Olios giganteus have very large chelicerae, in both the males and females.
This is an image of a mature male. Four eyes are visable but there are
four more behind and slightly further back on the carapace (head region).
The pedipalps (2 short leglike appendages) of male spiders each have a
pad, or palp, with a claw at the end, which are used for mating. Further
down this page are several images of a female whose pedipals are
slender all the way to the end.
This male Olios giganteus was found in a cardboard box that had been stored in the garage for a while. At being disturbed he took cover under the truck and hid for a few hours. It was a comedy to see my husband and I trying to catch the speed demon. This guy can really "fly." His legs are very long and he stays quite flat as he runs surprising fast for cover. After several tries at catching him, we decided to spray him with water to slow him down. We moved the truck slowly and the Olios decided to take his chances on the now wet concrete where we captured him post haste.
It was going to be tricky to photograph this specimen, due to his incredible
speed. Chilling a spider can put it in a state of tupor, or suspended animation,
of. Twenty minutes in the freezer was too long... he expired. But it
was sure easier to get these shots.
He looks so clean and fuzzy,
Heteropodidae (Giant Crab Spiders)Olios giganteus
This female was photographed in mid-June with her brood corralled in her sac. This is a medium sized giant crab spider, they can get twice as large as this one, sometimes more. Olios giganteus can live for several years, Marjorie Moody had one for a pet that lived for two years. The spider would come out and roam her office all day and go back to it's sac to sleep. It would always seal itself securely into the sac. The sac material is thin, strong and tightly woven. It took a very sharp pair of scissors to cut through this sac... I was unable to break through with a stick or pocket knife. She was not aggressive in any way while the caretaker's wife (Frances) and I (I. Lindsey) performed this indiscreet act. Notice those ferocious looking dark chelicerae - there are fangs hidden in there and I did not want to see how effectively she could use them in defense of her brood. All the while the spiderlings obediently stayed inside the sac.
Left is the abandoned sac of a rather large Olios giganteus spider. In the spring you may see many of these sacs scattered about the preserve. This means that the spiders have come out of hibernation and are looking for food, and very likely, a mate.