Subject: Amazing Spider from Panama
Location: Panama, Central America
August 27, 2012 10:40 pm
Hello, My family and I just returned from a two week vacation in Panama, Central America. We spotted this beauty while on a hike near a town called El Valle. I was wondering if you could help ID it for us. Would his bite have been dangerous?
This is a Spiny Orbweaver from the genus Micrathena. We will try to determine the species. That appears as though it might be a smaller male of the species in the upper right corner of the photo. There is often a hugely significant size difference between the sexes in Orbweavers. Orbweavers are not considered dangerous spiders, but some of the larger species might bite. Spiny Orbweavers are smaller spiders. We have identified your spider as Micrathena schreibersi thanks to the very reliable Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute website.