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Brazilian Wandering Spider
(Phoneutria fera)
by Jon Fouskaris
*Information provided by Frank Somma

Brazilian Wandering Spider
Specimen provided by Frank Somma.

Photo taken by Jon Fouskaris.

       The Brazilian Wandering Spider is not for the "pet keeper". 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. 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. The Brazilian Wandering Spider does not remain on a web, rather, it wanders the forest floor, hence the name. The Brazilian Wandering Spider has another distinguished common name - the Banana Spider. The Brazilian Wandering Spider was given the name "Banana Spider" because there have been cases where these spiders unintentionally appeared on banana boats heading for the United States. The Brazilian Wandering Spider should be held with the highest respect. For those who manage to obtain one of these deadly spiders, always remain vigilant and don't get bitten!
Range Throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of South America.
Type Both terrestrial and arboreal.
Diet Spiderlings eat flightless fruit flies, and pinhead crickets. Adults eat crickets, other large insects, small lizards, and pinkie mice.
Full Grown Size 4 to 5 inches.
Growth Fast speed.
Temperature 75 to 80 F.
Humidity Around 80%.
Temperament Aggressive and nervous.
Housing Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Floor space is as important as height.
Substrate 2 to 3 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.
Decor Live plants, cork bark, driftwood, etc. make good hiding places.
Other Names Wandering Spider, South American Wandering Spider, and Banana Spider.

*Please note that ALL true spiders have a certain amount of venom. This species happens to have very strong venom. If you get bit by it, you may very well die. This is one of the reasons that people should not handle this spider. This spider is dangerous, so be very careful!

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