Arizona is home to a number of frightening and strange arachnids, but most people are familiar with only a few well-known spiders, such as the two major celebrities of the deadly spider world, the iconic black widow spider and the brown recluse. Those aren’t the only scary spiders you want to watch out for, however. One of the more frightening-looking spiders that calls Arizona its home is the Giant Crab Spider, the sight of which causes most people to jump back in alarm and fear, even though they are relatively harmless to humans.
The fright factor with this spider lies mostly in its large size. The Giant Crab Spider is one of the largest spiders in the area, with a leg span reaching 2 to 2 ¼ inches. It is by far the largest spider that is found in people’s homes. They are medium to light brown in coloring. These spiders get their name from the way they move their legs, extending them at right angles to their bodies and using them to walk rapidly sideways, similar to the movement of a crab. While this spider may be large, it is extremely agile, able to climb fairly smooth vertical surfaces, which is how it gets high up on your walls and even ceiling. It is usually the sight of these giant spiders perched high up on your walls that causes most people to jump out of their skin in fright.
These spiders do not build a web to catch their prey, but are instead what is called hunting spiders. Giant Crab Spiders use their perfectly designed flattened bodies to hide during the day inside narrow cracks or fissures, making them almost impossible to spot. They wander around at night in search of prey, relying on their speed to eventually catch their dinner. Indian House Crickets are apparently a favorite snack of theirs. Giant Crab Spiders are not generally aggressive towards humans, but if threatened, may bite. While not dangerous to humans, their bite is reportedly still quite painful.
Have you ever spotted a Giant Crab Spider inside your house? How did you immediately react at the first sight of it and why?