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

Possible Huntsman Spider from Ecuador

Possible Huntsman Spider from Ecuador

Hi Curious,
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.

Hi, Daniel:
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).

2 Responses to Possibly Huntsman Spider from Ecuador

  1. Lois Anne Smith says:

    I’m planning to move to Ecuador in 2 months and want to know what venimous thing do I look out for, and because it’s the tropics and doors are open to a porch, etc. how to I keep them out? I also have two cats. How do I protect them. I’m doing research on natural remedies and taking with me. Will an electric fence around the back yard deter snakes and spiders. Got some tips. This is my first time visiting.

    • bugman says:

      We do not feel qualified to answer this question as we imagine there are many stinging and biting creatures in the tropical country of Ecuador. We doubt an electric fence will do much to keep away unwanted creatures, and it might give a nasty shock or worse to beneficial and benign creatures, so we would not recommend installing one.

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