This is the most dangerous species of spider in the world.
Last Friday I recieved a telephone call from a friend of mine named Andy
Baker. Andy works at Fyffes plc - a fruit ripening site in Coventry and he
informed me that he had found an unknown "banana spider" in a shipment from
Columbia and did I want it.
Well, of course, being a devout arachnophile I said I
would take a look at it as you never know what it could be, coming in a shipment
of fruit. Anyway on Saturday morning Andy came in with
the aforementioned beastie but unfortunately it had died over night due to being
sealed in a small plastic bag, but nonetheless It was quite obvious what it was.
It was a Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer
). We had had one of
these only last year on display in our nasties enclosure, that had been
discovered in (you guessed it) Coventry and we kept it for over a year and then
it unfortunately but quite naturally died. I kept its remains and photographed
them for this article last night (Sun 23rd) when I was just shutting down my
computer when the telephone rang. It was Andys wife Sarah saying that Andy had
found another spider of what looks to be the same species and that the only
difference was that this new spider was a good deal larger the the previous
specimen and again would we take it.
This we did.
Phoneutria sp. commonly known as wandering spiders are a genus of
highly venomous and extremely aggressive spiders found in tropical south and
central America. They are members of the family Ctenidae. The genus contains at
least eight scientifically described species. Wandering spiders are so-called
because they wander the jungle floor at night rather than ambushing prey from a
hidden lair or spinning a web. The Brazilian wandering spider appears in
Guinness World Record from 2010 to present as the worlds most venomous
We receive all manner of seemingly unusual inverts, from native caterpillars (which should be released!) to a black widow found on the back
seat of a car from an automobile shipped from Arizona, the latter now being
found quite often in the UK, although they do not yet seem to have viably
extended their range from the continent. In all honesty though I can say that,
at least in and around Coventry, the Brazilian wandering spider has become a
more likely possibility to be discovered in ones shopping.
The above mentioned
live specimen found its way to the Co-op supermarket store in Coventry and had
to be collected and returned to Fyffes plc.
is potentially life threatening news as this species is far more dangerous than
the widow spiders which are very venomous but quite placid whereas the Brazilian
wandering spider has got the attitude to match its extreme toxicity, and they do
like to travel.
Andy has kindly invited me to visit Fyffes plc in Coventry to investigate