Rain Spider

The Rain Spider – Palystes superciliosus (Palystes castaneus occurs from Cape Town to the Langeberg), are the large spiders, often referred to as “tarantulas“, that cause havoc by entering buildings during summer or before rain. They were previously listed as dangerous, but for humans, the venom is in fact no worse than a bee sting. They occur usually in vegetation but sometimes occur in the home. These spiders are also know as Huntsman Spiders. Rain spiders range in size from 15 – 40 mm. This measurement is body length – omitting leg span. Once they unfold their legs they can span up to around 100 mm – that’s a BIG spider! It is really nice to know that they are harmless to humans.

Rain Spider

A shot of a different Rain Spider, this time found walking on a window. Take a real close look at those nasty fangs. She was finishing the remains of meal she had caught. This one had a freshly prepared nest in the bush right next to the window she was sitting on, obviously keeping a watchful eye on the surrounding dangers.

Rain Spider


  1. Norman Larsen

    Hi Sean,
    I would still love to visit the Eastern Cape some time to photograph spider and meet all you folk.
    The spider on pics is a female Palystes superciliosus. P. castaneus occurs from Cape Town to the Langeberg.


  2. Sean Allen (Post author)

    Thanks Norman, It would really be great to meet you for sure, I shall fix that information on these pics. Many thanks for your input.

  3. bethc

    hi Sean, i saw what looked like a rain spider in the Barkly East area, but it had a really bright orange underbelly with white spots. any idea what it could be?

    1. Sean Allen (Post author)

      Sorry Beth, cannot be completely sure what that could be.

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