|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Magic|
|Features||Spider, enormous size, venomous, capable of speech, vigilant|
|First Appearance||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
An Acromantula is a large venomous spider, covered in thick black hair. It is a carnivorous creature and has pincers which create a distinctive clicking sound when aroused. The female is larger than the male and lays up to one hundred eggs at a time. Acromantulae are intelligent beasts, capable of human speech, although not self-taught.
Acromantulae originated in Borneo dense jungles, where wizards were said to have bred them, and are one cause of the Ban on Experimental Breeding being put into effect. Acromantula venom is apparently exceedingly valuable, but it is nearly impossible to obtain from the living spider, and as acromantulae eat their dead, it is very uncommon to find one that can still be harvested. Their eggs — large, soft and white in colour — are Class A Non-Tradeable Goods.
Although it is not mentioned in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Aragog is an Acromantula. The Forbidden Forest population of Acromantulae are fathered by him, and he owes a debt to Hagrid, who raised him in a cupboard in Hogwarts castle fifty years prior. The fact that he is an Acromantula is discovered in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. During the Third Task in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, an Acromantula is one of the dangerous creatures that the Champions must overcome to reach the Triwizard Cup at the center of the Maze; Harry very nearly falls victim to it. Acromantulae also play a small role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where the Death Eaters drive them towards Hogwarts Castle as part of the battle at Hogwarts.
Spiders in general, and large spiders in particular, have been a focus of human fear from time immemorial. Some theories suggest that fear of spiders may be inborn. Whether learned or inborn, extreme irrational fear of spiders, Arachnophobia, is one of the most common types of phobia people suffer from. The literary tradition is also rich in spider villains. One of the most obvious examples is the giant spider Shelob in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings