2/1/14 - Here's an interesting fact about the venom of wandering
spiders: The Brazilian wandering spider appeared in the Guinness World Records 2010 as the world's most venomous spider.
The neurotoxin causes loss of muscle control and asphyxiation, and the bite causes intense pain and inflammation.
However, the venom can also cause priapism, a medical condition in which the
penis or clitoris does not return to its flaccid state. These erections
can last for many hours and even cause impotence! Still, scientists have
broken down the components of the venoms and are studying one of them as
treatment for erectile dysfunction! It seems right now they haven't been
able to get the treatment to achieve the erectile function without
causing loss of muscle control... Which would render the treatment
pointless. Still, they're hard at work trying to figure this out.
6 May, 2007 - UPDATE from Stefan in
Germany re Jon Triffo's Photos:
The spider you’re showing on your site about the “Brazilian
wandering spider” and stating it is Phoneutria fera, is NOT Phoneutria at all, it’s exactly that
|Apparently in the US there had been some mis-identifications
of spiders, accidentally imported through shipments from
South-American countries. These spiders had been forwarded to US –
Arachnologists and had been identified as a member of the genus
Those ID´s had been in many cases wrong, in fact the spiders
belonged in many cases to a closely related, though completely
harmless, genus: Cupiennius.
With Cupiennius, 2006 saw the description of a new species:
Cupiennius chiapanensis. In fact this is the species that gets often
mixed up with Phoneutria, as this Cupiennius species has a quite
distinctive feature, that´s famous for Phoneutria, red chelicerae
(Sao Paolo, Brazil morph). Click for a larger view.
I ask you to correct that statement. I’m well aware, that you by now
can’t know, if what I tell you here is true, so I furthermore ask
you, if you want to make sure, to get in touch with John Triffo and
the according museum. If they should have trouble with checking this
information, I will gladly supply the scientific key to the genus
and, if needed, contact to the according scientists in the US.
Note, that I don’t want to ask about a complete change of that site,
but an addendum of one or two sentences, stating that the pictured
specimen got identified as a member of Cupiennius and that this
special species has caused a lot of confusion even amongst
professional biologists. Stefan
Click here for a page of photos
sent in by Stefan.
JON TRIFFO'S PHOTOS:
Here's some photos of a spider send in by Jon Triffo, from Saskatchewan in Canada. Here's Jon's email and his
"We have identified it
as the Brazilian Wandering Spider (Phoneutria fera). These
spiders are extremely fast, extremely venomous, and extremely aggressive
and are ranked among the most venomous spiders known to man. In fact,
the Brazilian Wandering Spider is the most venomous spider in the New
World! In South America, these true spiders are commonly encountered in
peoples' homes, supposedly hiding in peoples' shoes, hats, and other
clothes. It does not remain on a web, rather, it wanders the forest
floor, which is how it got its name. The Brazilian Wandering Spider has
another name - the Banana Spider and it was given this name
because there have been cases where these spiders unintentionally
appeared on banana
boats heading for the United States. It
is not to be confused with the golden silk
orb weaver spider which is NOT extremely venomous These spiders make
a golden silk web and are commonly found in the US and Australia and are
also called banana spiders because of the yellow colouring. "
Click here for more info and a picture.
"I am a wildlife and socio
and I am currently digitizing images for the Interactive Learning
Centre (ILC) in the New Life Sciences Gallery at the Royal
Saskatchewan Museum (RSM). I recently had an opportunity to
photograph a large tropical spider that was donated to the RSM after
it was found in a shipment of bananas at a local grocery store.
donor, not wanting to identify the store and possibly alarm its
customers, did not provide any information about where the bananas
and the spider came from.
Would your school be interested in helping us identify this amazing
creature? I would be happy to send you some photos of it via e-mail.
You are welcome to use them for educational purposes if you wish,
and I invite you to visit "TriffoPhoto" at <jon-triffo.tripod.com>
and "Triffo Gallery" at <falcon.unibase.com>,
the Regina Peregrine Falcon Project web site. "
"This spider is a bit more than an inch in body
length, and about three inches in front to back leg length when at rest.
We suspect that it is a Wandering Ctenidae, perhaps Phoneutria fera from
South Brasil, or something similar. I've attached a drawing of its face
and carapace in JPG format."
Here's the drawing Jon
"The Royal Saskatchewan Museum is developing a tropical
exhibit based on research done in Costa Rica. Although we are
highlighting Neotropical Passerines that breed in our province
and over winter in tropical rainforests, our spider, sadly now
deceased but preserved, may prove to be very useful if we can
identify it with greater certainty.
If nothing else, I would like to add a photo of it to
the Brasil Gallery in my Tripod Site."
"For interested students and spider sleuths, the
fact that our specimen arrived in Canada in a shipment of bananas is
a good clue.
An experienced spider sleuth may see other clues that could
narrow the field of possibilities. (Apparently, there are more than
400 species of Ctenidae!)
The so called "Wandering Spiders" are fascinating to learn about.
They tend to be diurnal hunters."
"Some are highly venomous, and some are well known for occurring
in banana shipments throughout the world. Admittedly, I choose my
bananas with greater care when I go shopping now!"
"I would be honoured if you posted any of these
pictures on your spider page. You have my expressed written consent
to use them in any non commercial way you please.
Also, I'll be happy to send you other interesting arachnid
pics as I find or acquire them. (I think I have some scanned photos
of a wonderful little Pseudoscorpion. I'll send some along when I
"I hope to hear from you again.
Cheers from chilly, snow-covered Saskatchewan! (Where are those
Dwarf Spiders, anyway?? Perhaps they are camera shy!)
Photos copyright ©Jon Triffo, 2000
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