Can a spider bite from the biggest spider poison a human being? Big spiders look scary, but are they also poisonous? Here are two of the largest recorded spiders in recent history.
Biggest spider by mass
The biggest spider as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records is the male Goliath bird-eating spider, which belongs to the tarantula spider family. Its scientific name is Theraphosa blondi.
The largest Goliath bird-eating spider was collected at Rio Cavro, Venezuela in April 1965 by members of the Pablo San Martin expedition. The captured spider had a record leg span of 28 cm or 11 inches — enough to encompass an entire dinner plate! Goliath bird eating spiders are usually found in the coastal rainforests of French Guiana, Guyana and Surinam but some species have been found in Brazil and Venezuela.
This deep burrowing bird-eater is mostly found in marshy or swampy areas particularly in burrows they themselves have created or which were left by other burrowing creatures. A Goliath bird-eater spider can reach up to 12 inches in leg span and can weigh over 170 grams or 6 ounces.
Biggest spider by leg span
The giant huntsman spider from the Heteropoda genus was discovered in Laos in 2001. This spider lives in caves. The yellowish brown huntsman has multiple irregularly distributed dark spots at its rear half while its legs have wide dark bands prior to the initial leg bend. The legs of the huntsman are longer than its body and twist in a forward direction in a crab-like manner. The leg span of the giant huntsman can reach to about 30 cm just like the Goliath bird eating spider. Its body length reaches to about 1.8 inches.
The Goliath bird-eater has fangs large enough to cut through the skin of humans but bite only when threatened or as a defense mechanism. The effects of its venom is relatively harmless and can be compared to the sting of a wasp. The Goliath bird-eater does not eat only eat birds but live by also consuming insects, frogs, rodents and even venomous snakes. The venom of giant huntsman spider is useful for immobilizing its prey such as cockroaches and also for expediting digestion. They are also known to bite as a defensive mechanism but their bite is not dangerous to humans.
Read about tube web spiders, UK’s biggest spider.