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Some Spiders of Latin America

Tiny to large, with some venomous spiders

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Giant Fishing Spider, Brazil

Giant Fishing Spider, Brazil

Emanuele Biggi / Getty Images

Central and South America have their share of spiders, arachnids, ranging from the world's smallest to the world's largest, with a wide variety in between.

Spiders are arachnids, and there are many varieties in Latin America. Some of the better known, or more colorful ones invite interest.

  • Panama blonde (psalmpopoeus pulcher) - This arboreal native is said to be less aggressive than other members of its genus. Arboreal, but will burrow some, especially as spiderlings
  • banana spider
  • The largest known spider in the world is ]Goliath bird-eating spider from Brazil, Surinam, Guyana and French Guinea. Its scientific name is Theraphosa leblondi and it can have a legspan of up to 28 cm (11 ins). It is an aggressive spider and though available in many pet shop should not be kept as a first spider pet. The largest specimen recorded was a male, though females are heavier, they tend to have shorter legs.
  • The smallest known spider in the world also comes from South America, a fully adult male Patu digua from Columbia measures about 0.37 mm (0.015 in). Welcome to the Octopodal World of Spiders
  • Brazilian Wandering Spiders are extremely fast, extremely venomous, and extremely aggressive. These large and dangerous true spiders are ranked among the most venomous spiders known to man.

    All spiders have certain things in common:

  • They are arachnids, a group of arthropods that also includes scorpions, harvestmen, mites, and ticks.
  • They have jointed legs , a hard external or outer skeleton and four pair of legs. They have no wings or antennae, but have enlarged, sharply pointed jaws called fangs (chelicerae).
  • They are predators, feeding on a wide variety of insects and other soft-bodied invertebrate animals. Spiders attack and subdue their prey by biting with their fangs to inject a poison. As predators, spiders are beneficial.
  • They spin silk, some to protect their eggs, others to make a parachute and some to make a web.
  • They are poisonous. Most are either too small or possess poison that is too weak to harm humans. Only a few have bites that are dangerous to humans. However, the bite of these few species can cause serious medical problems and possible death under certain circumstances. Here’s what to do if you get a spider bite .
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