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Top 20 Biggest Spiders in the World

With more than 45,000 species discovered, spiders are among the most diverse and often feared creatures on our planet. In this guide, we will traverse the globe to meet the 20 biggest spiders in the world. These colossal arachnids, predominantly tarantulas, represent some of the largest you could encounter, yet they also include a few non-tarantula species worth noting.

Contrary to common fears, many of the world’s biggest spiders are strikingly beautiful. Their size, ranging from minute to massive, doesn’t necessarily correlate with danger levels, although their larger fangs can deliver more painful bites. So, let’s embark on this journey to learn about the 20 biggest spiders in the world and the fascinating reasons they captivate our attention.

Biggest Spiders in the World

1. Mexican Red-Kneed Tarantula 

Mexican Red Knee Tarantula (Brachypelma hamorii)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae 
  • Scientific Name: Brachypelma hamorii
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 5 to 7.62 cm (2 to 3 in.)  
  • Lifespan: 25 to 30 year 
  • Average Price Range: $45 to $80

The Mexican red-kneed tarantula is one of the largest spider species in Mexico. This spider lives in mountain ranges, making their home in burrows. A vulnerable species, being captured in the wild and the destruction of their habitat are reasons they have lost some of their natural population.

Mexican red-kneed tarantulas have black coloring, and are extremely hairy. They are named after the orangish, red markings that appear on the joints of their legs. This spider has large fangs, and while their venom is not dangerous their bites can lead to infection if not properly treated.

Crickets, roaches, frogs, lizards, and rodents are some of the things this spider eats. Tropical forests, and deserts are habitats they live in. Predators like tarantula hawks are what prey on this spider.

2. Texas Brown Tarantula

Texas Brown Tarantula (phonopelma hentzi)
Texas Brown Tarantula (phonopelma hentzi)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae 
  • Scientific Name: Aphonopelma hentzi
  • Other Names: Arkansas Chocolate Tarantula, Missouri Tarantula 
  • Adult Size: 11.9. to 14.9 mm (4.7 to 5.9 inches)  
  • Lifespan: 10 to 40 year 
  • Average Price Range: $60 

Texas brown tarantula are one of the biggest spiders in the United States. This species is mainly found in the southern states, and like other tarantulas spend most of their lives in their burrows. Females live up to 40 years, spending their life underground. Males rarely live more than a year in the wild, and are sometimes seen wandering for a mate.

Named after their brown coloring, this spider has a robust body, and is very hairy. The shades of brown this spider appears in may vary, but after they molt their color becomes more distinct. Texas brown tarantulas can weigh up to 3 oz (85 g.)

The entrance of this spider’s burrow is typically surrounded by silk, in a hammock pattern. Male and females look similar, but females are slightly larger. Females lay up to 1,000 eggs, which hatch in around 2 months.

3. Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula

Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula (Grammostola porteri)
Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula (Grammostola porteri)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Grammostola porteri
  • Other Names: Chilean Red-haired Tarantula, Chilean Fire Tarantula
  • Adult Size: 8.89 to 12.7 cm (3.5 to 5 in.)
  • Lifespan: 20 years 
  • Average Price Range: $65 to $170

The Chilean rose hair tarantula is native to Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Desert, and scrub habitats are places they live. Elevations between 0 to 4,921 ft. (0 to 1500 m.) above sea level are where they are found. Like other tarantulas this spider lives in burrows that are either premade by other animals, or built by them.

Brown to black is the base color of this tarantula, and like their name suggests they are covered in rose-colored hairs. Their hair colors can vary from grayish to pinkish. Its size and color are why they are popular pets. Chilean rose hair tarantulas have been captured in mass within the wild, and they are one of the most common species in pet stores.

While this spider spends most of its life in their burrows, they may leave their homes to look for food or a mate. Grasshoppers, moths, small lizards, mammals, and roaches are some of the foods they eat. To defend himself they have urticating hairs, or use their venom, which is not very dangerous to humans.

4. Israelis Desert Huntsman

Israelis Desert Huntsman (Cerbalus aravaensis)
Israelis Desert Huntsman (Cerbalus aravaensis) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Sparassidae
  • Scientific Name: Cerbalus aravaensis
  • Other Names: Giant Crab Spiders
  • Adult Size: 14 cm (5.5 in.)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 2.5 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

Huntsman spiders are one of the biggest spiders in the world.Cerbalus aravaensis is one of the largest members of the Sparassidae huntsman spider family, and they were only recently described in 2007. This species lives in Jordan, and southern Israel, inhabiting deserts.

Large in size, this spider has tan to white coloring. Large black bands appear on their joints, as well as dark markings on the tip of their feet. This species is nocturnal, and lives in dens underground. They rely on the Sands of Samara, and if those sand dunes were to be eliminated this spider would be as well.

5. Honduran Curly Hair Tarantula

Honduran Curly Hair Tarantula (Tliltocatl albopilosus)
Honduran Curly Hair Tarantula (Tliltocatl albopilosus)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Tliltocatl albopilosus
  • Other Names: Curly Hair Tarantula
  • Adult Size: 14.5 cm (5.8 in.)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $30 to $100

The Honduran curly hair tarantula are native to Honduras, and Costa Rica. They are one of the biggest spiders in the world, but are also a common pet. This burrowing spider lives in rainforest, and jungle habitats.

Having a plump body, this spider has dark coloring. When young this spider is lighter colored, but they darken with age. Males also have a lighter coloring, and a much shorter lifespan of around 5 years. Thick hairs cover this spider’s body, which gives them a silver, or golden hue.

The rainy season in their habitat is when this spider mates. Females lay between 300 to 500 eggs, which incubate for 7 to 8 weeks, needing a temperature of 75°F to 80.6°F (24 to 27°C). Now a common pet, the Honduran curly hair tarantula is at threat to habitat loss, and is losing its populations in the wild.

6. Trinidad Chevron Tarantula

Trinidad Chevron Tarantula (Psalmopoeus cambridgei)
Trinidad Chevron Tarantula (Psalmopoeus cambridgei) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Psalmopoeus cambridgei
  • Other Names: Trinidad Chevron Tree Spider
  • Adult Size: 11 to 14 cm (4.3 to 5.5 in.)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

Like their name suggests the Trinidad chevron tarantula is native Trinidad in South America. This spider builds silk tubes in crevices behind barks, or plants to live in. The venom this spider possesses is used as a source of psalm toxin, and vanillotoxin, which are used for therapeutic treatment for stroke patients. This spider is arboreal, living mostly near trees.

The Trinidad chevron tarantula is one of the largest in the world, and is sexually dimorphic. Males are slightly smaller, and reach full maturity in less than a year. Females are larger, and this spider varies from greenish, to dark brown in color. A chevron pattern appears on their abdomen, and they are very hairy.

Trinidad chevron tarantula feed on things like bats, lizards, grasshoppers, mice, and insects. They create up to two sacs when mating, which contain up to 100 to 150 eggs each.

7. Golden Huntsman Spider

Golden Huntsman Spider (Beregama aurea)
Golden Huntsman Spider (Beregama aurea) – source
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Sparassidae
  • Scientific Name: Beregama aurea
  • Other Names: Giant Crab Spider
  • Adult Size: 15 cm. (5.9 in.)
  • Lifespan: 2 to 2.5 years
  • Average Price Range: $15

The golden huntsman spider was once the largest huntsman spider species before the discovery of the giant huntsman. This spider is named after its golden yellow coloring, and is one of the biggest spiders in the world. This species is native to Australia, found in Queensland and areas in New South Wales.

Golden huntsman spiders are nocturnal, and spend their nights hunting for small animals like roaches, crickets, spiders, and other small invertebrates. This spider is docile, and if frightened they flee. This large spider is not dangerous to humans. Their flat bodies allow them to squeeze into the crevices of cars or doors.

8. Goliath Pink Toe Tarantula

Goliath Pink Toe Tarantula (Avicularia braunshauseni)
Goliath Pink Toe Tarantula (Avicularia braunshauseni)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Avicularia braunshauseni
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 15.24 to 17.78 cm (6 to 7 in.)
  • Lifespan: 7 to 12 years 
  • Average Price Range: $100

The goliath pink toe tarantula is native to Brazil in South America. This spider is one of the biggest in the world, and while kept as pets by some they are not as common as other tarantulas because of their rarity. Goliath pink toe tarantulas are the largest in their genus.

The toe pads of this spider have a pinkish color. They have a dark gray, or black coloring, with pinkish or brown hairs covering them. This spider has thick legs, and similar to other new world tarantulas, urticating hairs appear on them, which stick into predators that harass them. Goliath pink toe tarantulas’ larger size and elegant colors make them a unique pet.

9. Brazilian Wandering Spider

Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria fera)
Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria fera) – source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Ctenidae
  • Scientific Name: Phoneutria fera
  • Other Names: Banana Spiders,  Armed Spiders
  • Adult Size: 18 cm (7 in.)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years 
  • Average Price Range: $100

Along with being one of the most dangerous spiders, the Brazilian wandering spider is also one of the biggest. This species lives in South America, found in Peru, Brazil, Guyana, Colombia, and Suriname. Brazilian wandering spiders are nocturnal, preferring areas with lots of vegetation.

Brazilian wandering spiders have brown, or gray coloring. They may appear with spots on their abdomens, and can also have black and yellow bands on their legs. The chelicerae of this spider have reddish orange coloring, and when ready to bite they pose with their front legs up.

Brazilian wandering spiders have powerful neurotoxic venom, and is considered by some to be the most venomous spiders in the world. Heavy sweating, swelling, fever, and drooling from their bites can occur, and their bites can cause death within hours.

10. Mysore Ornamental Tarantula

Mysore Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria striata)
Mysore Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria striata) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Poecilotheria striata
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 16 to 18 cm (6.2 to 7 in.)
  • Lifespan: 4 to 12 years
  • Average Price Range: $75

The Mysore ornamental tarantula is named after its unique color, and markings. Thid spider is arboreal, found in moist and dry woodlands. They typically live at elevations between 500 to 1000 m (1640 to 3280 ft.) above sea level. This species lives in the southern parts of India, and are considered a vulnerable species due to their dwindling populations and natural habitats.

The color of this spider is grayish, and they have white and black markings on them, with a purplish hue. This spider has thick hairs covering all over them. The venom from this spider is considered medically significant, and their bites can cause intense pain.

11. Colombian Giant Tarantula

Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula (Megaphobema robustum)
Colombian Giant Redleg Tarantula (Megaphobema robustum) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Megaphobema robustum
  • Other Names: Colombian Giant Redleg 
  • Adult Size: 15.24 to 20.32 (6 to 8 in.)
  • Lifespan: 4 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $50 to $100

Tropical rainforest in Colombia and Brazil is where the Columbian giant tarantula lives. This species makes its home near logs, and other vegetation. They are a shy species that, if seen, may become aggressive. They are terrestrial, and one of the biggest spiders in the world.

This New World tarantula is dark black, with orange hair on its legs, and abdomen. Their hairs are brightly colored, and they have a velvety appearance. The Colombian giant tarantula feeds on animals like grasshoppers, small lizards, and even mice. Because of their shy nature this spider is quicker to bite than other species.

12. Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula

Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula (Grammostola pulchripes)
Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula (Grammostola pulchripes)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Grammostola pulchripes
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 7 to 8 in. (17.7 to 20 cm)
  • Lifespan: 5 to 25 ears
  • Average Price Range: $40 to $100

Grasslands in Argentina and Paraguay are where the Chaco golden knee tarantula lives in the wild. This species is able to survive warm, dry, and rainy environments. This species is also kept as a pet, and is known for its calm and docile nature. Their larger size, and striking colors are what make them popular tarantula pets.

The chaco golden knee tarantula is a heavy spider, with dark black coloring. They have yellowish stripes that appear on their legs, and pinkish hairs covering their bodies. Chaco golden knee tarantulas get their name from the golden coloring on their legs. This spider has rudimentary eyesight, relying on vibrations on chemical signatures to sense prey, and mates.

13. Giant Baboon Spider

Giant Baboon Spider (Hysterocrates gigas)
Giant Baboon Spider (Hysterocrates gigas) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Hysterocrates gigas
  • Other Names: Red Baboon Tarantula, Cameroon Red Baboon Spider
  • Adult Size: 20 cm (8 in.)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 25 years 
  • Average Price Range: $75

East Africa is where the giant baboon spider lives. This species is a burrowing spider, building intricate burrows. They live in subtropical habitats, needing humidity, and are found in rainforest. Giant baboon spiders are nocturnal. This spider’s venom is not considered medically significant to humans, but those who are sensitive to their venoms may feel nausea after being bitten.

Giant baboon spiders have brown, to orangish coloring. They have a very robust body, and are covered in small velvety hairs. This spider uses vibrations to detect animals that get near their burrow. Along with their bites, giant baboon spiders are able to create a stridulation sound by rubbing their femurs together.

If kept as pets this spider can be kept in an aquarium, while younger spiders can be kept in wax worm tubs until they grow older. This species is very slow growing. Prey like beetles and roaches are wheat they eat. Beginning may occur if provoked, but this spider prefers to flee.

14. Hercules Baboon Spider

Hercules Baboon Spider (Pelinobius muticus)
Hercules Baboon Spider (Pelinobius muticus) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Pelinobius muticus
  • Other Names: King baboon
  • Adult Size: 20.3 cm (8 in.)
  • Lifespan: 20 years 
  • Average Price Range: $40 to $200

In Africa within Tanzania and Kenya is where the king baboon spider lives. This species was first discovered in 1885, and today they are a popular tarantula kept as a pet. This spider lives in grasslands, and shrublands. They are a burrowing spider, using prey to detect nearby to eat that passes their burrow.

Hercules baboon spiders are not deadly to humans despite their large size. They are aggressive, and are not for beginner spider keepers since they are quick to bite. This robust species has a dark brown coloring. Their bites are venomous, which can cause pain and itchiness for several days.

15. Face-sized Tarantula

Face-sized Tarantula (Poecilotheria rejeaei)
Face-sized Tarantula (Poecilotheria rejeaei) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Poecilotheria rejeaei
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 20 cm (8 in.)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a 

The face-sized tarantula is one of the biggest spiders in the world, and is a type of tarantula native to Sri Lanka. Its species name is in reference to the Greek derivatives “poikilos’ ‘ which means spotted, and “therion” which translates to wild beast. This spider was first discovered in 2009, and was later described in 2012.

Large in size, this species is extremely rare, and not seen often. They  have gray or yellowish coloring, with bands, and white markings on their legs. This spider has pink abdominal bands. Areas with old growth trees are where they prefer to live.

Due to war and the destruction of their habitat this spider is not seen often. They now make their homes in old abandoned buildings. This spider’s venom is not dangerous to humans. They feed on small rodents, lizards, snakes, and insects they come across.

16. Brazilian GIant Tawny Red Tarantula

Brazilian GIant Tawny Red Tarantula (Grammostola anthracina)
Brazilian GIant Tawny Red Tarantula (Grammostola anthracina) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Grammostola anthracina
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 23 cm (9 in.)
  • Lifespan: 25 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

The Brazilian giant tawny red tarantula is one of the biggest species in the world. This spider was first described in 1842, and there have been countless changes in their classification. The most recent change was done in 2011, when they were put in the genus of Grammostola. This tarantula lives in Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.

The large spider of this species is dark brown to black, and is covered in reddish hairs. Like other tarantulas they have urticating hairs, located on the upper side of their abdomen. Bites from this spider are not fatal to humans, and their venom is mainly used to kill small prey.

17. Singapore Blue Tarantula

Singapore Blue Tarantula (Omothymus violaceopes)
Singapore Blue Tarantula (Omothymus violaceopes) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Omothymus violaceopes
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 25 cm (9.8 in.)
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $50 to $150

One of the biggest and most unique spiders in the world is the Singapore blue tarantula. This species is native to Malaysia, and Singapore. They are arboreal, and prefer arid, or semi-arid conditions. If kept in captivity this spider should have vegetation for it to climb.

Named after their blue coloring, their blue hue covers their large legs, and abdomen. This hairy spider has a golden, or brown colored carapace. They have large fangs, and are not an ideal tarantula for beginners since they can be aggressive.

Beetles, roaches, mice, birds, and crickets make up this spider’s diet. The venom from this spider causes symptoms like msucle aches, headeaches, and pain in the region bit, and one should be caution around this large spider.

18. Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater

Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater (Lasiodora parahybana)
Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater (Lasiodora parahybana)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Lasiodora parahybana
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 28 cm (11 in.)
  • Lifespan: 15 years 
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $100

The Brazilian salmon pink birdeater is native Brazil, specifically the Paraíba region. They are one of the biggest spiders in the world, and their docile nature makes them a good pet. Brazilian salmon pink bird eaters are also popular pets because of their amazing colors, and their tendency to stay out in the open.

This spider is capable of weighing more than 100 grams. Males are smaller, have thinner bodies. Brazilian pink salmon tarantulas have a dark brown coloring, and are named after the pink hairs that cover their bodies.

While bold in nature, this species is not aggressive, and gets more docile with age. Like other tarantulas they have barbed hairs on them, and also have large fangs to deliver a painful bite. Birds, small mammals, lizards, and insects are prey they regularly eat in the wild.

19. Giant Huntsman Spider

Giant Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda maxima)
Giant Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda maxima) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Sparassidae
  • Scientific Name: Heteropoda maxima
  • Other Names: n/a 
  • Adult Size: 30 cm (12 inches)
  • Lifespan: 2 years
  • Average Price Range: $30

Out of all the members of the Sparassidae family, the giant huntsman spider is the largest of them all. They also have the longest leg span of any spider, getting up to 1 ft. Giant huntsman spiders live in Laos, and are a type of cave dwelling spider.

The majority of this spider’s size comes from its legs, but they still have a large body length of around 1.8 in. (4.6 cm). Giant huntsman spiders have yellowish brown coloring, with dark bands on their leon legs. Like other similar species they have a flat body.

Cannibalism is common for the giant huntsman, and it is also common for females to feed on males when mating. Like other huntsman spiders this species is not dangerous to humans, and they are named after their adept hunting ability.

20. Goliath Birdeater

Goliath Birdeater (Theraphosa blondi)
Goliath Birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) – source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Scientific Name: Theraphosa blondi
  • Other Names: Goliath Tarantula 
  • Adult Size: 28 cm (11 in.)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 25 years
  • Average Price Range: $150

The goliath bird eater tarantula is the largest spider in the world. This species lives in northern South America, and is a terrestrial spider. They do not feed on birds often despite their name, feeding on terrestrial animals like small rodents, lizards, other spiders, and insects they find.

Goliath bird eaters are very robust, and have tan to dark brown coloring. This spider weighs up to 175 g. (6.2 oz). When threatened this large spider is able to create a sound to ward off predators, and also has urticating hairs which can irritate humans.

Goliath birdeater tarantula large fangs can leave a painful bite, but their venom is similar to that of a wasp. Deep burrows in marshes and swampy regions are where this spider lives. Their large size makes them an edible spider, and their taste is described as being similar to shrimp.

FAQ

How can spiders be measured?

The spider’s size on this list is measured by their leg span, and their size is calculated by the distance between the tip of their front leg, to the tip of their back, recorded diagonally. Spiders are also measurable by their body size, which is typically measured from the top of their cephalothorax, to the end of their abdomen. 

What are the largest types of spiders?

Tarantulas are the largest spiders in the world, and as of 2022 there have been around 1,040 species identified. Despite their large size most tarantulas are harmless to humans, and are even great pets for beginners looking to keep larger spiders as a pet. Their easy care routine, and tranquil nature make tarantulas good pets.

What is the smallest spider in the world?

Males of the Patu digua species hold the record for being the smallest spider in the world, having a body length of only 0.37 mm. (0.014 in). These spiders are native to Columbia. Smaller than the size of a pin, they are small enough to fit on the tip of your finger without getting noticed.

Wrapping up

Spiders come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. With new spiders being discovered regularly, there may be several large species waiting to be found. The biggest spiders in the world are mainly tarantulas, but other large spiders include huntsman spiders, and wolf spiders. Some of the largest tarantulas also make great pets.

Spiders of all sizes live across the globe, and it is estimated only around 100 species have venom considered medically significant to humans, with even less being responsible for the death of a human. You can probably find someone who is terrified of spiders, and maybe it is even you, but the majority of spiders you find are harmless. Whether big or small, these silk spinning eight-legged arthropods are always interesting to learn about.

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