Home / Huntsman Spiders / Rain (Palystes superciliosus)

Rain (Palystes superciliosus)

The common rain spider as it is called belongs to the family of huntsman spiders mostly found in the various provinces of South Africa.

Rain Spider

Scientific Classification

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: These spiders are 15mm to 36mm in length, also having a leg span of about 110mm.

Color: Like most other species of the huntsman family, the prominent shades they come in may be brown or even grey. The underside of their legs have bands of black and yellow.

Rain Spider Size

Eggs

The egg sac is round, made using silk, protected with leaves and twigs. The female takes 3 to 5 hours in constructing these egg sacs and guards them till the spiderlings are hatched from it.

Spiderlings

They remain in the protective shell of their mother for about 3 to 4 weeks after hatching and then they leave their shelter to be on their own.

Baby Rain Spider

The Web

Not much information is available regarding their web, but in this regard they could take after other species in the huntsman spider family and not build webs but hunt around for food.

Does the Rain Spider Bite and Are they Poisonous

An experiment was conducted in 1959 to see if its venom had a dangerous effect or not. For this purpose, it was made to bite the nose of a matured guinea pig, and the animal died in seven minutes. This incident deduced the fact that its venom had harmful effects. However, another experiment was conducted where the guinea pig was anesthetized and this caused no casualty. Hence, it was concluded, the animal in the first instance died of shock and not poisoning. Its effect on humans is not said to be harmful, with the bite being equivalent to a bee sting resulting in swelling and burning sensation which would get better in a few days.

Rain Spider Picture

Quick Facts

Lifespan Approximately 2 years
Distribution Throughout South Africa ranging from the KwaZulu-Natal (east); Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West (north); Western Cape, Easter Cape (south)
Habitat Scrublands and woodlands
Common Predators Pompilid wasp (that is known to paralyze the spider by stinging them), and birds
Diet Crickets, lizards (mostly geckos), cockroaches, moths, and other large-sized insects
Rain Spider Image

Did You Know

  • Ludwig Carl Christian Koch, famous German arachnologist described this species for the first time in 1875.
  • It is often known to be seen just before the rains set in, which might be the reason behind its name.
  • The mother rain spiders are extremely protective about their little ones while constructing egg sacs and are known to have bitten a lot of gardeners during this phase when the latter may have tried to disturb them.

Image Credits: Upload.wikimedia.org, Alchetron.com, Api.ispotnature.org, Photobucket.com

The common rain spider as it is called belongs to the family of huntsman spiders mostly found in the various provinces of South Africa.

Rain Spider

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: These spiders are 15mm to 36mm in length, also having a leg span of about 110mm.

Color: Like most other species of the huntsman family, the prominent shades they come in may be brown or even grey. The underside of their legs have bands of black and yellow.

Rain Spider Size

Eggs

The egg sac is round, made using silk, protected with leaves and twigs. The female takes 3 to 5 hours in constructing these egg sacs and guards them till the spiderlings are hatched from it.

Spiderlings

They remain in the protective shell of their mother for about 3 to 4 weeks after hatching and then they leave their shelter to be on their own.

Baby Rain Spider

The Web

Not much information is available regarding their web, but in this regard they could take after other species in the huntsman spider family and not build webs but hunt around for food.

Does the Rain Spider Bite and Are they Poisonous

An experiment was conducted in 1959 to see if its venom had a dangerous effect or not. For this purpose, it was made to bite the nose of a matured guinea pig, and the animal died in seven minutes. This incident deduced the fact that its venom had harmful effects. However, another experiment was conducted where the guinea pig was anesthetized and this caused no casualty. Hence, it was concluded, the animal in the first instance died of shock and not poisoning. Its effect on humans is not said to be harmful, with the bite being equivalent to a bee sting resulting in swelling and burning sensation which would get better in a few days.

Rain Spider Picture

Quick Facts

Lifespan Approximately 2 years
Distribution Throughout South Africa ranging from the KwaZulu-Natal (east); Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West (north); Western Cape, Easter Cape (south)
Habitat Scrublands and woodlands
Common Predators Pompilid wasp (that is known to paralyze the spider by stinging them), and birds
Diet Crickets, lizards (mostly geckos), cockroaches, moths, and other large-sized insects
Rain Spider Image

Did You Know

  • Ludwig Carl Christian Koch, famous German arachnologist described this species for the first time in 1875.
  • It is often known to be seen just before the rains set in, which might be the reason behind its name.
  • The mother rain spiders are extremely protective about their little ones while constructing egg sacs and are known to have bitten a lot of gardeners during this phase when the latter may have tried to disturb them.

Image Credits: Upload.wikimedia.org, Alchetron.com, Api.ispotnature.org, Photobucket.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *