Skip to main content

Brazilian Wandering Spider

Brazilian Wandering Spider is a blanket term for the eight species contained within the genus Phoneutria. There are actually relatively few species of spider that pose serious threats to humans.... and these are some of them. Members of this genus are responsible for more human deaths than any other spiders. But remain calm! All members of the genus are native to specific forest and rainforest areas in Central and South America. (Though one did show up in some fruit packaging in Tulsa last year...) They are relatively large spiders on top of being incredibly venomous. Leg spans of the species range between 4 and 5 inches, and body size is 1-2in.
Image from Really Good Magazine

Brazilian Wandering Spiders get their name because they actually move about and hunt actively on the forest floor, rather than residing in nests or webs. This is one of the reasons why they are dangerous to humans. They are nocturnal creatures and thus need a place to hide out during the day. This sometimes leads them to human populated areas, where they may bite if startled.

Though they do not normally build webs, they still have the ability to produce silk, which is used to assist in climbing, to wrap prey, and to build egg sacs. The spiders feed on insects, small reptiles and mice. Their venom is a powerful neurotoxin and contains high levels of serotonin. The toxin shuts down primary functions, while the serotonin moves strait to the brain, causing pain and tremors. The bite also has the side effect of causing painful erections in men. This interesting development has led to pharmaceutical companies doing testing on the venom for ED treatments. There has been an anti-venom for the spider bites since 2004.


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe