The Top 10 Biggest Spiders in the World

Written by Rebecca
Updated: November 12, 2022
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Key Points

  • The giant huntsman spider only lives in caves in Laos, and it can have a leg span up to a horrifying twelve inches.
  • The Amazon rainforest’s goliath bird-eating spider can have an eleven-inch leg span and weigh five or six ounces. It mainly eats insects, but can also prey on small birds.
  • Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater Spider lives Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, with a ten-inch leg span.
Giant Huntsman Spider
The giant huntsman spider typically lives under decaying wood. When it spots its prey, it can move up to 3 feet in a second.

©Nikhil Guhagarkar/Shutterstock.com

If you are afraid of spiders, then you may be asking, “What is the biggest spider in the world?” To determine which is the biggest, there are two factors to take into consideration. First, a spider’s body weight could determine which is the biggest. Or, you could gauge it by the body length. So based on either criteria, you could name two different spiders as “the biggest spider in the world.”

Where do the biggest spiders in the world live? The answer is that they live in many diverse locations. This list will tell you more about them, their size and where they live.

For our intents and purposes, the leg-span measurement at maturity has been used to determine the placings of the biggest spider in the world.

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#10. Cerbalus aravaensis – 5.5 inch Leg Span

Biggest Spiders: Cerbalus aravaensis
The Cerbalus aravaensis lives in an underground den with a “lifting door” made of glued sand particles so the den remains camouflaged.

©Dan Shachar/Shutterstock.com

If you travel to the sand dunes of the Arava Valley of Israel and Jordan, watch for the Cerbalus aravaensis spider. It is the biggest spider known to the area. The Cerbalus aravaensis isn’t the biggest spider in the world, but it’s close. The spider is hard to miss because its 5.5 inch leg span makes it hard to miss an object crawling that is its size. Salt mining and agricultural land conversion threaten its habitat.

This nocturnal arthropod builds homes in the sand, where it hides from its predators. These homes have trap-like doors to protect these spiders that are some of the largest spiders in the world.

#9. Brazilian Wandering Spider – 5.9 inch Leg Span

Biggest Spiders: Brazilian Wandering Spider
The Brazilian Wandering Spider is called “armed spiders” in Portuguese because their venom is a powerful weapon.

©Tacio Philip Sansonovski/Shutterstock.com

The Brazilian wandering spider is the ninth biggest spider in the world, also called the armed spiders or banana spiders, has a 5.9 inch leg span. The Guinness Book of World Records has classified this arthropod as one of the most venomous in the world, but it isn’t quite the largest spider in the world.

There are at least eight subspecies of this spider mainly lives in Brazil but also in Costa Rica to Argentina.

It is usually brown, and it may have a black spot on its belly. These are some of the largest hairy. The hairs on these big spiders often make the size of this option look even bigger. These nocturnal arthropods who live under logs dine on insects, small amphibians, reptiles, and mice.

#8. Camel Spider – 6 inch Leg Span

Biggest Spiders: Camel Spider
Camel spiders are not deadly to humans (though their bite is painful), but they are vicious predators that eat insects, rodents, lizards, and small birds.

©Ondrej Michalek/Shutterstock.com

The light tan camel spider has about a 6 inch leg span and is one of the biggest spiders. It is one of the fastest spiders as it often moves at speeds approaching 10 miles per hour.

These arthropods sometimes emit a buzzing sound, but they have no venom. They aren’t the largest spider in the world, but these big spiders are eye-catching.

These spiders living in Iran and Iraq feast on insects, rodents, lizards, and small birds. The jaws on these spiders can make up to 33% of their total body length, and they use them to clamp down on their prey.

You may have heard that these giant spiders will chase people. The fact is, they aren’t chasing you. These spiders like the shade. These spiders are chasing your shadow, not you. Camel spiders have a lifespan of about a year and only has two eyes.

Learn more about camel spiders.

#7. Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula – 7 inch Leg Span

Biggest Spiders: Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula
The Columbian giant redleg spider is considered to be one of the most beautiful spiders in the world.

©Milan Zygmunt/Shutterstock.com

The Columbian giant redleg spider has about a 7-inch leg span. This spider lives in Colombia and parts of Brazil. It has bright reddish-orange hairs on its legs.

While males live to be about 4 years old, females often live to be 20 years old. This spider species is huge, but it still isn’t the largest spider in the world.

This nocturnal arthropod is very nervous. It will spin and start bobbing up and down. If the threat does not leave, it will use the hidden thorny spikes on its back legs in the direction of the danger.

These big spiders will finally use its fangs to bite its victim.

#6. Hercules Baboon Spider – 7.9 inch Leg Span

Biggest Spiders: Hercules Baboon Spider
Hercules Baboon Spider’s common name refers to the fact that baboons often eat them, and as a result, they are highly defensive towards primates, including humans.

©Www.universoaracnido.com / Creative Commons – License

Biologists have only found the Hercules baboon spider one time, but they collected it in Nigeria over 100 years ago. You can see it in London’s Natural History Museum. This East African arthropod takes its name from the fact that its rusty-brown body looks like a baboon. It may be the heaviest spider ever captured.

As one of the scarier big spiders species in the animal kingdom, this Hercules Baboon Spider is in fact a venomous tarantula that was found mainly in Africa. This spider was once known to make burrows in grasslands and dry scrubs. They were known to make deep shelters to protect themselves from the harsh weather.

They were said to prey on insects, bugs, and other small spiders. They aren’t the biggest spider in the world, but you wouldn’t want to run into one if you have a spider phobia.

#5. Face-size Tarantula – 8 inch Leg Span

Biggest Spiders: Face-size Tarantula
Tarantulas are quite docile and rarely bite people.

©Anna55555/Shutterstock.com

The Face-size tarantula has about an 8 inch leg span. This spider found in Sri Lanka and India lives in old buildings and decaying wood. Its diet consists of birds, lizards, rodents, and snakes that are often bigger than this animal’s length.

This tarantula has daffodil-yellow banding on its legs and a pink band around its body. Scientists did not discover it until 2012, and biologists think there may be even more unknown arthropod species living in the northern area of Sri Lanka. These big spiders have a massive leg span, but still isn’t the largest spider in the world.

Still, it is dangerous for them to explore there because of the ongoing conflict.

#4. Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula – 10 inch Leg Span

The fourth biggest spider in the world is the Brazilian giant tawny red tarantula, which lives in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina. The fourth leg on this brown spider can be up to 2.3 inches long while its whole body is only 2.5 inches long.

Like its other cousins in the Tarantula family, this arachnid’s abdomen is lined with hairy darts to ward off predators. The kind it possesses are capable of giving foes of both the invertebrate and vertebrate variety pause, and can be especially potent against mammalian attackers.

#3. Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater Spider – 10 inch Leg Span

Biggest Spiders: Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater Spider
The Brazilian salmon pink birdeater spider is considered to be semi-aggressive and active and is for intermediate to experienced keepers

©Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock.com

The Brazilian salmon pink birdeater spider has a 10 inch leg span, but isn’t the largest spider in the world. As the name suggests, this spider lives in Brazil, but you may also see it in Argentina and Paraguay. It has a dark brown body with bright salmon blotches on it making its length look even more intimidating.

First, this spider uses its fangs to inject venom into its prey. This venom kills the prey. Then, it releases fluid to digest the prey partially. While it is not listed as endangered, its Atlantic Forest habitat is constantly shrinking because of human developments.

#2. Goliath Bird Eating Spider – 11 inch Leg Span

Biggest Spiders: Goliath Bird Eating Spider
The Goliath birdeater is the biggest spider in the world by weight and body-size.

©juerginho/Shutterstock.com

The goliath bird-eating spider is the largest spider in the world by mass, and has an 11 inch leg span. Scientists discovered the first one in 1804. This brown-to-light-brown arthropod lives in Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, Venezuela, and Brazil. This nocturnal arthropod lives mainly in the Amazon rainforest.

It weighs between five and six ounces. While people have observed a few of the largest ones eating small birds, like hummingbirds, most of their diet consists of insects and small terrestrial vertebrates. You will not usually see one dining because they drag their prey back to their hidden nests before eating.

#1. Giant Huntsman Spider – 12 inch Leg Span

Biggest Spiders: Giant Huntsman Spider
The world’s biggest spider, the Giant Huntsman Spider, are not harmless to human, but will bite if provoked.

©iSKYDANCER/Shutterstock.com

The largest spider in the world by leg span is the giant huntsman spider coming in at 12 inches. It does not build a spiderweb to catch its prey. Instead, it hunts its prey down. While you can see huntsman spiders at many different worldwide locations, the giant huntsman arthropod only lives in caves in Laos. This arthropod discovered in 2001 has crablike legs with twisted joints, so they move like a crab.

This arthropod typically lives under decaying wood. When it spots its prey, it can move up to 3 feet in a second. These spiders have an elaborate mating ritual. Then, the female lays up to 200 eggs in a sack-like cocoon that she guards fiercely. After three weeks, when it is time for the spiderlings to hatch, she will help tear the cocoon open. She may stay with the spiderlings for several weeks.

Even if you are generally not afraid of spiders, these 10 are big enough to scare you. They are amazing arthropods that need you to help protect their habitat. Even though you probably don’t want any of these arachnids anywhere near you understandably, they are each a crucial and fascinating piece in their own ecosystem.

Top 10 Biggest Spiders in the World

RankSpiderLeg Span
#1Giant Huntsman Spider12 in
#2Goliath Bird Eating Spider11 in
#3Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater Spider10 in
#4Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantula10 in
#5Face-Size Tarantula8 in
#6Hercules Baboon Spider 7.9 in
#7Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula7 in
#8Camel Spider6 in
#9Brazilian Wandering Spider5.9 in
#10Cerbalus aravaensis5.5 in

Up Next…

Maybe you find spiders so scary that you can’t look away, or maybe you genuinely love them. Either way, here are some more great spider reads.


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Biggest Spiders
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About the Author

My name is Rebecca and I've been a Professional Freelancer for almost a decade. I write SEO content and graphic design. When I'm not working, I'm obsessing over cats and pet rats.

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