Giant spider in Ecuador
Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 1:08 PM
Friend that’s visiting found this spider in her sink – then behind her hand towel. it’s about 4-inches across. Is there a potential that this is venomous?
Curious in CA
Ecuador – Quito
Our first thought was that this resembled some type of Huntsman Spider. We received a previous photo from Ecuador that Eric Eaton identified as probably a Huntsman Spider, and we also posted images of large spiders from Costa Rica about the same time. Eric Eaton wrote to caution readers about large tropical spiders. Here is what he wrote: ” Ok, the spiders from Ecuador and Costa Rica: They are most likely NOT wolf spiders, but wandering spiders, either in the family Ctenidae or Sparassidae. They tend to be more common, and even larger than, wolf spiders in the tropics. At least one species, Phoneutria fera, is extremely aggressive, with potentially deadly venom. Do not mess with large spiders in Central and South America! The venomous types are very difficult to distinguish from harmless species, and in any event, a bite is going to be really painful. These spiders sometimes stow away in bananas, houseplants, and other exported goods, so they can show up in odd places. Be careful where you put your hands.” We are not certain that this spider is a dangerous species, but we would urge caution. In North America, the Huntsman Spiders, though large and scary, are harmless.
Wow, you have been very busy posting! I turn my back for a week and….wham! LOL!
Also, I need to amend my commentary on the neotropical “wandering spiders.” Apparently envenomation symptoms vary considerably, from mild to death. Big help, eh? It depends on whether it is a dry bite or not, and how an individual’s immune system responds to envenomation. Please prompt me to send along an article about them (I need an address, though).