Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Banana Spider


We have one of these in our neighborhood... Eeeeeeee! I couldn't believe it when I saw it. Spiders make my skin crawl!

13 comments:

The Merry Widow said...

You should see the banana slugs in the redwood forests of northern California...6-8 inches long!
Like
this!

tmw

Eyes said...

Ewwwww!!!! Still, I think the spider is creepier... Is that a word?

berty said...

*shudder*

Anonymous said...

eh Ive seen bigger spiders in southern china

Eyes said...

Really Anon? That's a scary thought. We were just in Vietnam, and I didn't see any! TG! Actually there were very few bugs.. lots of bats.

Eyes said...

Turns out it was just a Yellow Garden Spiker... body - 1" diameter...

Always On Watch said...

This time of year is "Spider Season" here in Northern Virginia. But we have nothing quite so exotic, just a lot of cobwebs.

Gayle said...

Banana spiders are harmless. We have tons of them here in the spring and early summer. They hang out of the trees and I've had them in my hair when I didn't see them while mowing the lawn under a tree. I hate that and it freaks me out even though I know they're harmless. LOL! They are very good at keeping the mosquitoes and flies down to a dull roar.

Eyes said...

Hi AOW, You're lucky... We have some really creepy stuff down here. I remember last year seeing a horrible flying thing that looked like a giant wasp. Turns out it too is harmless...

Hi Gayle, That would totally freak me out!!! Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl... I guess I wouldn't fair so well in the country:>D

Brooke said...

Oh, good lawrd, I HATE SPIDERS!

I can't even look at that! ACK!!!

Anonymous said...

spiders sometimes scare me (especially the ones with leg spans the size of a coffee mug), but i love the heck out of them. i don't even (usually) kill them when i find them in my house. they help keep the annoying bugs away. and they have no interest in you whatsoever.

living.creatures@yahoo.com said...

HI Anon, I agree totally with you. The little ones I don't mind. I prefer geico's though for in-house bug killing:>D

Sierra'sGrace'sadoptivemomVivia said...

Hi ladies good news and bad news from another who likes but is afraid of beeeg spiders. I come from the land of banana slugs (Seattle is slug central in general)...since I've seen contradictory info re the toxicity of banana spiders, I checked into it -- I can't vouch for who wrote this, but they sound authoritative to me...also quick note to anonymous who said spiders have no interest in us--once upon a time in a dirty Paris hotel room the friend I was travelling with freaked out over a big spider on the ceiling. I told her it was just for one night and that spider wasn't going to move before check-out time, and JUST AS IF IT WAS LISTENING it took off RUNNING toward us. We screeched and took our clogs off, then MISSED it and it ran under the bed. We tried to find it so we would be able to sleep, but under that bed was the biggest herd of dust bunnies ever. Though that was 30 years ago I'll never forget how weird it was that that spider took off running after us right after I'd sworn it wouldn't be moving. Must have been some kind of aggressive French spider, non? On to banana spiders since I'm giving myself nightmares!

Vivia (didn't spellcheck, sorry)

The Banana Spider is known to hide among bananas shipped to the US and is really called the Brazilian Wandering Spider. These spiders are aggressive and very venomous and not intimidated by size (can attack people when threatened).
The odd part about the Banana Spider is that studies indicate only 33% of the spider bites actually contain any significant amount of venom, but those that are injected with venom could be in serious danger!!!!!!
If you are bitten by a Brazilian Wandering spider (Phoneutria spp.), you should seek immediate emergency treatment as the venom could possibly be life threatening. The Phoneutria not only has a potent neurotoxin, but is said to have one of the most excruciatingly painful spider bites of all spiders due to its high concentration of serotonin.
Despite the Banana Spider's reputation as the world's deadliest spider, there are multiple studies that dispute the ability for the spider to actually kill a human and one study suggested that a little over 2% of these spider bites (mostly in children) were serious enough to require antivenom.
On the other hand, there are other studies suggesting that the Banana Spider is indeed the most toxic spider in the world based upon toxicology studies. One of the most notable and thorough studies is presented in the book "Venomous Animals and their Venoms Vol. III" by Wolfgang Bucheral and Eleanor Buckley. This study has some shocking findings that clearly demonstrate how lethal the Brazilian Wandering spider can actually be.
There is an antidote for the bite of a Banana Spider and was discovered by Carlos Chagas from Brazil.
If you see a spider hiding in a cluster of Bananas, you should move right along and possibly inform the store manager that is may be a Banana Spider!

Answer 2:
First: All spiders are poisonous, as it is part of their eating mechanism / biology.
Second: There are two types of spiders called "Banana Spiders":
The Brazilian Walking Spider whose biological name is "Phoneutria spp" (greek for Murderess) is a highly TOXIC spider - in fact it is the most toxic spider in the world as well as being very aggressive (it will willingly attack humans). Normal coloration is sandy brown, with black stripes on the legs and red mandibles.
Found only in South America (Natural Habitat)
The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver is native to North America. This is a large spider that is not very aggressive, and while poisonous, is not lethal to humans (in normal health, or susceptible to insect poisons). These are large spiders that are black and yellow normally, some variants to red.