Morni Wildlife (Arachnids): Giant Crab Spider

Giant Crab Spider/ Golden Huntsman (Olios giganteus) a large light brown spider with a leg span of over 2 inches (females are larger). It gets its name ‘crab’ from its ability to move sideways. It can climb smooth vertical surfaces with ease. A tropical species, it is found in a variety of habitats- under rocks, in dwellings etc.  Its flattened body allows it to hide in narrow cracks during the day. The legs are  ‘twisted’ so that they are oriented horizontally rather than vertically making the spider even ‘flatter’. It emerges at night to hunt on insect prey and relies upon its speed to trap it. Its bite is painful though not dangerous to humans.

A nomadic spider that wanders in search of prey. The female settles down for egg laying and spin a large bag within which they create an egg pouch. Females do not feed during the month long incubation period as they guard the egg pouch.

The name ‘Olios’ is a cult name for Apollo the Greek God of light, prophecy,healing and the deadly plague! ‘Giganteus’ is Greek for ‘giant’.

Giant Crab Spider, Tikkar Cottage, Rasoon (Courtesy KS Bains)