What Is A Cane Spider?
The cane spider is also known as the Brown Huntsman spider, the Sugarcane spider and the Large Brown spider. As the names imply, these large spiders frequent cane fields and are hunting spiders rather than web building spiders. While they look very intimidating, the cane spider is actually a fairly peaceful spider that will take cover and hide before attacking people. Their large size often frightens people, but these spiders are actually very useful in the home as they prey on common household pests.
The cane spider has very long legs and can be as big as five inches long. The legs are covered in course hair and have a banded pattern of gray and brown coloration. The body of a cane spider is flat and has course hairs that are gray or brown. Many of these spider specimens have a spotted pattern to the body to enhance their ability to camouflage into their surroundings.
The cane spider is most commonly found on the islands of Hawaii, which is where the species originates. However, cane spiders have been found in Asia, southeastern parts of the United States, the Caribbean, and Australia. It is thought that their expanding distribution is due largely to the spider traveling with cargo leaving the Hawaiian islands. Because they require a tropical climate to thrive, they are typically only found in areas that stay warm for the majority of the year.
The cane spider thrives in sugar cane fields, but they also like the shelter of houses and buildings where they can avoid the elements and have an unlimited supply of prey to hunt.
The cane spider species is a hunting variety of spider, unlike the majority of spiders that build a web. They survive on a wide variety of insects including beetles, cockroaches, and silverfish. They also will eat small lizards such as geckos and skinks. Many cane spiders prefer to hunt inside of homes, where they are highly beneficial to controlling pest populations. The average cane spider will eat several dozen cockroaches in a night.
When hunting, the cane spider attaches itself to a vertical surface such as a wall or the side of a cabinet and jumps down to attack its prey. Cane spiders are slightly venomous, but will retreat for safety before attacking larger animals and people. As a general rule, the cane spider will only attack a human if it is cornered and has no escape route. Because the cane spider has a very small mouth, they rarely do any serious damage to humans.
The cane spider female is the more aggressive of the genders because she is solely responsible for care of the young. As cane spiders do not build webs, the female will carry her egg sac in her mouth for the duration of a month. The egg sac can contain up to 200 eggs. Once the young spiders hatch, the female stays close by to protect them as they grow. In natural settings, these family groups often stay together, with the males, females, and young living in a colony type setting peacefully.
Cane spiders are useful spiders that should not be destroyed if at all possible. In the event you find one in your home, the best thing to do is to gently sweep it out the door with a broom. Avoid cornering the cane spider to catch it as they can jump quite a distance. A cane spider that feels threatened is most likely to bite, so avoid picking them up with your hands whenever possible. Many people in Hawaii leave these spiders in their home to help with pest infestations due to their gentle nature.