"Farewell, Aragog, king of arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you won't forget! Though your body will decay, your spirit lingers on in the quiet, web-spun places of your forest home. May your many-eyed descendants ever flourish and your human friends find solace for the loss they have sustained."
-- Horace Slughorn giving the late Aragog's eulogy (HBP22)
Aragog was a male Acromantula, acquired as an egg c. 1942 by Hagrid from a traveller. Hagrid hid Aragog in a cupboard in the castle and reared him on table scraps until Aragog’s existence was exposed by Tom Riddle. At that point Hagrid was expelled, but he managed to release Aragog into the forest, where the Acromantula spent the rest of his life. Hagrid later found a mate for Aragog named Mosag, and they had many offspring; the entire colony remained deep in the forest. Harry and Ron first encountered Aragog and his family in May of 1993 and barely escaped with their lives, although out of respect for Hagrid Aragog neither sought out humans as prey nor permitted his family to do so (CS15). At the end of his life, Aragog was the size of a small elephant; his colouration was mixed with grey and he had gone blind, evidently due to cataracts (CS15). Aragog died of old age in the spring of 1997 (HBP22).
Can speak English very well for a creature. Managed to stay hidden from most students at Hogwarts.
"ara" from "arachnid" or "aranea" L. spider + "gog" from "Gog", a legendary giant, or "demagogue", a political leader who appeals to base desires rather than reason
Acromantulas come from Borneo, which is probably the "distant land" from which Aragog was brought as an egg (FB).
Note the parallel between 1) Harry living in a spider-infested cupboard, hidden and kept secret by the abusive people who are the closest thing he has to parents, before learning that he gets to go to Hogwarts and having his axistence acknowledged and 2) Aragog being hidden in a cupboard and raised and cared for there by Hagrid, who was very much on his own, until Aragog's discovery causes Hagrid to be expelled from Hogwarts. -BB