Huntsman spider

Heteropoda venatoria

Araneae / Sparassidae

Upper Newport Bay, Newport Beach, CA. 21 Oct. 2005. © Peter J. Bryant.

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Most members of this family are found in Asia and Australia, but this species is also found in the subtropical areas of Florida, Texas, and California. It may have been introduced from Asia. It feeds on insects and is harmless although it can give a painful bite. It can also be scary because of its large size, its quick movements, its ability to run sideways, and its ability to run up glass and other smooth surfaces! This one, which was found in a truck and may have come from further south, is missing a leg.