This spider was uncovered as Coffs Harbour man Frank Redward was cleaning out a back room.
This spider was uncovered as Coffs Harbour man Frank Redward was cleaning out a back room.

What a whopper: ‘It took my breath away’

"Well I didn't soil myself but it definitely took my breath away."

That's how local photographer Frank Redward described the moment the "biggest spider I have ever seen" jumped out of a box he was throwing into the rubbish bin.

Frank and his wife of 38 years Kaylene, were doing some spring cleaning at their Antaries Avenue home when he got the shock of his life.

"I've lived in the bush and seen lots of spiders but never one this big."

Kaylene, who is actually fond of spiders, took the time to admire the large specimen describing his as a 'handsome fellow'.

Frank thinks it's a huntsman.

"We've had quite a few red backs around here. They make a funny popping noise when you squash them."

And its lightning speed also fits the description.

"Gee he was fast - he leapt out of the box when I put it in the bin."

Coming to rest on the underside of the bin Kaylene suggested putting something next to it to show how big the spider was in the photograph but Frank wasn't keen to oblige.

"I can tell you he was as big as a male's handspan - about ten to fifteen centimetres across."

This spider was uncovered as Coffs Harbour man Frank Redward was cleaning out a back room.
This spider was uncovered as Coffs Harbour man Frank Redward was cleaning out a back room.

Reback facts

- Found throughout Australia.

- Only the female bite is dangerous.

- The female has the red stripe on the upper side of her abdomen.

- One of the few spider species that can be seriously harmful to humans.

 

Huntsman facts

- Huntsman spiders, are known by this name because of their speed and mode of hunting.

- Many huntsman spiders have flattened bodies adapted for living in narrow spaces.

- Thy are not considered to be dangerous.

- They have got eight eyes. Each set consists of four eyes which are set in the forward direction.