Delena cancerides

Delena cancerides

''Delena cancerides'', the flat huntsman spider or social huntsman spider, is a large, brown huntsman spider native to Australia. It has been introduced to New Zealand, where it is sometimes known as the Avondale spider as they are commonly found in the suburb of Avondale, Auckland. This was the species used in the beginning of the movie ''Spider-Man'' and widely in ''Arachnophobia'', but it is generally considered harmless to humans. It was first described by Charles Athanase Walckenaer in 1837.
Sociable Delena cancerides Just when you thought Australia couldn't get any more intriguing, hey - how about....sociable spiders! These arachnids prefer to hang out in groups and co-operate to pool their powers of exploiting resources that would elude a solo player. The colony will take on larger prey, which I think is the driving force behind the sociability. Research has documented birds, bats and very large insects being taken down.
Only 25 or so spider species out of the total 46,000 worldwide behave this way, such as these Huntsman from here in Australia. How cool is that?! A shot of a grouping, in a friend's private breeding programme. Body length 25 mm Araneae,Australia,Delena cancerides,Geotagged,Macro,Sparassidae,Spider,arachnid,fauna,invertebrate,new south wales


Male ''D. cancerides'' have a body length of 20–25 millimetres , while females are larger, with a body length of 25–32 mm . The body is light brown and covered in dense, fine hairs. The legs are also hairy, and can have a span up to 20 centimetres .

Various populations show major differences in the chromosomes, leading to the recognition of several "chromosomal subspecies", but these hybridize where in contact and there is little genetic divergence.
Delena cancerides These spiders do not construct webs. They are nomadic hunters and in the wild can be found hiding under tree bark. Huntsman occasionally find themselves inside the house where they provide fantastic, natural pest control! 

Male, body length 30 mm. Leg span 12 cm.  Araneae,Australia,Delena cancerides,Huntsman Spider,Macro,Sparassidae,arachnid,arthropod,fauna,invertebrate,summer


The species is found all over Australia, including Tasmania. It was introduced to New Zealand in 1924. Its range in New Zealand expanded slowly out of Avondale, a suburb of Auckland, hence the alternative New Zealand common name. There is a sculpture in the Avondale shopping centre celebrating the spider.
Huntsman Live exhibit in Northern Victoria Australia,Delena cancerides,Geotagged,Victoria,Wyperfeld National Park,animal,spider


Highly unusual among spiders, the flat huntsman spider is a social species, even sharing prey. They are often found under loose bark in colonies up to 300, but they are highly aggressive and commonly cannibalistic toward members from other colonies. They hunt their food rather than spin webs for it. They are timid towards humans and bites are infrequent, and when they occur, symptoms are usually very minor.


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SpeciesD. cancerides
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