- "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 with a taste for human flesh were first spotted in 1794.
Acromantulas sported eight, black eyes (white if blind) and were typically covered in thick black hair, with a leg span that can reach up to fifteen feet. On average, they were the size of a carthorse, though old specimens such as Aragog may grow to 15 feet in leg span.
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. They also secreted poison when excited. They are sentient, and capable of human speech.
The female was usually larger than the male, and can lay up to one-hundred soft, wide, beach ball-sized eggs at a time. They usually hatched in six to eight weeks. Acromantula eggs were a Class A Non-Tradeable Goods.
In contrary to most non-magical spiders, Acromantulas were social animals, who lived in large colonies consisting of hundred's 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 Hagrid, despite their instincts telling them to attack humans, because he respected Hagrid as a friend.
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. However, this friendship did not automatically extend to people associated with whoever managed to win the respect of an Acromantula nor do other members of a colony automatically treated said person as friend, as they will first and foremost treat humans and other sentient beings like prey. This is demonstrated after Aragog died, the other spiders immediately tried to eat Hagrid, despite him being a good friend to their former leader.
Whenever a member of an Acromantula colony died, their corpse were eaten by the other spiders upon death. This included the leaders of a colony. It was not known if a dead Acromantula will be 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.
The basilisk was the worst enemy of all spiders, including Acromantulas, feared so much that they did not even dare to speak of it, similar to how wizards of Harry Potter's world view Lord Voldemort and used a euphemism in place of his name. It was their greatest threat due to the basilisk's killing gaze and the fact that spiders had many eyes that grant extreme field of view, thus making them highly vulnerable targets.
Acromantulas in the Wizarding World
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.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.
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.
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
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter used the Spider repelling spell (Arania Exumai), a spell for defence use against 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 in the book.
- The Acromantulas in the 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 Classification. This is a reference to 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.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Seen as Boggart)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Seen as Boggart)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Seen as Boggart) (GBA version only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (Disc 2)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- J. K. Rowling's official site
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 22 (After the Burial)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 15 (Aragog)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 31 (The Third Task)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
- ↑ J. K. Rowling's official site
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- ↑ 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.
|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 · Merpeople · 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|
|Professor: Bathsheda Babbling|
|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|