Spiders are one of the most fascinating creatures on earth, known for their incredible ability to thrive in almost all kinds of habitats. They can be found in almost every corner of the globe except extreme altitudes like mountain peaks and polar regions.
Depending on where they live, the size of spiders can vary greatly. The common house spiders found in the dark, moist corners of our home are approximately less than a quarter of an inch in size and harmless. On the other hand, the biggest spider in the world measures around 12 inches in size.
Fun Fact: There are over 48,000 known species of spiders and around 250,000 species that have not been discovered yet.
So, What Is The Biggest Spider In The World?
You may remember that in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry, and Ron meet Aragog, a giant spider and a friend of Hagrid’s who lives deep within the forbidden forest.
Well, the spider we are going to talk about here is not as large or magical, but just like Aragog and his family, it also feels at home in dark forests. We feel sure that Hagrid would have loved a member of this spider species as his pet, just like Aragog.
But if you are like Ron and have arachnophobia, then you should learn all about the biggest spider in the world and try your best to avoid them.
So, what’s the biggest spider in the world? The Goliath Birdeater is considered the biggest spider in the world on the basis of its weight. Before you can google ‘biggest spider in the world size,’ let us tell you that the Goliath Birdeate weighs around 175 g or 6.2 ounces and can measure up to 11 inches in length.
Here are some more interesting facts about the biggest spider in the world.
The Amazon rainforest in northern South America is the native habitat of the Goliath Bird-eating spider. This includes northern Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, and Venezuela.
These giant tarantulas can generally be found living on swampy forest floors. As they are nocturnal creatures, they hide out during the day, either under a log or by burrowing underground.
2. Food Habits
Are you curious to know what the biggest spider in the world 2021 eat?
Goliath Bird eaters mostly feast on invertebrates like worms and large insects, as well as lizards, mice, snakes, and frogs. Despite their name, they rarely eat birds, even though they are large enough to do so.
The name ‘Bird eater’ actually comes from a Victorian-era engraving of a tarantula of a different species preying on a hummingbird.
3. Defense Mechanism
When a Goliath Bird-eating spider feels threatened, it begins rubbing the hair on its first and second pair of legs to create a hissing sound. This sound is quite loud and can be heard from a distance of 15 feet. This behavior is known as stridulation.
Goliath tarantulas also throw sharp hairs (known as urticating hairs) at any would-be predators that approach it even after it makes the hissing noise. The hairs, after coming into contact with any part of the predator’s body, can cause itching and other discomfort.
The lifespan of a female Goliath spider and a male Goliath spider differ greatly.
A male goliath bird eater lives for around 3 to 6 years and dies within a few months after mating. On the other hand, the life of a female Goliath spider can span up to 20 years.
Goliath tarantulas are solitary creatures and only come together to mate with the opposite gender. In order to mate and reproduce, goliath spiders first need to go through a process called molting. During the molting process, tarantulas shed their old exoskeleton and grow a new one.
A male goliath spider develops a body part called ‘finger’ below its first pair of front legs after its maturation molt. The males use this ‘finger’ to attach and lock themselves onto the female’s fangs during mating.
After mating, the females weave a web and lay around 50-200 eggs. After finishing laying the eggs, the female goliath spider wraps them all into a ball and carries them in her egg sac. Egg sacs can hold around 70 spiderlings at a time.
6. Hunting Style
Goliath Bird-eating spiders are nocturnal creatures and begin prowling for prey after the sun goes down. But these massive tarantulas don’t spin webs to trap their prey. Instead, a Goliath Bird eater waits for its prey to cross its path and then pounces on it at the right moment.
They use their fangs to inject venom into the prey and then drag it back to its burrow to feast on it. Despite being one of the biggest spiders in the world, the Goliath bird eater does not pose any threat to human beings.
The venom in its fangs can instantly kill or paralyze an invertebrate or a small creature like a mouse, for humans, it is equal to a wasp sting.
Do you know?
The Goliath Bird eating tarantula has eight eyes but very poor eyesight. However, their modified leg hair enables them to sense vibrations in the air or on the ground and be warned of any danger approaching them.
At A Glance:
Let’s check out some information about the biggest spider in the world 2022 editon at a glance:
|Habitat||Swampy rainforests of South America|
|Weight||Up to 175 g (6.2 oz)|
|Length||Around 11-12 inches|
|Lifespan||Up to 20 years for female; 3-6 years for male|
Now that you know a bit more about the world’s biggest spider, what are your views about them? Do you still think they are scary or do you find them to be interesting creatures?
Do you know that Goliath Bird Eaters are not the most biggest spiders in the world?
Rather, they share that title with other species of spiders like the giant huntsman spider, Brazilian salmon pink birdeater, Colombian Giant tarantula, Indian ornamental tree spider, and lots more.
Do you think you would like to know more about these big spider species? Tell us in the comments below.