Olios giganteus, face of adult maleOlios giganteus

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.

Olios giganteus cephalothorax and dorsumThis 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, sort of. Twenty minutes in the freezer was too long... he expired. But it was sure easier to get these shots.

notice dark pads on pedipalps
This view of the underside of the spider shows his pedipalps (short leg-like appendages with dark pads), endites and labium (the brown speckeled structures behind the chelicerea), sternum (the heart shaped chest area), the coxae of legs (where the 8 legs connect to the sternum), and the upper portion of the venter (underbelly).

He looks so clean and fuzzy,
you almost want to rub his tummy!

Olios giganteus, male

Olios giganteus, female with brood
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.
Olios giganteus with tape measure
This mature female Olios giganteus is a real beauty. She was captured in late November in Visalia by a young lady. She was startled at the size of this spider, with the legs spread out, they can be well over 3" wide. Notice how much broader her abdomen is compared to the male.

below - Her fangs are fearsome!fearsome fangs

Olios giganteus, from the top
The body length is a full inch long

below - Here you can see all eight eyes

underside of female spider
face of female Olios giganteus

left - Notice the pedipalps are slender all the way to the end. This is the quickest way to determine the sex of a spider. Then you can look for the egg opening in the venter(belly).

Olios giganteus sacLeft 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.

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