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"Spiders. Not tiny spiders like those surging over the leaves below. Spiders the size of carthorses, eight-eyed, eight-legged, black, hairy, gigantic. The massive specimen that was carrying Harry made its way down the steep slope toward a misty, domed web in the very centre of the hollow, while its fellows closed in all around it, clicking their pincers excitedly at the sight of its load."
— Harry Potter's description of the Acromantulas[src]

An Acromantula was a giant magical species of spider native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, particularly Borneo, where it inhabited dense jungles. Acromantulas were believed to be a wizard-bred species, designed to guard dwellings or treasure hoards, and were first created before the Ban on Experimental Breeding in 1965. These giant spiders had a taste for human flesh and were first spotted in 1794.[2]

Physical description[]

Acromantula PS

Acromantula colony in the Forbidden Forest

Acromantulas sported eight black eyes (white if blind) and were typically covered in thick black hair, with a leg span that could reach up to fifteen feet.[2] On average, they were the size of a carthorse, though old specimens such as Aragog could grow up to 15 feet in leg span.[1]

They possessed a set of giant pedipalps, which they used to eat live prey or their own dead kin. Their pincers produced a clicking sound when they were agitated or excited.[2] They also secreted poison when excited.[4] They were sentient, and capable of human speech.[1][2]

Their fangs contained highly toxic venom, valued at 100 Galleons a pint in 1996.[3]


The female was usually larger than the male, and could lay up to one-hundred soft, wide, beach ball-sized eggs at a time. They usually hatched in six to eight weeks.[2] Acromantula eggs were a Class A Non-Tradeable Goods.[2]

Social behaviour[]


An Acromantula in its natural habitat

In contrast to most non-magical spiders, Acromantulas were social animals who lived in large colonies consisting of hundreds of their species. These colonies were led by the oldest male and female of said colonies, who were highly respected and met with absolute obedience. The Acromantula Aragog, for example, was able to keep his entire colony from eating Rubeus Hagrid, despite their instincts telling them to attack humans, because he respected Hagrid as a friend.[1]

Acromantulas were capable of forming emotional attachments to other sentient beings, but only if they were raised well from a very young age. A good example was the friendship between Aragog and Hagrid, with the latter having raised the giant spider from when he was still in his egg.[5] However, this friendship did not automatically extend to people associated with whoever managed to win the respect of an Acromantula, nor did other members of a colony automatically treat said person as friend, as they would first and foremost treat humans and other sentient beings like prey. This was demonstrated after Aragog died, as the other spiders immediately tried to eat Hagrid despite him being a good friend to their former leader.[3]

Whenever a member of an Acromantula colony died, their corpse was eaten by the other spiders upon death. This included the leaders of a colony. It was not known if a dead Acromantula was mourned by other members of its species, so it cannot be said for certain if this was a funeral rite or simply a way to acquire food.[2][3]

The basilisk was the worst enemy of all spiders, including Acromantulas. It was feared so much that they did not even dare to speak of it, similar to how wizards of Harry Potter's world viewed Lord Voldemort and used a euphemism in place of his name. The basilisk was their greatest threat due to its killing gaze and the fact that spiders had many eyes and an extreme field of view, thus making them highly vulnerable targets.[1]


Acromantulas tended to reside in thick jungles and heavily forested areas, and their webs were large and dome-shaped. They liked the dark and the quiet.[2][1]

Acromantulas in the wizarding world[]

While not being native to the area, Acromantulas precede Aragog's time, and at least four were known to exist in the Scottish Highlands surrounding Hogwarts during the 1890s. It was rumoured that these early British Acromantulas were the offspring of a female later nicknamed "The Absconder", which had mysteriously arrived in Britain by the 1890s. At least two of the known Acromantulas in the Highlands at this time were encountered and killed by a fifth-year Hogwarts student.[6]

Aragog in his lair

Aragog, an Acromantula

A colony of Acromantulas was established in the Forbidden Forest at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by Aragog and his wife, Mosag. Rubeus Hagrid originally kept the young Aragog in a cupboard box in the school's dungeons. Aragog was released into the Forest by Rubeus Hagrid at about the time of the 1943 opening of the Chamber of Secrets.[1]

During the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament in 1995, an Acromantula was positioned close to the Triwizard Cup. Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory joined forces to defeat it.[7]

Battle of Hogwarts GIF

Acromantulas participate in the Battle of Hogwarts

The Forbidden Forest Acromantula colony participated in the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998, when the Death Eaters drove them out of the Forest, and towards Hogwarts Castle. Rubeus Hagrid was captured by the Death Eaters after he was lost among the swarm in his efforts to protect Aragog's offspring.[8]

The eight eyes of the Acromantula were used to symbolise the number eight in the runic alphabet.[9]

Known breeds[]

Breed Image Description
Venomous Matriarch Venomous Matriarch Reared up as it was about to strike its target with a powerful bite that broke through the Shield Charm. Could be caught off guard if ripped down with Descendo while it was rearing up, though simply dodging out of the way was a good defence as well.
Venomous Scurriour Venomous Scurriour HL A large breed, its venom poisoned the target over time, though the Wiggenweld Potion could stop the poison from doing further damage. The Knockback Jinx could do great damage to them by ripping them out of the ground when they began burrowing.
Venomous Ambusher Venemous Ambusher Shot webs to incapacitate its prey. While it was airborne, its unprotected belly was exposed, making it vulnerable to follow-up damage.
Venomous Hatchling Venomous Hatchling Dealt slight damage, but the damage could add up quickly when a swarm of them attacked relentlessly. It was easily defeated by almost any attack and would even die if struck by a simple Shield Charm.
Venomous Shooter Venomous Shooter HL A large breed, it preferred to attack from a distance by spitting acidic venom. Attacking it with a fire as it prepared to spit its venom would ignite the spider.


The name Acromantula has the Greek ακρος (acros/acro), meaning high or "peak", and -mantula, from the English "tarantula". True to their name, Acromantulas are massive arachnids who tend to spin their expansive webs high in tree tops. Despite the names bearing a phonetic similarity to tarantulas, they appear more like Wolf Spiders and are, in all depictions, araneomorphae.

Behind the scenes[]


An Acromantula as depicted on Pottermore

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter used Arania Exumai, a charm to repel spiders, while attempting to escape the Acromantula colony. He learned the spell from Tom Riddle upon visiting the latter's sixteen year old memory in his diary. The spell was never mentioned or depicted in the book, making its usage in the film non-canon.
    • The Acromantulas in film more closely resemble wolf spiders (family Lycosidae) than actual tarantulas (family Theraphosidae), but that may reflect upon the fact that wolf spiders were the first kind of spider to ever be referred to as "tarantulas".
  • In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Ron pens an added nine "X"s to the Acromantula's Ministry of Magic Classification. This is because of his fear of spiders. He and Harry also cross out the "unconfirmed" at the end of the sentence "Rumours of an Acromantula colony being established in Scotland are unconfirmed" and replace it with "Confirmed by Harry Potter and Ron Weasley."
  • In the films, Acromantulas have two big eyes, at the height of human eyes, with a line of four small eyes underneath and an eye on each side of the head, human temple height. This is a detail that is not specified in the books.
  • The boggart in the form of a giant spider that Ron faced off in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban closely resembles a black widow, with the exception of its size, which may have been the result of his encounter with the much larger sized Acromantulas.
  • In Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, riders encounter Acromantulas in the Forbidden Forest portion of the the ride.
  • The Acromantulas inhabiting the Forbidden Forest resemble, at certain point, the Great Spiders of Mirkwood from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
  • In Hogwarts Legacy, which is set in the 1890–1891 school year, it is shown that Acromantulas among other giant spiders occupied the Forbidden Forest, although it was never said before in canon if they lived in the forest before Hagrid established Aragog's colony in 1943.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 85 images related to Acromantula.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 15 (Aragog)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 22 (After the Burial)
  4. Harry Potter Bloomsbury Glossary: Acromantula: exact quote: Monstrous eight-eyed, hairy spiders capable of human speech. Carthorse-sized and carnivorous, they have eight legs and sharp pincers. When excited or angry, they make a distinctive clicking sound and secrete poison. They fear Basilisks.
  5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  6. Hogwarts Legacy
  7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  9. J. K. Rowling's official site
  10. In the Chamber of Secrets, a door is about to close. You can then see an Acromantula walking towards you before the door is closed.

See also[]

Magical creatures by classification
X Flobberworm · Horklump
XX Augurey · Bowtruckle · Chizpurfle · Clabbert · Diricawl · Fairy · Ghoul · Gnome · Grindylow · Imp · Jobberknoll · Mooncalf · Porlock · Puffskein · Ramora · Winged horse
XXX Ashwinder · Billywig · Bundimun · Crup · Doxy · Dugbog · Fire crab · Fwooper · Glumbumble · Hippocampus · Hippogriff · Hodag · Jarvey · Knarl · Kneazle · Leprechaun · Lobalug · Mackled Malaclaw · Moke · Murtlap · Niffler · Nogtail · Pixie · Plimpy · Pogrebin · Red Cap · Salamander · Sea serpent · Shrake · Streeler · Winged horse
XXXX Centaur · Demiguise · Erkling · Erumpent · Golden Snidget · Graphorn · Griffin · Hidebehind · Kappa · Kelpie · Merperson · Occamy · Phoenix · Re'em · Runespoor · Snallygaster · Sphinx · Tebo · Thestral · Thunderbird · Troll · Unicorn · Winged horse · Yeti
XXXXX Acromantula · Basilisk · Chimaera · Dragon · Horned Serpent · Lethifold · Manticore · Nundu · Quintaped · Wampus cat · Werewolf
Study of Ancient Runes
Ancient Runes Made Easy
Professors: Bathsheda Babbling · Clodagh Dromgoole · Elspeth MacGillony
Textbooks: Advanced Rune Translation · Ancient Runes Made Easy · Magical Hieroglyphs and Logograms · Rune Dictionary · Spellman's Syllabary
Known runes: Acromantula · Demiguise · Ehwaz · Eihwaz · Fwooper · Graphorn · Hydra · Quintaped · Runespoor · Salamander · Unicorn · Unknown · Mark of Merlin