Chinese Hourglass Spider

Chinese Hourglass Spider (Cyclocosmia ricketti)

Are you ready to be mesmerized by one of nature’s most enchanting creatures? Prepare to enter the captivating world of the Chinese Hourglass Spider, also known as Cyclocosmia ricketti. This arachnid will leave you spellbound with its unique appearance and intriguing habits. Join us on an adventure as we dive into the secrets and marvels of this unique species, uncovering why it has become a symbol of fascination in the realm of spiders. Brace yourself for a web-spinning journey like no other!

Introduction to the Chinese Hourglass Spider

Cyclocosmia ricketti, commonly known as the Chinese hourglass spider, is a species of tarantula found in southern China. The Chinese hourglass spider is a medium to large-sized tarantula with a body length of up to 8 cm (3.1 in). It is brown with two distinct spots on its abdomen that resemble an hourglass shape. This tarantula is also known for its long, curved fangs, reaching up to 2 cm (0.79 in) in length.

Chinese Hourglass Spider

The Chinese hourglass spider is found in the forests of southern China, where it builds its burrow. This tarantula will occasionally venture out of its burrow in search of food. Its diet consists mainly of insects and other small arthropods. The Chinese hourglass spider rarely threatens humans and is not considered dangerous.

Habitat and Diet

This species is a tiny, terrestrial spider found in forests throughout Southeast Asia. It is most common in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and southern China. The spider prefers to live in moist, shady areas near streams or other bodies of water.

The Chinese Hourglass Spider is a predator that hunts small insects and other arthropods. It builds a small web to catch its prey, which it then wraps in silk and returns to its burrow. The spider will also occasionally scavenge for food. 

Physical Characteristics

The Chinese hourglass spider is a tiny, delicate-looking spider in southern China. It is named for the distinctive markings on its abdomen, which resemble an hourglass. The Chinese hourglass spider is brown or black, with a round abdomen and long, thin legs. It typically measures less than 1 cm in length. 


The Chinese Hourglass Spider is a nocturnal creature, spending most of the day in its burrow and emerging at night to hunt. If someone disturb this spider, it plays dead to avoid detection. The spider is also known to be aggressive when approached and will bite if provoked. They build tangled webs to catch their prey, which includes small insects such as flies and moths. The spider will inject its victims with digestive fluids using its fangs before feeding on them. These spiders are also known to produce a strong odor when disturbed, which can be used as a defense against predators.


The Chinese Hourglass Spider reproduces through sexual reproduction. The male spider will build a web and wait for a female spider to enter. Once the female enters, the male will wrap her in silk and transfer sperm to her reproductive organs. The female then lays her eggs in the male’s web and leaves. The eggs will hatch after several weeks, resulting in hundreds of baby spiders.

Unique Features of the Chinese Hourglass Spider

The Chinese hourglass spider is a unique and fascinating creature. Here are some of its most interesting features:

1. It has an unusual hourglass-shaped abdomen.

2. It is one of the most enormous spiders in the world, with a leg span of up to 20 cm.

3. The native land of this spider is only in China and Vietnam.

4. It burrows underground, building intricate webs to trap prey.

5. When threatened, it can produce a loud hissing sound by rubbing its legs together.

Interesting Facts About the Chinese Hourglass Spider

  • The Chinese hourglass spider is a tarantula species native to Southeast Asia.
  • The second name of this spider is the Asian forest Tarantula, the Vietnamese Forest Tarantula, and the Red Leg Tarantula.
  • This spider is one of the largest species of tarantulas, with a leg span of up to 12 inches (30 cm).
  • The Chinese hourglass spider is a burrowing species and spends most of its time in its underground tunnel system.
  • The Chinese hourglass spider is nocturnal and hunts for its prey at night.
  • Its diet consists mainly of insects but will also eat small mammals and reptiles.
  • This spider is an aggressive species that will often attack humans if threatened.

Threats to the Species

This spider is facing a dire situation due to its habitats due to human activities. Degradation of their natural habitats includes agricultural practices, urban expansion, logging, and the use of pesticides and herbicides. All of these factors put the spider’s survival at risk.

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Conservation Efforts

This spider is critically endangered, with only around 200 individuals remaining in the wild. Conservation efforts are underway to try and save the species from extinction, but they face many challenges.

One of the biggest problems is habitat loss. The spiders only live in a small area of southeast China, and development and agriculture destroy their habitat. Another threat is climate change, which is causing the temperatures in their habitat to become too hot for them to survive.

Conservationists are working to raise awareness of the Chinese hourglass spider’s plight and raise funds for the protection and restoration of their habitat. They are also working on captive breeding programs to release spiders back into the wild eventually.

Are Chinese Hourglass Spiders Venomous?

Yes, hourglass spiders are venomous. Their venom is a potent mix of neurotoxins and enzymes that can cause severe human health problems, including paralysis and death. The good news is that these spiders are not aggressive and will only bite if threatened. If these spiders bite you, seek medical attention immediately.


The Chinese Hourglass Spider is a unique species that has adapted to its environment in many interesting ways. From its unusual shape and coloration to its impressive web-building abilities, this spider has developed some fantastic characteristics for survival. It is also a valuable member of the ecosystem as it helps control populations of insects and other pests. As we continue learning more about these intriguing creatures, we can better appreciate their importance in nature and create strategies to protect them from harm.

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