Ghosts aren’t the only things that can give you the heebie-jeebies––wait till you see the types of creepy crawlies (ie. spiders) that call Singapore their (permanent) home. The scary thing is that they DO exist, and some of these may actually live in your home.
[CAUTION: Not for arachnophobes]
Singapore Blue Tarantula (Lampropelma violaceopes)
Not a type of spider one would associate with our urban landscape, the hairy, robust Singapore Blue Tarantula can grow up to 23cm across, and is tree-dwelling. The females––which are larger than the males––have intense blue or violet legs with a golden carapace, while the adult male is greenish. The Blue (and its Brown cousin) tarantulas can be found near jungle areas (ie. Mt. Faber), but are quite rare. These tarantulas are quite aggressive, and will defend themselves with their venomous (but not poisonous) fangs.
Domestic Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda venatoria)
Spiders in this family move sideways like crabs, and have creepy spotted, long legs that spread out to about 10cm wide. These nocturnal creatures normally eat insects, although they’ve been known to eat birds and bats. There are plenty of Huntsman spider species around the world, mostly in the tropics where they normally live in homes and actually eat something all of us loathe: cockroaches. While it’s not venomous, it does deliver a painful bite. The female lays eggs in a white pouch, and each contains 100-400 eggs.
Golden Web Spider (Nephila pilipes)
One of the most common spiders in Singapore, and it’s also one of the world’s largest, reaching an overall size of up to 20cm. The females are much larger than the males (sometimes 1,000 times!), and their webs can reach 2m wide. The silk is strong enough to trap even birds, and the material is now being used to develop fibre as strong as Kevlar. They are mostly harmless and rarely bite even if you stumble onto their webs, and you can find them almost anywhere (ie. roadsides, parks, etc).
And if spiders aren’t enough, here are some other creepy crawlies that guarantee that heebie-jeebie feeling…
Asian Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus longimanus)
One of the world’s larger tropical scorpion species (up to 20cm long), it can mainly be found in forested areas like the Central Catchment, Bukit Timah, Sungei Buloh, Pulau Ubin, etc. Thanks to their adaptability, they can sometimes be found in pockets of jungle, hiding in crevices of tree trunks. This all-black, nocturnal creature can certainly make itself look intimidating due its their size, but its sting is painful rather than poisonous.
Long-legged Cave Centipede (Thereuopoda longicornis)
Although classified as ‘House Centipedes’, they’re very rarely found in homes. Luckily there’s only one species of this in Singapore, but they are 10cm long ad have up to 15 pairs of long legs. Called the ‘Cave Centipede’, it’s mostly found in damp, dark places (a moist bathroom, perhaps?). Like many creepy crawlies, its bite is very painful. There are many other species of centipedes in Singapore, ranging from 15 to 27 body segments, and the most common is the Tropical Centipede (which some of you may have stumbled upon before). Wait, what’s that fuzzy feeling on your neck…?