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    (Click here to return to Creatures)

    Common Name:Cane Spider
    Scientific:Heteropoda venatoria
    Size:3 to 4 inches wide
    Color:Light brown
    Habitat:Sea level to 9,000 ft
    Dangerous:No - generally timid and rarely bites

    Creepy! The Cane Spider (also known as the Large Brown Spider) is one big spider. Usually the size of a can of tuna fish, this spider has a huge body and thick hairy legs.

    The Cane Spider can be found on all the Hawaiian Islands and, as the name implies, the spider frequented the cane fields. Indeed, 4-wheeling through any abandoned cane field can result in a number of uninvited cane spiders attached to your vehicle.

    While certainly scary looking, this spider is actually quite a helpful arachnid. The Cane Spider does not spin a web, but instead hunts for food at night. Just about any insect is fair game for this spider, including cockroaches and silverfish.

    Cane Spiders are very reluctant to bite and prefer to run instead of defend. However, if sufficiently provoked the spider can bite and though rare, can inject venom. The spider's bite is small and usually does not result in any long term problems.

    Cane Spiders will often find their way into houses. While nobody wants to be startled by the sudden appearance of one of these hairy beasts, they are beneficial in the home and it is not recommended to kill the spider (either let it out or let it live in the home).

    The spider we have pictured on this page indeed came into the home where it disappeared into the bathroom only to reappear a number of times. First, when the toilet paper dispenser was rotated the spider dashed out - whoa. Second... picking up a bath towel from the floor, while stepping out of the shower, the spider jumped off the towel and dashed to the window - Eeeeek. Third, while hiding under the cupboards the spider dashed out and up over a friend's foot and up the wall - gak!

    Since the spider does not have a web the egg case is carried by the mother in her mouth for up to a month, during which time she will not eat and constantly guards the precious bundle of children.

    By the way... notice anything odd about our Cane Spider pictured here? He (or she) only has 7 legs, instead of 8 found normally on spiders. The 8th missing leg was probably lost in a battle with the cat or other local creature.

    This is the size of a tuna fish can!

    Hairy legs from the side

    Close-up of body

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    All images and content, unless otherwise indicated, are © 2004-2021 InstantHawaii / David Cook
    Nene photo in top graphics by Brenda Zaun