Currently viewing the category: "Wandering Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large spider on a palm trunk
Geographic location of the bug:  Macas, Ecuador (Ecuadorian Amazon)
Date: 02/14/2018
Time: 08:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We came across this while hiking in the jungle.  Wasn’t able to find a name for it, but the local person we were with suggested it could jump.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike Edgerton

Wandering Spider, we believe

Dear Mike,
This is really an interesting Spider, but other than to say it appears to be a hunting spider that does not build a web to entrap prey, we aren’t sure about its identity.  Many hunting spiders can jump quite well.  It looks very much like the spider in a posting in our archives, also from Ecuador, that we identified as possibly a Wandering Spider in the genus
Phoneutria, a venomous and potentially dangerous genus.  The spotted legs on your individual look like the spotted legs on an individual in an image on Wikipedia of a Wandering Spider in the genus Phoneutria.  There are many images of Brazilian Wandering Spiders on Primal Shutter and we believe that might be a correct identification for your individual.

Thank you for the information.  After reading more about the spider, I’m glad it didn’t jump!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Juvenile maybe?
Location: Lupa Masa, east base of Mt.Kinabalu, Sabah
July 29, 2017 2:17 am
I happened to find this at 10pm , 28th July 2017.
I checked a lot of images and there are similar ones when googling Borneo huntsman. Thing is, this one is about 3cm in length.
Sorry the photo isn’t great, because my camera is an ancient lumix compact.
Are we looking at a juvenile?
I’ve seen others with similar colour and shape but way bigger.
Signature: In blood

Huntsman Spider or Wandering Spider?

Dear John,
We are not sure if this is a Huntsman Spider in the family Sparassidae or a Wandering Spider in the family Ctenidae.

Huntsman Spider or Wandering Spider?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Wandering Spider from Belize
Location:  Punta Gorda, Belize
May 21, 2017
Hello Daniel:
I continue to check your site regularly (still one of my favourites) but it’s been a while since I offered something for posting. I have been photographing a lot of spiders recently and have developed quite a fondness for wandering spiders (Family Ctenidae). I always look for them when we travel down to Central or South America. They are not hard to find but you generally have to look for them after nightfall. The attached photo is of a wandering spider (Cupiennius salei), one of many encountered on a night hike in a forest near Punta Gorda, Belize, earlier this year. I had already taken one to two photos of this one when it suddenly lunged out of frame to capture this hapless, and somewhat surprised looking, cricket. Have a great summer.

Wandering Spider eats Cricket

Hi Karl,
Thanks for allowing us to post your excellent image of a Wandering Spider,
Cupiennius salei.  The species is pictured on iNaturalist.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Costa Rica spider
Location: Costa Rica
April 2, 2017 5:13 pm
Any idea of what Genus this spider this is? Found in costa rica in October…
Signature: Thank you

Wandering Spider

We believe this is one of the potentially dangerous Wandering Spiders in the family Ctenidae based on this Photographers Direct image.

Thank you for answering! I’m surprised that we didn’t stumble around more dangerous things. We did find a poison dart frog and a monkey skull that fell from a tree…
See my iNaturalist site at:
– Sarka
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown spider
Location: Mindo Ecuador
April 11, 2015 7:31 pm
Hey Its Carl again from the night walks in the cloud forest Ecuador, could do with some help identifying the family and species of this spider.
Also struggling with this larvae and praying mantis.
Signature: Thanks Carl

Possibly Wandering Spider

Possibly Wandering Spider

Dear Carl,
We believe, though we are not certain, that this might be a Wandering Spider in the genus
Phoneutria, and you may read more about Wandering Spiders on the Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe website where it states:  “There is no doubt that the venom of some of the species is quite potent for mammals, including humans.”  We eagerly welcome additional opinions on this identification.  Perhaps Cesar Crash of Insetologia can provide something.  In the future, please submit a single species per submission form as it makes it extremely difficult for us to categorize postings with multiple species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ecuadorian Crab Spider
Location: Ecuadorian Amazonia
May 23, 2012 4:47 pm
Last year I posted an image of this species looking for an identification. In April I was back in Ecuadorian Amazonia and I spotted another of these beautiful orange spiders with bluish legs. My guide, a Shuar indian, said it was a crab spider. This was one of your answers in 2011. I was able to capture the eyes this time.
Signature: John R. Anderson

Orange Huntsman Spider

Hi John,
We will link to your original posting.  We decided to do some additional research.  First we located this YouTube video identified as being in the family Sparassidae, the Giant Crab Spiders.  Then we located this photo on FlickR identified as a Wandering Spider in the family Ctenidae.  Then we found this FlickR image identified as a Giant Crab Spider in the genus
Sadala, and finally, we found the same photo with the same identification on FlickRiver as part of the Bigal River Conservation Project in Northeast Ecuador. 

Did you reach a conclusion?
One problem in the jungle is the lack of good reference materials. An anima’ls name could be passed from one guide to the next (or one generation to the next) with no way to verify the knowledge. When one uses a term like “wandering spider” it seems very general.
In the end, this is one of the most beautiful spiders I have ever encountered. Just curious.
John R. Anderson

Hi again John,
We are more inclined to speculate that it is the Giant Crab Spider or Huntsman Spider family Sparassidae.  As far as verifying the genus
Sadala goes, both sources can be traced to the same original so there is no verification.  In our opinion, you should seek assistance from an expert if you want to confirm any identification.

Karl provides some information
Hi Daniel and John:
Since this lovely spider has made another appearance on your site I felt compelled to give it another go. It is not difficult to find images of this spider on the internet but finding information that is useful for identification purposes has proven to be very frustrating. In addition to the three possible families that have already been mentioned in this and the previous post I also found one site with two photos that looked like they were probably of the same spider, but suggesting it was a Running Crab Spider (Philodromidae). I chose to ignore it and pressed on. I eventually came up with genus Olios, a Huntsman Spider in the family Sparassidae (by the way the eyes in this second posting do look like Sparassidae to me). You can check out online photos identified as Olios sp. here, here, and here. I found several others as well but I was having trouble with the hyperlinks. I checked out several spider lists for Ecuador and it appears that there are two species of Olios in Ecuador, O. corallinus and O. niveomaculatus, but I could find no photos or useful information for either. Until you get confirmation from a real expert, I hope this helps more than it confuses.  Regards.  Karl

Thanks for your research Karl.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination