David Bowie spider (Heteropoda davidbowie)

GenusHeteropoda (1)
SizeMale length: 1.5 - 1.8 cm (2)
Female length: 2.1 - 2.5 cm (2)
Top facts

The David Bowie spider has yet to be classified by the IUCN.

The red-brown body of the David Bowie spider (Heteropoda davidbowie) has a pattern of dark patches and lines and is covered in distinctive, bright orange hairs, which are also present on each of this spider’s appendages. The rear section of the body has a vivid red line along the centre, which is surrounded by similarly coloured hairs (2).

The underside of the David Bowie spider is black, as are its hairless mouthparts (2).

The female David Bowie spider is similar to the male in appearance, but its colour can vary between grey and red-brown and the ringed pattern on its legs is more conspicuous, with dark spots across the brighter areas. There are also six large red areas on the rear section of the upperside of the body (2). As with all spiders, it can be assumed that the female David Bowie spider is larger than the male (3).

The body of all species in the genus Heteropoda is almost as wide as it is long, and the upperside of the body is almost flat (4).

The David Bowie spider is found in western Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Sumatra, and may also inhabit parts of southern Thailand (2).

The adult David Bowie spider is usually found in trees, whereas the juvenile mostly lives on the forest floor within leaf litter, or on shrubs (2).

Members of the Heteropoda genus are usually very good hunters, with powerful mouthparts (4). As with all spiders it may be assumed that this species is carnivorous and its main prey is insects and other spiders (3).

All spiders begin life as eggs, which are usually enclosed in a silk egg sac to protect them from temperature fluctuations and parasites. Once hatched, young spiders undergo around 4 to 12 moults before becoming fully grown adults (3).

There are not currently thought to be any major threats to the David Bowie spider.

There are not known to be any specific conservation measures currently in place for the David Bowie spider.

Find out more are about the David Bowie spider:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life (August, 2012)
  2. Jäger, P. (2008) Revision of the huntsman spider genus Heteropoda Latreille 1084: species with exceptional male palpal conformations from Southeast Asia and Australia (Arachnida, Araneae, Spassidea, Heteropodinae). Senckenbergiana biologica, 88: 239-310.
  3. O’Toole, C. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Insects and Their Allies. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  4. Barrion, A.T. and Litsinger, J.A. (1995)Riceland Spiders of South and Southeast Asia. CAB International, Oxford.