An Acromantula was a huge carnivorous spider capable of human speech. Thought to be wizard-bred for the purpose of guarding treasure hoards, they originated in Borneo but have colonies even in the Forbidden Forest.
Acromantulas had a tangle of eight black eyes, and eight legs spanning up to fifteen feet. They had a hairy body and a pair of razor-sharp poisonous pincers. They clicked their pincers when they were speaking or feeling excited and angry.
A young Acromantula was low-slung. A full-size Acromantula was the size of an elephant. A female Acromantula was larger and were capable of laying up to a 100 eggs the size of beach balls. These soft and white eggs hatched in six to eight weeks and were Class A Non-Tradeable Goods.
An Acromantula was a carnivore who preferred A to catch large prey. They had near-human intelligence and were capable of human speech, but they never cared for wizarding laws and were untrainable and dangerous. They will devour any human that goes near them. It's unknown if their ability to speak was self-taught, because that was very rare.
They appear to be very sociable because they lived in large colonies led by a senior Acromantula. They respected their leader and obey any demand given. For example, Rubeus Hagrid was protected by Aragog who persuaded a whole colony not to eat Hagrid even though they instinctively wanted to. Aragog's protection wasn't extended to Hagrid's friends. They usually treat sentient beings like prey.
They usually live in dense jungles but a known colony lived in a forest. They cut down every tree in their large, sloping hollow and their leader lived in the center under a web. An elderly Acromantula was at least an age of 50 and lived up to at least 54 years.
Acromantuas originated in Borneo where they inhabited dense uncharted jungles. They were thought to be wizard-bred for guarding a home or a treasure hoard. Long before the Ban on Experimental Breeding, the first reported sighting of an Acromantula was in 1794.
In 1811, they were given a status of Beast by the Ministry of Magic because of their brutal nature. Because they lived in uncharted jungles in Borneo, they were very rarely, if ever spotted by a Muggle.
Forbidden Forest colony
By June 1943, Rubeus Hagrid had adopted a young Acromantula called Aragog who eventually ended up living the Forbidden Forest for safety, establishing an unconfirmed colony.l In 1992 to 1993, spiders fleeing Hogwarts School when a Basilisk was unleashed headed towards the colony. Harry Potter and Ron Weasley eventually searched for their colony.
Harry and Ron were spotted and picked up by Acromantulas and taken to Aragog in their hollow. He told a story supporting Hagrid's innocence in the Chamber of Secrets opening and then let the Acromantulas try and eat them and Fang but they escaped in a Ford Anglia.
Notes and sources
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: An A-Z of Fantastic Beasts
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 15
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Introduction (What is a Beast?)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 22
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Introduction (Magical Beasts in Hiding)