The natural home of the Tasmanian devil, the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world, is also home to some pretty massive, meat-eating spiders. Tasmania’s own Justine Latton has the pictures to prove it.
Latton and her husband, Adam, were on a road trip to the Mt. Field National Park last weekend when they spotted the giant huntsman spider dangling from a fixture on the wall. More impressive was that the huntsman was feeding on a pygmy possum dangling from its mouth. That’s when she snapped these photos.
Now it’s granted that pygmy possums are tiny, tree-dwelling marsupials and by no means a comparison with Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, or koalas.
But let’s be clear: a spider was eating a possum! A bug was eating a mammal!
That’s pretty ridiculous, but hey, that’s Australia.
Husband and wife stumble across a spider eating an entire POSSUM https://t.co/7DN4dyuqa5
— Daily Mail Australia (@DailyMailAU) June 17, 2019
“Pygmy possums are quite common up there,” Latton told Epoch Times. “We reckon the spider probably just saw an opportunity and went for it! It was one of the biggest huntsman spiders he’d ever seen.”
After the incredible encounter, Latton posted the photos on the Tasmanian Insects and Spiders Facebook page, where it quickly garnered a viral reaction. In total, the social media post racked up thousands of likes, comments, and shares to date.
Clearly impressed by the huntsman’s huge undertaking, some of the people on social media shared comments of admiration:
“Whoa that’s one strong spidey!” wrote Fiona.
“That’s the biggest Huntsman spider I have ever seen,” commented Jill.
“Welcome to Australia haha,” joked Shanelle.
— LADbible (@ladbible) June 18, 2019
The eastern pygmy possum (which is what this possum is believed to be) is an endangered family of small possums. According to Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Services, they grow to be between 5 and 6.5 inches long, and weigh a mere 7 grams (approx. a quarter of an ounce), Ladbible reported. Still, that’s much bigger than practically all spiders that we’re used to.
Things are a little different down under, though, where wildlife has a reputation for being over the top in size and appetite.
The photo soon became news in mainstream media worldwide, and viewers ate it up.
“OMG what a once in a life time photo opportunity … I would be so freaking excited if I were lucky enough to witness this … not scary at all just interesting … Thanks for the share of such an epic photo!!” Emma commented on the Facebook post.
And this is hardly the first time giant huntsman spiders from Australia have gone viral—far from it. In 2018, a huntsman was witnessed on the outside of someone’s glass doors while chowing down on a gecko in Queensland.
A similar instance of a giant huntsman outside the glass (also in Queensland, where I’ll never be going) was so massive that it scared the home owner’s cat, Ladbible wrote.
Perhaps one of the largest huntsman spiders ever found and photographed made its social media appearance in 2015. An animal rescue volunteer insisted on saving a dinner-plate-sized huntsman, and named it Charlotte, before removing it from a farmhouse with a broom. Charlotte was then released to safety in a nearby shed … where the owners will probably avoid going for the rest of their lives!
Beautiful Charlotte the spider, one of my best rescues yet :-)To answer some of your questions:She is a Huntsman…