Subject: Large spider from Ecuador
Location: Vilcabamba, Ecuador
February 1, 2015 3:28 pm
Hey I recently found this spider hiding in my towel! Have tried looking at different possibilities but none seem to fit the bill. It was found in September, in Vilcabamba , Ecuador. Someone suggested it was called Jamaco by the natives here, a type of bird-prey spider, but im not convinced. Any help would be greatly appreciated to satisfy my curiosity of who this visitor was!
This is some species of Tarantula, but we are not certain of the species. The Spinnerets on the tip of the abdomen are especially pronounced in your individual. According to Tarántulas de México: “Spinnerets are movable structures located in the rear of the opisthosoma, and are in charge of expelling and placing the silk web produced by four internal glands. As the silk passes through the ducts and reaches the spinnerets, its molecular structure changes and becomes very resistant. It comes out through small tubes located by the hundreds in the lower part of the spinnerets; then the silk dries, and reaches the consistency we all know. Tarantulas have four spinnerets: The two lower ones are small, and the higher ones are larger and very mobile.” We did locate a similar looking Ecuadorean Tarantula on Susan Swensen Witherup’s Ithaca College profile. Maria Sibylla Merian’s 17th Century illustration of a Bird Eating Tarantula was a hotly debated issue in her time and that illustration caused her to fall out of favor among naturalists because of questions of its authenticity. According to Tarantulas of Ecuador: “Theraphosa Blondi
The largest species of tarantula is also called the goliath bird-eating spider, and its leg span can reach up to 12 inches. They are burrowers and spend the majority of their lives inside their homes, never moving more than a few feet away even while hunting. They prefer swampy areas near water, where their brown bodies will blend into the surroundings. Considered extremely aggressive, these spiders do not make good pets, and are prone to biting — their 1-inch fangs can do a great deal of damage, although the venom is not fatal to humans. The typical diet of this spider includes amphibians, rodents, insects, snakes and the occasional small bird.” It is pictured on Wonderful Insects by Frank Fieldler, and it does not resemble your Tarantula. Perhaps one of our readers can provide information on the identity of your Tarantula.