One man in Australia seems to have discovered the key to making eight-legged friends—crickets.
A video taken in Sydney shows a man hand feeding a cricket to a large Huntsman spider while it perches atop his hand. The close-up shows the normally skittish spider grasping a cricket in its jaws and slowly devouring it. The spider can be seen moving around in dance-like circles as it wraps the cricket, immobilized by its venom, in silk.
There are 94 known species of Huntsman spiders in Australia. They frequently appear inside people's homes, where they scurry out from behind furniture, cabinets, or wall hangings.
Huntsman spiders are often confused with tarantulas, but they belong to a different family called Sparassidea, which exist throughout the world.
In the U.S., they were introduced into subtropical regions in Florida, Texas, and California, and in the coastal areas along Georgia and South Carolina, where they now occur natively.
They sometimes make their way farther north into the U.S. and the U.K. when they accidentally hitch a ride on a shipment of fruit. In fact, Huntsman spiders are sometimes called banana spiders for their propensity to appear on their namesake fruit shipments.
With over 3,500 species of known spiders, Australia is no stranger to arachnids.
In October of last year, a video emerged showing an enormous Huntsman spider dragging a mouse up a wall and trying to eat it.
If caught, Huntsman spiders are sometimes kept as pets. The spiders, while not typically aggressive, will bite if provoked or threatened. Pet blogs for Huntsman spider owners recommend keeping the arachnids in terrariums with cork bark and rocks and providing them with enough vertical space on which to climb.
While the arachnids may have an intimidating appearance (their leg span can reach 3 to 5 inches) their bites are relatively harmless. With the exception of an allergic reaction, their venom is not fatal to humans and feels more akin to a bee sting.