Location: Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador
November 5, 2012 5:53 pm
I would see this spider in almost the same location every day in the Amazon basin in Ecuador, and I never saw a web. I am very curious as to what species of spider this is, and if you could help me out I would greatly appreciate it!
Our first inclination was to speculate on the possibility that this is some species of Huntsman Spider or Giant Crab Spider in the family Sparassidae since they are often large and do not build webs, but as we began to try to find a matching image on the internet, we stumbled upon this spider identified as a Fish Catching Spider on Ed Germaine’s Photography website. Clicking on the thumbnail reveals this marvelous photo which looks very similar to your photo. We then speculated that perhaps the spider in your photo is related to the Fishing Spiders and Nursery Web Spiders in the family Pisauridae. They also do not build webs to snare prey. We wish you had a photo that showed the eye structure more clearly. We are going to post your photo and we hope that some expert can confirm either of the two possibilities we have come up with or provide a correction. Even better, perhaps someone can narrow the identification to the genus or species instead of just two possible families.
Eric Eaton Responds
I do not have an opinion. There are entire families of spiders found in South America that do not occur here in the United States, so extrapolating is rather dangerous. Very nice specimen, a male, and not something I recognize as dangerously venomous.