The Wicked Wandering Spider

Meet the one creature in the whole world that gives me the heebie-jeebies, the creeps, and makes me shudder a bit just thinking (or writing) about it. One of them landed on my neck once, and I still can’t get over it.

I love them, I hate them, and I want to share them with you.


The Wandering Spider, also known as the Banana Spider, is the common name for three spiders in the genus Phoneutria and have a legspan of about 5″. These are considered one of the deadliest spiders in the world, by most accounts coming in at #3 behind the two Sydney Funnel Web spiders. If their particularly neurotoxic venom weren’t enough to frighten you a bit, their bites are also known to occasionally cause priopisms… and a resultant amputation, in men. If you don’t know what a priapism is, just note that the venom is also being investigated as a potential replacement for Viagra. So, yeah.

But that’s not all. They are aggressive. They are mean. They jump far, and at you. When I used to remove them from my Ecuadorian base camp with 12″ forceps they would do their best to climb up the forceps to get at my hand, rather than to run away. It’s just messed up. Hence, my shudders.

Here are a few photos of some feeding individuals I’ve run into on night walks. They seem to love eating roaches.

Phoneutria banana spider

phoneutria banana spider

phoneutria banana spider


2 Comments to "The Wicked Wandering Spider"

  1. Polina's Gravatar Polina
    August 4, 2013 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    The only thing that made me shudder quite a lot was the roaches

  2. Charne's Gravatar Charne
    December 28, 2013 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

    The thing that nightmares are made of, if you ask me! Thanks for sharing all your interesting experiences. Really enjoy reading about all the awesome critters on your side of the world.

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