Heteropoda variegata

Picture ID 56788

Picture of Heteropoda variegata - Male - Dorsal

Comments & ID Thoughts

I went to visit Turkey and in this cave 'Dim Magarasi Cavern' (near the exit), I came across this spider?. This picture was lit by flash as otherwise there would be a red color due to the lighting in the cave system. It was a big spider (my guess would be up to 20-25 cm), sitting motionless on the rocks and had lost two of its legs. I read about cave spiders but would love some feedback.

  • Submitted by: 
  • Submitted: Apr 13, 2019
  • Photographed: Mar 12, 2019
  • Spider: Heteropoda variegata
  • Sex: 
    Sex icon
  • Maturity: 
  • Location: Alanya, Turkey
  • Spotted Indoors: Other
  • Found in web?: No
  • Attributes: Dorsal
Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hi. This is a male huntsman spider, Sparassidae family. Looks Heteropoda genus.
Not unusual to find them just inside caves. The Heteropoda maxima was discovered in a cave in Laos, largest spider by legspan.
That light pyramid just above the eyes on top over dark is consistent with Heteropoda venatoria, but not a confirmation of species.


Hi. First, IDing spiders from photos can be difficult to impossible, but where there is enough detail to see features, this can be narrowed to conclusion. For this, I can only make a suggestion. Firt thin I see to tell gender of the species is the enlarged embolus on the pedipalps,Means this is penultimate or adult male. supporting that is the pattern on the carapace. A dark background with a light pyramid based just behind the eyes. I often see a dark ‘pac-man’ on a light carapace. Females lack this. The abdomen proportions are often smaller compared to females.Another thin… Read more »


One of the resources we use online is the World Spider Encyclopedia. Someone also summarized the species and general ranges from it to Wikipedia. If you search a genus on Wikipedia, either in the text or under “species,” you’ll find the summarized info. We also recommend Bugguide.org. All of my reference books are for North America and Europe, I don’t know what to recommend for your area. We have other site members from Turkey that might have suggestions. A lot of this is just memorizing a set of information about key physical features of each family, genus, and species. Some… Read more »


Tentatively Heteropoda variegata based on general appearance and location. New species for this site. Thanks for sharing. 🙂