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Aussie Researcher Discovers Huntsman Spiders Like To Live Together

Aussie Researcher Discovers Huntsman Spiders Like To Live Together

Huntsman spiders are a pretty common sight in Australia.

While they might seem terrifying because of their size and typical spider appearance, they're relatively harmless and usually do a good job a keeping insects at a minimum in your house.

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Most people are familiar with that one huntsman that sits in the corner of the roof or somewhere else. What they're not used to seeing a goddamn extended family sitting on top of each other like this.

Credit: Angela Sanders
Credit: Angela Sanders

That was the sight greeting Aussie researcher Angela Sanders when she was investigating timber habitat boxes set up for pygmy possums in Western Australia.

Ms Sanders found dozens of huntsman spiders crowded in one corner and after a bit of investigating she concluded that they're likely all from the same family.

"On lifting the lids of some, we found many huntsman spiders of all sizes whizzing around inside," she told the ABC.

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"We now know that they're a species of huntsman that live together, normally under the bark of a tree. In the restored area, tree bark is in short supply at present and they've found the wooden boxes suitable.

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"A single adult female lays eggs and the successive generations of siblings help each other out and share prey items. This has several advantages for the spiders, including faster growth. They're also heavier and healthier."

I will be the first to say that this sight is an absolute, unequivocal, undeniable nope.

Credit: Angela Sanders
Credit: Angela Sanders

Imagine opening a goddamn timber box and seeing dozens of those terrifying looking spiders just chilling out and growing and living.

Thankfully though, this isn't common for the typical huntsman spider that you find in your home. In Western Australia alone, there are 94 species of huntsman and this type of behaviour has only been observed in this specific species.

Curtin University spider expert Leanda Mason also told the ABC that this is unusual behaviour in the spider world.

"Most spiders do look after their spiderlings [but only] until they're old enough to go out by themselves," she said.

"The [huntsman] mother and her offspring will hang out. There's generally one reproductive female, [and] as the other females approach adulthood, they leave or get eaten."

Well, that's a sigh of relief knowing that spiders don't typically like to have the whole family round for a fly or insect roast on a Sunday but it will still be difficult to get the images above out of our heads.

Featured Image Credit: Angela Sanders

Topics: News, Animals, Australia

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.