Badge Huntsman Spider


Badge Huntsman Spiders (Neosparassus sp.) are large, long-legged spiders. The female’s body is 20 millimetres long whilst the male’s is 16 millimetres. This differs from many spiders where the male is much smaller than the female.

They are usually fawn or grey on top, with distinctive colour combinations of black, white, orange or yellow under the abdomen (the ‘badge’) and colour bands on the underside of the front legs. The two pairs of front legs are longer than the rear pairs.

Most huntsman spiders have flattened bodies adapted for living in narrow spaces under loose bark or rock crevices. This is aided by their legs which, instead of bending vertically in relation to the body, have the joints twisted so that they spread out forwards and laterally in crab-like fashion.

The egg sac is a flattish silken capsule (see thumbnail) and is guarded by the female. During this period, she can be quite aggressive and will rear up in a defensive display if provoked. Young Neosparassus are often green in colour and after hatching the baby spiders shed their skins almost immediately.

The Badge Huntsman is nocturnally active. Sometimes they stray into our house. They are carefully removed. Our shed is home to a number of Badge Huntsman Spiders. We leave them in peace.

An individual lives behind our solar inverter on the back patio.

They do cause some consternation when we come across them but this is a normal reaction to a large hairy spider. They will bite in the unlikely event that you grab hold of one. Apart from a slight stinging at the site of the bite there are no ill effects.

We regard Badge Huntsman Spiders as part of the rich wildlife tapestry that shares our cold climate garden with us.

By Warren and Gloria Sheather