Kiwi woman witnesses huntsman spider eating pygmy possum

An Australian couple photographed the grim scene in Tasmania.
An Australian couple photographed the grim scene in Tasmania. Photo credit: Justine Latton / Facebook

A couple's Australian holiday took a turn for the worse when they witnessed a large huntsman spider devouring a pygmy possum.

Viral photos capture the deadly arachnid consuming the possum at a holiday lodge in Tasmania's Mount Field National Park.

Kiwi woman Justine Latton and her husband were enjoying their alfresco adventure when they came across the grim scene.

Latton shared the images on Facebook's Tasmanian Insects and Spiders group, captioning the post: "Possum-eating spider!"

Pygmy possums tend to weigh around 7 grams and reach 2-2.5 inches in length. A huntsman can reach a leg span of up to 12 inches, with a body size of around 2 inches - meaning the small possum was still a sizeable snack.

The viral post has received mixed reviews from social media users. Some have found in horrifying - while other nature lovers have found it fascinating.

"Holy s**t. Nope," one person commented.

"It's still impressive the huntsman got him," another user said before two others weighed in posting: "Not scary at all just interesting" and "Nature never ceases to amaze me."

Huntsman spiders are not considered to be dangerous to humans. They are venomous, and a bite will cause pain and swelling however, they are known to be reluctant biters, and will often run away before being aggressive.