Aussie Huntsmans belong to the Sparassidae family and are known as the furry so-called ‘tarantulas’ on house walls that terrify people by darting from behind curtains.
Many huntsman spiders have rather flattened bodies adapted to live in tight spaces under loose bark or rock crevices.
This is aided by their legs which, instead of bending vertically in relation to the body, have rotated the joints so that they spread forward and laterally in a crab-like manner.
Huntsman spiders live under loose bark on trees, in crevices on rock walls and in logs, under rocks and bark slabs on the ground, and on foliage.
Dozens of the social hunter species, Delena cancerides, can be seen together under bark on dead trees and stumps (particularly wattles), but they can also be found on the ground under rocks and bark slabs.
Huntsman spiders of many species sometimes enter homes. They are also notorious for breaking into cars and being found hiding behind sun visors or running across the dashboard.
The female skua produces a flat, oval egg sac of white papery silk and lays up to 200 eggs.
She then puts it under bark or a stone and keeps watch for about three weeks without eating.
In some cases, the female may wet the egg sac and tear it open, revealing her spiderlings.
The mother stays with them for several weeks.
Young Huntsman spiders are pale. They go through several molts while still with their mother, hardening to a darker brown and eventually dispersing.
Huntsman spiders, like all spiders, molt to grow and often their old skin can be mistaken for the original spider when seen on bark or in the home.
The lifespan of most Huntsman species is about two years or more.
Source: Australian Museum