Story: Nelson region

Nelson cave spider

Nelson cave spider

The Nelson cave spider (Spelungula cavernicola) is New Zealand’s largest native spider in terms of leg span, which can be up to 13 centimetres. The first two pairs of legs each have a long claw. The spider catches cave wētā, sitting in wait and then dropping down on them from above, while secured to the wall via a drag line which it then uses to lift the prey. This adult male was photographed in Stardraft Cave in the Ōpārara Basin of Kahurangi National Park, near Karamea.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Andrew McLachlan

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Nelson region - Climate and environment', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/28811/nelson-cave-spider (accessed 18 November 2018)

Story by Carl Walrond, updated 3 Aug 2015