The huntsman spider, Heteropoda venatoria, is a large brown spider of the Sparassidae family found in Florida. It is sometimes mistaken for the brown recluse. A non-native species, it is believed to have been introduced to Florida from Asia.
As they are cold-sensitive, the huntsman is much more prevalent in southern counties of the state that are not subject to freezing temperatures. The spider gets its name from its tendency to chase down victims with its great speed rather than using a web to catch prey. They are commonly found near sheltered areas. However, they are not necessarily considered a nuisance by homeowners, as they feed on roaches and other domestic pests.