Huge huntsman spider caught on camera devouring entire possum

Corazon Miller

It’s the stuff of nightmares - a spider so big it can eat a possum.

A photo of a large huntsman spider devouring its mammalian meal has gone on a viral journey around the world after it was shared on the Australian Spiders Facebook page.

Justine Latton, from Tasmania, Australia, posted images of the arachnid eating the pygmy possum at Mount Field Lodge which have since been shared more than 7,000 times.

“I had no idea it would go so crazy, absolutely bananas,” she said.

She told the Independent her husband was staying at the ski lodge when he spotted the huge spider with the tiny possum between a couple of its legs - and snapped the picture.

Ms Latton, who is originally from New Zealand, said in the almost two decades she’s been living in Tasmania she’s seen a lot of huntsman spiders.

“Some bl**** terrifying. I’m no fan of the eight-legged dudes. I have never seen a spider take a mammal. I guess that’s why it’s got so much attention,” she said.

Justine Latton shared the image her husband had taken on a Facebook group about spiders (Justine Latton/Facebook)

According to the Australian Museum the spider is a type of long-legged tarantula that is commonly found in Australia.

The spider, typically, has a body length of up to 0.8 inches for a female and 0.5 inches for a male. Its leg span can reach up to 5.9 inches.

Justine Latton's husband spotted this spider devouring its prey while on a trip to a national park in Tasmania, Australia. (Justine Latton/Facebook)

The museum said the spider was often found living under loose bark on trees, in crevices on rock walls and in logs, under rocks and slabs of bark on the ground and on foliage.

“Huntsman spiders of many species sometimes enter houses. They are also notorious for entering cars, and being found hiding behind sun visors or running across the dashboard.”

It said the huntsman generally ate insects and other invertebrates.

Tasmania is home to two types of pygmy possum - the eastern pygmy and the little pygmy.

It was unclear from the photo what kind of possum the huntsman was devouring.

However, both are relatively small. The little pygmy grew in size up to 2.5 inches, whereas the eastern pygmy could grow to 4.3 inches - both at least an inch smaller than the huntsman’s legspan.