a trait they use to successfully hunt or escape from prey.

3. Hercules Baboon Spider (Hysterocrates hercules)

Body size: up to 9 centimeters

Legspan: up to 28 centimeters

Family: Theraphosidae

Genus: Hysterocrates

One of the rarest spiders in earth, the Hercules Baboon was first spotted in Nigeria around 100 years ago,

Grow up to 8 inches, these spiders are not made for the light of heart!

With legs resembling baboon fingers, their main bodies can grow up to 9 cm!

If these greek gladiators are too big for your taste, you can always keep a smaller baboon specie as a pet!

4. Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater (Lasiodora parahybana)

Body size: up to 18 centimeters

Legspan: up to 25 centimeter

Family: Theraphosidae

Genus: Lasiodora

Native to the forests of Brazil, this large tarantula has 2 cm fangs they use to bite into pray. Thankfully, their bites are not harmful or toxic for humans. Phew!

Interesting fact! The female tarantula is actually larger than the male – weighing up to 100 grams or more! That said, the male is larger in terms of legspan!

This creepy monster is a popular pet choice, a result of their docile nature! Plus, they are super-low maintenance – as they don’t spin webs or burrows.

5 Things To Know Before You Get a Pet Tarantula

  • Be in it for good as tarantula tend to have long lifespans (up to x).
  • If you are a first-time keeper, go for a more docile specie (say, )
  • For a large tarantula, remember to occasionally treat them to a pink mouse a small birdie!
  • If you want a quiet pet, spiders are perfect for the job!
  • For tropical species of tarantulas, ensure high humidity levels inside their cage.
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5. Giant tawny red spiders

Body size: up to 16 centimeters

Legspan: up to 23 centimeters

Family: Theraphosidae

Genus: Grammostola

Giant tawny red spiders are as scary as they sound!

A venomous specie that can grow to have a legspan of up to 10 inches!

Named after their brown bodies with pink or red-orange hair, this Grammaostola specie can live up to 20 years!

And will feed on anything from mice to crickets. 

Where It Lives:

This spider is native to South America (Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina).

Fun fact: The specie was first studied by a German scientist in 1842.

What Do Large Spiders Eat?

Depending on size and body needs, spiders will eat anything! Feasting on crickets & roaches, and small birds to mice – these little guys have their plate full! Literally.

Here’s what a spider eats in a day!

5 Cool Facts About Spiders

  • Spiders have 8 legs.
  • Females are typically larger than males.
  • Not all spiders are web-builders (such as wolf spiders)!
  • Almost all spiders make silk using spinneret glands located at the base of their abdomen.
  • Spiders can only digest food in liquid form!

We hope you had fun learning about the largest spiders in the world! What they look like? What they eat? Thinking of adopting one to be your quiet buddy? If so, which one? Let us know in comments below.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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