Brazilian wandering spider


: any of a genus (Phoneutria) of large, venomous, nocturnal spiders of tropical South America that do not build webs and actively hunt prey by traveling on the ground

Note: Brazilian wandering spiders adopt a characteristic aggressive defense posture in which their front legs are raised straight up into the air.

Along the way we meet some scary hairies, among them a Brazilian wandering spider, the most dangerous spider in the world, we're told, with venom 18 times as potent as a black widow'sChip Crews, Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2006

called also banana spider

Word History

First Known Use

1995, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Brazilian wandering spider was in 1995

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Cite this Entry

“Brazilian wandering spider.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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