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Cane Spider

Rutuja Jathar
The cane spider, also known as the brown huntsman spider, is a large, tropical species of spiders. Read on to know more about this fascinating arachnid...
Spiders are carnivorous arthropods that belong to the class Arachnida. There are more than 40,000 species of spiders, which are classified into more than 109 families. Most spiders spin silk with help of the spinnerets that are located at the tip of their abdomens. The cane spider is a relatively non-aggressive spider, and is not at all dangerous to humans.


This spider is also known by several other names, like sugarcane spider, brown huntsman spider, etc. Its binomial name is Heteropoda Venatoria.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Arachnida
Order Araneae
Family Sparassidae
Genus Heteropoda
Species H. Venatoria


It is a large and long-legged spider, with a hairy and flattened body. It possesses grayish-brown banded legs, with the body colored either gray or brown. They have four pairs of eyes. The average size is around 8-10 cm. They are mottled with interesting spots that help them hide from their predators as well as prey.

Habitat and Distribution

The species is native to Hawaii. Along with their native place, they are also found in several parts of Asia, Southeastern parts of the US, Caribbean, Mascarene Islands, and most parts of Australia.
This species is mainly found living in sugarcane farms, (which led to its name). These spiders are notorious in some regions for hiding behind sun visors and on the dashboard of vehicles.


The most interesting thing about this species is that they don't build webs. They dwell in the cervices of barks and keep on roaming in search of their prey. They forage for their prey by ambushing it at night. Their diet generally includes insects and other invertebrates; while cockroaches are their favorites. They also hunt small skinks and geckos.


They can travel extremely fast due to their springy jumps. They tend to cling to your hands if they are picked up. That is why they are difficult to be thrown, and therefore, are more likely to bite you!
The female is more aggressive when it comes to protecting eggs or her babies. Cane spiders mostly demonstrate a threat and in case of ignorance, they might bite you. Fortunately, they are not poisonous, and as a result, there are no recorded cases of casualties due to bites.


The female lays an oval-shaped egg sac, which consists of around 200 eggs. This sac is generally secured under barks, which she guards for about three days. A recent study revealed that male spiders make a distinct sound when they feel that a female of their species is somewhere nearby.
They have a long period of courtship, and the males rarely get attacked by the females after mating (as is the norm among spiders). As a matter of fact, many are found to be peacefully living together in colonies, which is relatively rare.
There are incidents when cane spiders were found inside homes, in quest of prey. But, they are not as scary as they seem to be. They prefer to run away instead of biting you. So, just give them a clear route of escape, and simply let them take it.