Woman's terrifying find in car door handle after grocery shop

A NSW woman was startled by something lurking underneath the handle of her car door on Monday.

Christine Jones was returning to her vehicle after doing the grocery shopping earlier this week.

“I'm house sitting near Armidale and hadn't used my car for a week,” she told Yahoo News Australia.

Following her shop, she went to put the grocery bags on the passenger seat and that’s when she noticed something furry as she reached for the door handle.

The huntsman spider tucked under the car door handle.
A surprise lurking under the car's door handle. Source: Facebook/Christine Jones

“Fortunately I noticed the shadow looked wrong as I was reaching for it, otherwise I would have shrieked if I touched it,” she said.

At first glance, she thought it was perhaps a pair of hairy caterpillars. “But on closer inspection realised it was just a harmless huntsman,” she said. “I love spiders, but not touching them.”

Ms Jones pulled out her phone and snapped a pair of photos of the arachnid perched under the shade of the door handle and shared it to an identification page on Facebook filled with dedicated spider lovers.

With the help of hundreds of observers, the spider was identified as a Holconia insignis, or Banded Huntsman which is found in NSW and Queensland.

A Holconia insignis, or Banded Huntsman hidden in the door handle.
The huntsman spider was seeking some shade, perhaps. Source: Facebook/Christine Jones

On the way to the Foodworks supermarket, the spider happily “survived 100km/h to and from the store,” Ms Jones said.

Understandably, she found another place to put the groceries and left the spider to its own devices.

“I just left it to find its way out of there,” she said.

The public Facebook group where the spider images were shared has more than 28,000 members and strict rules for posting. The post about her run-in attracted more than a thousand reactions and 221 comments before they were disabled after the spider had been identified.

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