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Wandering Spiders

Here's some photos of Wandering spiders. Many thanks for allowing us to use the photos sent in. All photos are copyright to their owners and may not be reproduced without permission. Please choose a section.
Unidentified Spiders 2018 Unidentified Spiders 2017 Unidentified Spiders 2016
Unidentified Spiders 2015 Unidentified Spiders 2014 Unidentified Spiders 2013
Unidentified Spiders 2012 Unidentified Spiders 2011 Unidentified Spiders 2010
Unidentified Spiders 2009 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2009 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2008 (1)
Unidentified Spiders 2008 (2) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2007 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2007 (3) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2006 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2006 (3) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2005 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2005 (3) Unidentified Spiders 2004 (1) Unidentified Spiders 2004 (2)
Unidentified Spiders 2003 Unidentified Spiders 2002 Unidentified Spiders 2001
Spiders in Amber Closeups Ant & Wasp Mimicking Spiders
Argiopes/St. Andrew's Cross Barn Funnel Weaving Spider Basilica  Spiders
Bird Dropping Spiders Black House Spiders Bolas Spiders
Brown Recluse Spiders Candy Stripe Spiders Common House Spider
Crab Spiders Cyclosa Conica Daddy Long Legs
Daring Jumping Spiders Dew Drop Spiders Fishing Spiders
Funnel Web (Aus) Furrow Spider Garden Orb Weavers
Ghost Spider Giant House Spider Golden Orb Weavers
Grass spiders/Funnel Weavers Ground Spiders Hacklemesh Weavers
Hobo Spiders Huntsman Spiders Jewelled Spiders
Jumping Spiders Lace Web  Spiders Ladybird Spiders
Leaf Curling Spiders Long Jawed Orb Weavers Lynx Spiders
Marbled Orb Weavers Micarathena Mouse Spiders
Mygalomorphs Net casting Spider Nursery Web Spiders
Parson Spiders Pirate Spiders Pseudoscorpion
Purseweb Spider Red & Black Spiders Redback Spiders
Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spiders Running Crab Spiders Scorpion Spiders
Segestria Florentina Solfugids/Camel Spiders Southern House Spiders
Spider Tats Spitting Spiders Steatoda
Tailless Whip Scorpions Tarantulas Tengellid Spiders
Titiotus (Recluse look alike) Trapdoor Spiders Tree Trunk Spider
Two Spined Spiders Venusta Orchard Spiders Wandering Spiders
White Tailed Spider Widow Spiders Wolf Spiders
Woodlouse Hunters

Yellow & Broad faced Sac Spiders

Zoropsis spinimana
Zygiella x-notata    


Here are some spiders that I think are wandering spiders but not sure of the particular species. As you can see below, it is very important to get the species correct as some are harmless and some are deadly. So with any that are unidentified, caution needs to be taken just in case!! Assume the worst and hope for the best!!!
30 December, 2017:
Hi Glen, hope you don't mind another request for ID from Ecuador. This guy is about 4 inches long, fast and seemed aggressive, running at my friend's daughter's toes, though it didn't bite. It's in my friend's house, who has several young children. From your website, it looks to me like a type of wandering spider, but I don't know which type? Thanks for any help,



Wandering spiders of the genus Ctenus are also known as tropical wolf spiders. Nearly all species of Ctenus and several other genera are all essentially harmless to humans.
Reply from Stuart: It's a mature male of one of the Wandering Spiders (same family Ctenidae), this time in the genus Ctenus - which are essentially harmless to humans. I think specifically can be a male of Ctenus sinuatipes or close - mature males of these and a few other species in the genus Ctenus have a highly modified metatarsus on their lower hind leg - "sinuatipes" roughly translates as 'sinuous legs'. glen

26 December, 2013:
Hello, I found your website Spiderzrule when searching for the classification of a 5-6 inch spider that came into my home in Panama a few nights ago. I ended up killing it because I couldn't identify if it were dangerous or not and had a visitor with a baby at the time. Hated to do so, but was too afraid to leave it alone inside or to approach it to get it back outside. Anyway, for future reference, I'd like to know whether to worry or not. Here are a few photos. Can you identify it? Phoneutria or Cupiennius? Thank you for any help you can lend. Charlotte S.


WANDERING SPIDERS  - Phoneutria sp.

The Brazilian Wandering spider (Phoneutria fera)  is regarded by some as the most dangerous spider in the world. Aggressive and highly venomous, it kills some 5 people across the world annually.  It is named as such because it was first discovered in Brazil, though this genus is known to exist elsewhere in South and Central America. This spider is a member of the Ctenidae family of wandering spiders. The family of Ctenidae, where both genera, Cupiennius and Phoneutria, belong to has to date more than 500 valid, described species. Most of them have no common names. Phoneutria spp. is actually a genus with five known similar species whose members are highly venomous and not reluctant to attack people who appear threatening. However, recent studies possibly indicate (but not with any irrefutable proof) that these spiders only inject venom in approximately one-third of their bites and may only inject a small amount in another third. Bites from these spiders may result in only a couple of painful pinpricks, or may involve full-blown envenomation; but in all cases, people bitten by a Phoneutria, or any Ctenid, should seek immediate emergency treatment, as the venom can be life threatening. P. fera and P. nigriventer are the two most commonly implicated as the most virulent of the Phoneutria spiders. P. nigriventer venom contains a potent neurotoxin, also known as PhTx3, which acts as a broad-spectrum calcium channel blocker that inhibits glutamate release, calcium uptake and also glutamate uptake in neural synapse. At deadly concentrations, this neurotoxin causes loss of muscle control, and breathing problems, resulting in paralysis and eventual asphyxiation. In addition, the venom causes intense pain and inflammation following an attack due to an excitatory effect the venom has on the serotonin 5-HT4 receptors of sensory nerves. This sensory nerve stimulation causes a release of neuropeptides such as substance P which triggers inflammation and pain.  Aside from causing intense pain, the venom of the spider can also cause priapism - uncomfortable erections that can last for many hours and lead to impotence. The venom may eventually be used in erectile dysfunction treatments. The Brazilian Wandering spider is reputed to occasionally hide in clusters of bananas. As a result, any large spider appearing in a bunch of bananas should be treated with due care. This spider is called the wandering spider because it wanders the jungle floor, rather than residing in a lair or maintaining a web. This attribute is another reason it is considered so dangerous. In densely populated areas, Phoneutria species usually search for cover and dark places to hide during daytime, and this may occur inside houses, clothes, cars, boots, boxes and log piles; thus generating accidents when near people.  Information - & Wikipedia

Reply: Looks like Phoneutria sp. so be careful with this one - glen

12 December, 2016:
This one was in our yard eating what looks like a green katydid.

Click for a larger view.


Reply: Not certain about this one either- glen

24 April, 2016:
Near Orosi valley in Costa Rica.

Click for a larger view.


Reply: Could be Phoneutria sp.  but not certain - glen

22 January, 2015:
Sosua dominican republic spider


9 March, 2008:
Unique wandering spider I know is phoneutria nigriventer (mine) because phoneutria fera lives at amazon jungle, too far from my state, and others species lives in other countries such Bolivia and places at Central America. This spider is not extremely rare, but it's not easy to find. There are videos at youtube about this spider, here one very interesting, this show the 'attack pose' (we call this spider as 'armadeira') I don't do this on mine, because I don't like to injury this animal. See ya.  

Photos provided by Stefan Hillebrecht  Click for a larger view

Two pictures of my dead P. reidyi wild-caught female (originated from Peruvian Amazon area). The spider has a leg span of more than 15cm (6") and a body length of close to 5cm (2").

Phoneutria boliviensis-adult female & young

Phoneutria boliviensis-adult female


Phoneutria Nigriventer - female - Sao Paolo

Phoneutria Nigriventer - female


Phoneutria Nigriventer - female

Phoneutria Reidyi - female & egg sac

23 September, 20125
Hi I know this is phoneutria but trying to confirm if it's a boliviensis or fera don't know if color will be enough



Cupiennius is a genus of wandering spiders found from Mexico to north western South America, and on some Caribbean islands. The genus includes both relatively small species where the cephalothorax is less than 9 mm (0.35 in) and large species where the cephalothorax can measure almost 40 mm (1.6 in).[1] The larger species are sometimes seen far outside their native ranges in shipments of fruits, when frequently confused with Phoneutria spiders. However, unlike the dangerously venomous Phoneutria, bites from Cupiennius typically only have a minor effect on humans and have been compared to a bee sting.

Reply: It looks very much like the Cupiennius so I'd say that's what it is. They are not the dangerous ones but can bite.

13 November, 2018:
Hi Glen, It's time for my semi-annual plea for spider help from Ecuador :) Thanks for all your responses in the past, they've been really helpful. This one fell on my toes when I opened my shower curtain and then ran up the wall in my shower. It's about 3-4 inches long in legspan, and didn't seem aggressive. I think it's a wandering spider, but after viewing your site, I still can't tell if it's the dangerous kind. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks,


Reply from Stuart: It's a mature male of one of the Wandering Spiders (same family Ctenidae), this time in the genus Cupiennius - which are essentially harmless to humans. I think specifically can be a male of Cupiennius coccineus - females have lots of red on the underside of legs in this species, but males are quite different from females overall, and similar to males of other close species in the same genus.

17 January, 2016:
Hi Glen, We recently moved to Costa Rica from the US and I came across this guy in my laundry room. He was about fist size and I'm thinking he might be some kind of Wolf Spider. What do you think?


Reply: Could be Cupiennius sp.  but not certain- glen

5 May, 2015:
Hey there, Today I found this spider in the Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. It has a leg spawn of maybe 12cm. I guess it's some sort of wandering spider, but would like to know if it's one of the highly venomenous ones. Sincerly Marvin


Reply: Yes this looks like Cupiennius sp. - glen

4 November, 2012:
Hello! Can you identify this spider? I would say it is Cupiennius coccineus, but I am not sure if there are similar spiders. Location: Costa Rica, Playa Tortuga, Mangroves, found at night Length around 35-40 mm, photographed in May 2012 Best regards Basti