Florida Cane Spider
The cane spider has different names to address it in different regions such as giant crab spider, banana spider, large brown spider, and brown huntsman. They are usually inhabitants of subtropical climates and are believed to have made their way into the US in containers of banana shipments from the Central American regions. Unlike traditional spiders, they are not in the habit of weaving webs. Rather, they stalk their prey, capture them and hold them down with their large, powerful fangs.
What do they look like?
The Great Hawaiian Cane spider is usually large and flat-bodied with a couple of rows of eyes and long, hairy legs. Their bodies measure around an inch in length while the leg span reaches out to 5 inches in width. These creatures are mostly brown in colour while a cream-colored band encircles the top of their backs. The legs are covered with black spots or bands. The male cane spiders can be distinguished from the females by their longer legs and pale patches behind the eyes. The females usually have a larger abdomen.
Where can they be found?
The American states of Hawaii, California, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, the Caribbean Islands, a number of Southeast Asian countries, and Australia are some of the places where you are likely to come across the cane spider. Forests, banana and avocado groves, and sugarcane fields are their likely habitats and you can find them in abundance at these addresses. They are pretty shy and generally prefer hiding under barks and inside tree holes.
The cane spiders are totally intolerant towards cold temperatures. Their flat body is capable of fitting in through tiny cracks that allows them to enter greenhouses, outbuildings, heated garages, and homes in search of warmth during winter. Now you know why you get so many unwelcome guests at your residence as soon as the temperature drops!
How and when do they reproduce?
The breeding period of the cane spider runs round the year. After mating, the female cane spider spins a white egg sac around an approximate 200 eggs. This egg sac is carried by her under the body which hampers her smooth mobility. After a span of around three weeks, the egg sac is torn open by the mother spider and pale baby spiders start to emerge out of it.
For several weeks after this hatching period, the mother spider stays alongside the babies. The baby spiders undergo numerous moulting sessions during this period. The average lifespan of a cane spider is not more than two years.
Their relationship with humans
Cane spiders are nocturnal beings. While they hunt during the night time, in the morning hours you will find them hiding under furniture and behind wall hangings in your home. Don’t be surprised if you find one peeping out from behind the sun visor in your car. I admit, their larger-than-life size can frighten the life out of the bravest of human beings.
A cane spider may bite but the bite will be small, though you are going to experience a severe bout of pain. You may also experience a headache. Don’t get all excited, this does not indicate that the first real-life Spiderman is in the making! These spiders produce only a very small amount of venom that is not harmful to humans and this is a result of the same.
Cane spiders love feasting upon cockroaches. This is one reason why many cultures are unusually welcoming towards them in their homes.