The term "banana spider" actually refers to three different types of spiders; the Brazilian wandering spider which is poisonous, the golden silk orb-weaver which is not poisonous, and the Argiope appensa which is also not poisonous. While caution is advisable around any spider, knowing the precise arachnid with which you are dealing is vital for safety.Continue Reading
The Brazilian wandering spider is indigenous to the tropical regions of South America, although one species also appears in Central America. All of these are part of the Ctenidae family, all wandering spiders. In the 2010 Guinness Book of World Records, the Brazilian wandering spider is listed as the world's most venomous. The good news is that effective antivenoms are available, but it is still best to avoid bites.
The golden silk orb-weaver appears in many different habitats around the world. In North America, they are often called writing spiders because of the patterns in their webs. Their legs feature stripes with tips pointing inward, a specialization for sewing. Their alternation between green or yellow with black or dark brown signals predators that they have venom, although they actually are not poisonous.
The Argiope appensa is a gold and black spider that is indigenous to islands in the Western Pacific Ocean, although it has also been introduced to New Guinea, Taiwan and Hawaii. The striking alternation of black and gold is the most noticeable feature.Learn more about Spiders
Orb weaver spiders can be found all over the world. There are over 4,000 different species of them. They have two body segments, including a cephalothorax and an abdomen. They have eight legs, all of which are connected to the cephalothorax.Full Answer >
Portia spiders are jumping spiders belonging to the genus Portia. There are 17 species. Portia spiders use a wide variety of hunting techniques and learn new hunting tactics rapidly using a trial-and-error approach.Full Answer >
All spiders have eight legs. Spiders also possess a pair of shorter limbs called the pedipalps, that in males serve as sex organs. Spider legs contain seven distinct segments.Full Answer >
Wolf spiders prey upon many insects such as crickets and ants and have been seen catching other spiders as well. They are even known to stalk and catch small lizards, frogs, mice and tiny birds.Full Answer >