Armadillos spider: size, attack, venom, habitat

Armadillos Spider is a popular name used for the spiders of the genre Phoneutria. They have in common the adoption of a characteristic attack position when they feel threatened, raising the front legs and supporting themselves on the hind legs.

These are spiders with powerful venom, which can cause serious effects in humans, some even lethal. In the event of serious accidents, use serum antiarachnoid produced by Butantan Institute. The wandering spiders occur in Central and South America, being observed throughout the Brazilian territory.

Read more: arthropods — are a very diverse group of animals, among which are the arachnids

Topics of this article

  • 1 - Abstract about the wandering spider
  • 2 - Armadillos Spider
  • 3 - Feeding of the wandering spider
  • 4 - Are wandering spiders poisonous?
  • 5 - How to avoid accidents with wandering spiders?

Abstract about spider spider

  • Armadillos spider is the common name given to species of spiders of the genus Phoneutria.

  • They are observed throughout the national territory.

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  • They usually live in palm trees, bromeliads and banana trees. They can hide in shoes, furniture, rubble and building materials.

  • They are poisonous.

  • Accidents with them can be dangerous and, in some cases, fatal.

  • The Butantan Institute is responsible for the production of antiarachnidic serum.

Armadillos Spider

Armadillos spider is the common name given to species in spiders of the genre phoneutria. In total, there are eight species of them, the phoneutria nigriventer the most studied in Brazil. Wandering spiders occur in Central and South America.

Are animals nocturnal and develop up to 17 centimeters in length. They present variable coloration, being observed in some species the brown color and a series of lighter spots on their abdomen. The popular name of these spiders is related to the position they adopt when defending.

When they feel threatened, they raise their front legs and support themselves on their hind legs. They expose their chelicerae, which have stingers capable of injecting venom. It is worth noting that, most of the time, these spiders flee when they are threatened, however, in situations where they are cornered, they arm themselves for defense.

The wandering spiders are often found in Ppalm trees, bromeliads and banana trees, also known as banana spiders. The scavengers can also hide in building materials, shoes, logs and furniture. People, when handling these objects or even putting on a shoe without analyzing its interior, can be stung, which is why stings on the feet and hands are more common.

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Wandering spider feeding

Wandering spiders feed on other animals. Small part of their diet invertebrates, such as cockroaches, grasshoppers and crickets. They can also eat other spiders.

Read more: Moult or ecdysis in arthropods

Are wandering spiders poisonous?

the wandering spiders are poisonous, and its venom consists of several proteins and peptides, including neurotoxins. It is a powerful substance that can even lead to death.

Armadillos spider in attack position
Armadillos spiders are so named because of the position they adopt when they feel threatened.

Accidents with spiders of the genus phoneutria provoke pain on the spot (described by many as unbearable), edema (swelling) and erythema (redness of the skin). The stung individual may still experience burning, numbness, itching, sweating at the site near the sting, blurred vision, paleness, involuntary muscle contraction, vomiting, tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmia and increased blood pressure. As pointed out, severe cases can progress to death.

The bite is treated with anesthetics and, in more severe cases, antiarachnidic serum. In Brazil, the Butantan Institute guarantees the production of this serum and its supply in health services. The antiarachnidic serum is, according to the Institute itself, obtained from the plasma of horses hyperimmunized with a mixture of spider venoms of the genus loxosceles (brown spider) and phoneutria (spider spider) and venoms of scorpions of the genre Tityus.

In our country, according to Embrapa, most accidents are concentrated in the South and Southeast. However, it is important to point out that the wandering spider occurs throughout Brazil.

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How to avoid accidents with spider spiders?

Spider accidents can be very dangerous, so it's important to pay attention to prevent them from happening. the adoption of some simple measures can help with this, such as:

  • Always examine shoes and clothing before wearing them.

  • Do not accumulate rubbish and rubbish in backyards, always keeping them clean.

  • When performing gardening activities, always wear shoes and gloves.

  • Be careful when handling logs and stones and never reach into holes.

  • Seal door and window sills.

By Vanessa Sardinha dos Santos
Biology teacher

Would you like to reference this text in a school or academic work? Look:

SANTOS, Vanessa Sardinha dos. "Spider-spider"; Brazil School. Available in: https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/animais/aranha-armadeira.htm. Accessed on May 28, 2022.

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