Wandering spider in Ecuadorian Chocó
January 1, 2010
Being in Ecuador there is plenty of opportunity for ecological experience.
On a night walk in a forest area in Puerto Quito (Western lowland, Chocó region) I almost stepped on this interesting fellow in December 2009. It was a rainy night.
The spider was standing on the ground, hardly moving, even when I measured its body length. It was about 31-32 mm, and its leg span between 11 and 12 cm. Quite impressive and grey as a wolf.
However, I can’t tell wether this might be a giant crab spider/huntsman spider or a wandering spider. The animal was not aggressive at all, but turned into a defensive position (shown on the other photo) when I measured it with a “paper ruler”.
When I returned later it had disappeared.
Might this even be a Phoneutria species?
Thank you so much for an answer, I’m very curious!
Puerto Quito, Western Ecuador
Happy New Year Dan,
We don’t really have the necessary skills to answer your questions, but we will post your photos in the hopes that one of our readers might assist. In North America, Giant Crab Spiders or Huntsman Spiders in the family Sparasidae are quite harmless, though it is our understanding that some tropical Huntsman Spiders can be quite venomous. We would not discount your speculation that this might be a dangerous Wandering Spider in the genus Phoneutria which may be seen on Wikipedia.