Top 10 Biggest Spiders In The World

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  • The giant hunting spider lives only in caves in Laos and has a leg span of up to a terrifying twelve inches.
  • The giant bird-eating spider of the Amazon rainforest has an eleven-inch leg span and weighs five or six ounces. Feeds mainly on insects, but may also prey on small birds.
  • The Brazilian salmon pink tarantula lives in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay and has 10-inch legs.
giant hunter spider
Giant hunter spiders usually live under rotting wood. When it spots prey, it can move up to 3 feet per second.

© Nikhil Guhagarkar/Shutterstock.com

If you're afraid of spiders, then you're probably asking, "What's the biggest spider in the world?" To determine which is the largest, two factors need to be considered.

First, the weight of the spider can determine which is the largest. Alternatively, you can measure it by body length. So you could name two different spiders "the largest spider in the world" by either criterion.

Where does the world's largest spider live? The answer is that they live in many different places. This list will tell you more about them, their size and where they live.

For our intent and purposes, leg span measurements at maturity have been used to determine the location of the world's largest spiders.

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#10. Cerbalus aravaensis – 5.5 inch leg spread

Largest Spider: Cerbalus aravaensis
Cerbalus aravaensis lives in an underground lair that has a "lift door" made of glued sand so the nest remains camouflaged.

©Dan Shachar/Shutterstock.com

If you head to the sand dunes of the Arava Valley in Israel and Jordan, keep an eye out for the Cerbalus aravaensis spider. It is the largest known spider in the region. Cerbalus aravaensis isn't the largest spider in the world, but it's about the same. The spider is hard to miss because its 5.5 inch leg span makes it hard to miss crawling objects. Salt mining and conversion of land for agriculture threaten its habitat.

The nocturnal arthropods build their homes in the sand to hide from predators. The houses have trap-like doors to protect the spiders, which are among the largest in the world.

#9. Brazilian Wandering Spider – 5.9” leg span

Largest Spider: Brazilian Wandering Spider
Brazilian wandering spiders are called "armed spiders" in Portuguese because their venom is a powerful weapon.

©Tacio Philip Sansonovski/Shutterstock.com

The Brazilian wandering spider is the ninth largest spider in the world, also known as the armed spider or the banana spider, with legs measuring 5.9 inches long. The Guinness Book of World Records lists this arthropod as one of the world's most venomous arthropods, but it's not the world's largest spider.

There are at least eight subspecies of this spider, mainly found in Brazil but also from Costa Rica to Argentina.

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It is usually brown and may have a black spot on its belly. These are some of the biggest furries around. The fur on these large spiders often makes this option appear larger in size. These nocturnal arthropods that live under logs feed on insects, small amphibians, reptiles and mice.

#8. Camel Spider – 6” Leg Spread

Largest Spider: Camel Spider
Camel spiders are not fatal to humans (although their bite is painful), but they are ferocious predators, feeding on insects, rodents, lizards and small birds.

© Ondrej Michalek/Shutterstock.com

With legs about 6 inches long, the light brown camel spider is one of the largest spiders. It is one of the fastest spiders as it typically moves at close to 10 miles per hour.

These arthropods sometimes hum, but they don't have venom. They're not the largest spiders in the world, but these large spiders are quite eye-catching.

These spiders, which live in Iran and Iraq, feed on insects, rodents, lizards and small birds. These spiders have jaws that make up 33 percent of their body length, and they use them to grip prey.

You may have heard that these giant spiders chase people. In fact, they are not chasing you. These spiders love shade. These spiders are chasing your shadow, not you. Camel spiders live for about a year and have only two eyes.

Learn more about camel spiders.

#7. Columbian giant red-legged tarantula – 7 inch leg spread

Largest Spider: Columbian Giant Red-Footed Tarantula
The Columbian giant red-legged spider is considered one of the most beautiful spiders in the world.

© Milan Zygmont/Shutterstock.com

The Colombian giant red-legged spider has a leg span of about 7 inches. This spider lives in parts of Colombia and Brazil. It has bright reddish-orange hairs on its legs.

Males live to about 4 years, while females typically live to 20 years. This spider is huge, but still not the largest spider in the world.

This nocturnal arthropod is very nervous. It will spin and start bobbing up and down. If the threat doesn't move away, it uses hidden barbed spikes on its hind legs to sprint in a dangerous direction.

These large spiders will eventually bite their victims with their fangs.

#6. Hercules Baboon Spider – 7.9" Leg Spread

Largest Spider: Hercules Baboon Spider
Hercules baboon spider's common name refers to the fact that baboons often eat them, and as such, they are highly defensive against primates, including humans.

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Biologists have only discovered Hercules baboon spiders once, but they were collected in Nigeria more than 100 years ago. You can see it at the Natural History Museum in London. This East African arthropod is named for its rusty brown body that looks like a baboon. It may be the heaviest spider ever caught.

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One of the scarier giant spiders in the animal kingdom, the Hercules baboon spider is actually a venomous tarantula found mainly in Africa. This spider was once known for burrowing in grasslands and dry bushes. They have been known to build deep shelters to protect themselves from the elements.

They are said to prey on insects, bedbugs and other small spiders. They aren't the biggest spiders in the world, but if you have an arachnophobia, you don't want to come across one.

#5. Face-Sized Tarantula – 8 Inch Leg Spread

Largest Spider: Tarantula with a Big Face
Tarantulas are very docile and rarely bite.

©Anna55555/Shutterstock.com

The face-size tarantula has a leg span of approximately 8 inches. The spider, found in Sri Lanka and India, lives in old buildings and rotting wood. Its diet includes birds, lizards, rodents, and snakes that are often larger than the animal's body length.

This tarantula has daffodil yellow stripes on its legs and pink stripes around its body. Scientists didn't discover it until 2012, and biologists think that there may be more unknown arthropod species living in the northern regions of Sri Lanka. These large spiders have huge leg spans, but are still not the largest spiders in the world.

Still, it's dangerous for them to explore there due to the ongoing conflict.

#4. Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula – 10 inch leg spread

The fourth largest spider in the world is the Brazilian giant tawny red tarantula, which lives in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. The fourth leg of this brown spider can be up to 2.3 inches long, while its entire body is only 2.5 inches long.

Like other cousins in the tarantula family, this arachnid has furry darts on its abdomen to ward off predators. It possesses the ability to stop both invertebrate and vertebrate enemies, and is particularly effective against mammalian attackers.

#3. Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird Eater – 10” Leg Spread

Largest Spider: Brazilian Salmon Pink Tarantula
The Brazilian Salmon Pink Tarantula is considered semi-aggressive and active, making it suitable for intermediate to experienced keepers

©Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock.com

The Brazilian salmon pink tarantula has a 10-inch leg span, but it's not the largest spider in the world. As the name suggests, this spider lives in Brazil, but you may also see it in Argentina and Paraguay. It has a dark brown body with bright salmon spots, making its length even more intimidating.

First, the spider uses its fangs to inject venom into its prey. This venom kills its prey. It then releases fluid to partially digest the prey. Although it is not listed as endangered, its Atlantic Forest habitat is shrinking due to human development.

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#2. Goliath Bird Eater Spider – 11" Leg Spread

Largest Spider: Goliath Bird Eating Spider
The Goliath birdeater is the largest spider in the world by weight and size.

©juerginho/Shutterstock.com

The Goliath bird-eating spider is the most massive spider in the world, with a leg span of 11 inches. Scientists discovered the first arthropod in 1804. This brown to light brown arthropod lives in Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, Venezuela and Brazil. This nocturnal arthropod lives primarily in the Amazon rainforest.

It weighs between five and six ounces. While some of the largest birds have been observed feeding on smaller birds such as hummingbirds, most of their diet consists of insects and small terrestrial vertebrates. You don't usually see them feeding as they drag their prey back to their hidden nests before feeding.

#1. Giant Hunter Spider – 12” leg span

Largest Spider: Giant Hunter Spider
The world's largest spider, the giant hunter spider, is not harmless to humans but will bite if provoked.

©iSKYDANCER/Shutterstock.com

The spider with the largest leg span in the world is the 12-inch giant hunter spider. It doesn't build webs to catch prey. Instead, it hunts its prey.

While you can see hunter spiders in many different places around the globe, giant hunter arthropods only live in caves in Laos. Discovered in 2001, this arthropod has crab-like legs with twisted joints so they move like crabs.

This arthropod usually lives under rotting wood. When it spots prey, it can move up to 3 feet per second. These spiders have an elaborate mating ritual.

The female then lays as many as 200 eggs in her closely guarded sack-like cocoon. Three weeks later, when the baby spiders hatch, she helps break out the cocoons. She may spend several weeks with the spiderlings.

Even if you're not normally afraid of spiders, these 10 should be enough to scare you. They are amazing arthropods and need your help to protect their habitat. While it's understandable that you might not want any of these arachnids near you, they are all vital and fascinating parts of their respective ecosystems.

Evolution and Origin of Spiders

The evolution and origin of spiders can be traced back to the Late Devonian period about 380 million years ago, and fossil evidence points to the existence of ancient arachnids.

Over time, these early arachnids developed unique traits, such as the ability to produce silk and build webs, that allowed them to diversify and occupy a wide range of environments.

Spiders likely evolved from a common ancestor with other groups of arachnids, such as scorpions and mites, and have since made major adaptations to their anatomy, behavior, and life history to become the most successful species on Earth. One of the group of predators.

Today, there are more than 48,000 species of spiders, each with its own unique adaptations and ecological roles. Spiders play important roles in many ecosystems, as predators of insects and other small animals, and as providers of silk for a variety of purposes, including building webs for hunting, protection, and reproduction.

Top 10 Biggest Spiders In The World

rank spider leg stretch
#1 giant hunter spider 12 inches
#2 goliath bird eats spider 11 inches
#3 Brazilian Salmon Pink Tarantula 10 inches
#4 Brazilian giant tawny red tarantula 10 inches
#5 big face tarantula 8 inches
#6 hercules baboon spider 7.9 inches
#7 Columbian giant red-footed tarantula 7 inches
#8 camel spider 6 inches
#9 brazilian wandering spider 5.9 inches
#10 Arabian white horse 5.5 inches

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Maybe you think spiders are so scary that you can't look away, or maybe you just really like them. Anyway, here are some more great spider reads.

  • Flying Spiders: Where Do They Live – Can They Fly Too? Why? !
  • World's Most Venomous Spider – This monster has fangs that rival some snakes and can penetrate shoe leather.
  • Jumping Spiders: 5 Unbelievable Facts – We Know Jumping Spiders Sound Offensive, But Are These Spiders Really… Cute?