Q:

What is the world's biggest spider?

A:

Quick Answer

The giant huntsman spider, discovered in Laos in 2001, has a legspan of up to 1 foot, which makes it the largest spider in the world by diameter, according to livescience.com.

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Full Answer

The giant huntsman exhibits a pale yellow-brown body color with irregular dark spots on the back. The long legs, typical in huntsman spiders, have wide dark leg bands before the first curve. Like other members of the family Sparassidae, the spider walks like a crab in a twisting motion. For this reason, a common nickname for huntsman spiders is crab spider.

Huntsman spiders possess forward-facing eyes in two rows of four. They are given their name because they hunt their food, which consists of insects and small lizards. Members of the Sparassidae family use venom to immobilize their prey and aid in digestion of their food. Females are protective of their egg sac and will offer a threat display if aroused.

Despite the huge size, the giant huntsman is not dangerous to humans although it can deliver a painful bite if it feels threatened. Because of their pale coloring and the fact that the eyes have not reduced in size, scientists believe the giant huntsman's preferred habitat is cave entrances.

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