The World’s Ten Biggest Spiders

Determining the world’s ten biggest spiders was done by considering leg span only. Each of the spiders noted will have a clickable link (that opens in a separate screen) contains additional details.

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Biggest spider
Cerbalus aravaensis Biggest spider of Middle east from Arava valley eat gekko Stenodactylus doriae. Photo credit:

Biggest spiders in the world # 10: Cerbalus aravaensis.

Cerbalus aravaensis, a huntsman spider from the Sparassidae family with a leg span of 5.5 inches, is the largest spider in the Middle East. However, with no fancy common name, it remains virtually unknown outside of Israel and Jordan.

Cerbalus aravaensis. is a scarce species of spider found only in the Arava region in Israel and Jordan. The Middle East’s version of the huntsman spider is a strictly nocturnal sand dweller. It is active only in the hottest temperatures and resides in sand dunes and the somewhat stable sand around the edges of salt marshes.

Cerbalus aravaensis constructs underground dens with a hinged, trap-door structure that covers the opening made of sand and glue. Using native materials, the door disguises the den’s entrance from prey and predators.

The nature preserves of the Sands of Samar are the last remaining dunes in the southern Arava region of Israel and the only home to Cerbalus aravaensis. But even these sanctuaries are disappearing. The re-zoning of some areas for sand quarries, agricultural purposes, mining projects and airports on the Sands of Samar may begin again, making it likely the Cerbalus aravaensis perishes from the world.

Related: Read more about the Cerbalus aravaensis.

9th biggest spider in the world
Brazilian wandering spider (family Ctenidae, genus Phoneutria) eating a cockroach in the nature. Photo credit: Ara.

9th biggest spider in the world: Brazilian wandering spider.

The Brazilian wandering spider (often called the banana or armed spider) is a member of Phoneutria genus of spiders from the family Ctenidae. Primarily found in South America and Central America, they frequently survive within fruit shipments to emerge in non-native regions.

Brazilian wandering spiders can have leg spans over 5.9 inches and bodies as long as 2 inches. Usually gray and brown, with a few species having light-colored spots on the abdomens, most have distinctive yellow and black or white ventral bands on the bottom of their two front legs.

The Brazilian wandering spider is most easily identifiable for its classic defensive posture. It’s the habit of rearing up on its back legs and displaying the colored ventral bands on its two front legs. Once in this position, the Brazilian wandering spider sways from side to side (like a knife fighter) with both hind legs cocked and ready to strike.

Related: Read more about the Brazilian wandering spider.

8th biggest spider in the world
Egyptian giant solpugids (Galeodes Arabs), wind scorpion or camel spider macro shot close up in the united arab emirates in the middle east. Photo credit: Photos

8th biggest spider in the world: Camel spider.

Camel spiders are Solifugae (Latin for”those who fell from the Sun”), an order of animal in the call of Arachnida. There are over 1,000 species, and they are commonly known as sun spidersand wind scorpions—even though they are neither true scorpions nor spiders.

They have a leg span of 6 inches.

Camel spiders are primarily nocturnal and flee from the sun.

Camel spiders reside in arid climates and feed on other insects and small mammals. While most commonly found in Middle Eastern deserts, camel spiders live in the southwestern United States and Mexico as well. Camel spiders are primarily nocturnal and flee from the sun.

Camel spiders have an average body length of two inches but can be much larger or smaller. They consist of two central morphologically distinct regions: The cephalothorax and the abdomen. Camel spiders, like all solifuges, lack the connecting tube between these two regions and the spinnerets and silk of other spiders.

At first glance, camel spiders appear to have ten legs, but the two other “legs” are actually pedipalps and act as sensory organs.

Related: Learn more about the camel spider.

7th biggest spider int he world
Colombian giant redleg tarantula. Photo credit:

7th Biggest spider in the world: Colombian giant redleg.

The Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula (Megaphobema robustum) is a tropical rainforest tarantula and one of nature’s prettiest spiders.

Colombian giant redlegs are terrestrial (staying on the rainforest floor and preferring to burrow), and their orange and black colored legs, large size, and heavy body serve as a visual warning to predators. However, attackers who ignore these visual cues will find this tarantula has a few more tricks up its sleeve.

Related: Read all about the Colombian Giant redleg tarantula.

6th biggest spider in the world
King baboon spider. Photo credit:

Biggest spiders in the world # 6: King Baboon spider.

The King baboon spider (Pelinobius muticus) is a solidly built, velvet-covered, rusty brown to orange (copper-hued) tarantula with shiny black fangs and curved back feet.

It has a leg span of up to 8 inches (with males being smaller, slenderer, and hairier than females). 

In defense, they will rear up on their back legs and strike if needed. They are also one of the few tarantulas known to use stridulation ( by rubbing the femurs of the legs together) to produce a warning buzz-like sound.

King Baboon spiders are native to East Africa, including Tanzania and Kenya. They use the cover of the vegetation found in grasslands and shrublands to protect their burrows.

Their burrows have silk lines near the entrance that detect passing pores, such as other spiders, roaches, beetles, and other bugs. They dig these burrows with their strong back legs and curved rear feet.

Biggest spiders in the world #5
Face-size tarantula. Photo credit: Natalia.

Biggest spiders in the world #5: Face-size tarantula.

The face-size tarantula has been named “Poecilotheria rajaei.” Indeed, despite its size, this may be the most remarkable thing about this spider. It is rare for an arachnid to be named after someone other than its discoverer. 

While the actual discovery of the face-size spider is attributed to Ranil Nanayakkara, he graciously gave credit to another man. The story is that Ranil was given the corpse of a dead tarantula measuring a leg spoon of about 8 inches by a villager in 2009.

The size, pink band below its abdomen, and yellow markings on its legs did not match up with any known tarantula he had previously seen. It took a lot of hard work to find more samples (juvenile and female) of the species and local experts to help to navigate the forest.

That assistance came from Police Inspector Michael Rajakumar Purajah. With his help, Ranil could finally locate a secure living specimen. In return, Ranil named the spider after Inspector Purajah.

Related: Read more about the Face-size tarantula.

4th biggest spider in the world
Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula. Photo credit: Olsen

4th biggest spider in the world: Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula.

The Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula (Grammostola athracina) is a large, mostly brown spiderwith reddish-orange or pinkish hairs. It can grow to have a leg span of 10 inches. Mature males 

Brazilian Giant tawny red tarantulas possess thick legs and large abdomens, and their carapace becomes more massive and defined when they reach adulthood. 

The females produce about 130-250 eggs per sac and will remain nearby when the spiderlings are hatching to assist them in exiting the sac.

The Brazilian giant tawny red tarantula is found in the deserts, grasslands, and scrublands of Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina.

It feeds on small insects, roaches, crickets, mice, small lizards, and frogs.

Related: Learn more about the Brazilian Giant tawny red tarantula.

3rd biggest spider in the world
Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantula (Lasiodora parahybana). Photo credit: Wrangler.

Biggest spiders in the world #3: Brazilian pink salmon bird-eating tarantula.

Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating tarantulas are native to northeastern Brazil. They are primarily found near the Atlantic forest region of the country.

Males have smaller bodies but longer legs, spanning as wide as 11 inches. Females are bulkier looking than slender males and can weigh over two ounces as adults.

At maturity, these tarantulas are uniformly black with pinkish-red hairs on their abdomens, mouths, and legs. The pinkish color is more vivid in males.

Males have tibial hooks on their front two legs that they use to hook onto and hold back the female’s fangs when mating.

Related: Learn more about the Brazilian pink salmon bird-eating tarantula.

2nd biggest spider in the world
Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) belongs to the tarantula family Theraphosidae. Found in northern South America, it is the largest spider in the world by mass and size. Photo credit: Zygmunt

Biggest spiders in the world #2: Goliath Birdeater.

The Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) is covered in black to a brownish color with conspicuous spines on the third and fourth pair of legs. While it is the 2nd largest spider in the world with its 11-inch leg span, it is the most massive spider in the world.

Goliath Birdeaters have eight legs and four appendages (two near their mouths and two pedipalps). The jaw (chelicerae) has two fangs that fold under the Goliath birdeater’s body. Therefore, to strike an attacker or victim, the spider must rear up on its legs and strike downward.

Goliath birdeaters are native to northern South America, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana. They reside in rainforest regions and live under roots, tree stumps, and rocks in silk-lined burrows.

There is no proof Goliath birdeaters eat birds—that was just an unconfirmed rumor. However, they eat large insects, small lizards, mice, and frogs.

Related: Learn more about the Goliath Birdeater.

The biggest spider in the world
Giant huntsman spider. Photo credit: Guhagarkar

#1 biggest spider in the world: Giant huntsman spider.

The first discovery of this species was in 2001 in a cave in Laos. The Giant huntsman’s spider is about a foot wide, and most of the width comes from its leg span. 

The giant huntsman spider is often mistaken for a tarantula. However, a quick peek at the legs (a huntsman spider’s legs are splayed out) shows they look more like crab’s legs than a tarantula’s.

Indeed, much like a crab, the giant huntsman’s legs have twisted joints. These joints allow the spider to scuttle from side to side, like a crab. The spider’s legs are also very long compared to their body, allowing them to twist forward in a crab-like fashion.

The giant huntsman spider’s color is yellowish-brown, with several scattered dark spots on the rear half. Its legs are brown or gray and banded.

Males have longer legs, and females have larger bodies. 

Related: Learn more about the Giant Huntsman spider.

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Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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