Unknown arthropod Inverteb rate of Central
Africa and Australasia.
Physical description: Huge spider.
Distribution: Democratic Republic of the
Congo; Papua New Guinea.
Significant sightings: R. K. Lloyd and his wife
were motoring in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo in 1938 when they saw a large object
crossing the trail in front of them. At first, they
thought it was a cat or a monkey, but they soon
realized it was a spider with legs nearly 3 feet long.
An Australian soldier, on patrol along the
Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in the fall
of 1942, claims to have run across a spider the
size of a puppy dog that had spun a 10- to 15-
Present status: The largest known living spider
is the Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) of
northern South America, a tarantula with a 13-
inch legspan and a body length of 3.5 inches.
Other big species are the Brazilian salmon tarantula
(Lasiodora parahybana) and the Brazilian
tawnyred (Grammostola mollicoma), both with
legspans of 10 inches. The largest known fossil
spider was Megarachne servinei, a 16-inch-long
giant with a legspan greater than 20 inches that
lived in San Luis Province, Argentina, 300 million
years ago, during the Carboniferous period.