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Thread: Large spider in bananas

  1. #11
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    I think Wayne's right. The first pic looks like Phoneutria sp., and the second looks like a Sparassid, perhaps Holconia sp.?





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  2. #12
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    i would agree, second picture seems to be Holconia. spp. lacks the white bands on the legs to be immanis so possibly insignis??

    the first picture resembles Phoneutria keyserlingi.

  3. #13
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    The first pic does indeed resemble a Phoneutria.....I couldn't believe someone had it on the back of their hand! haha.

  4. #14
    Stanley A. Schultz's Avatar
    Stanley A. Schultz is offline Stan Schultz Marguerite J. Schultz Co-authors, the TARANTULA KEEPER'S GUIDE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lacey View Post
    Judging from the photo it belongs in the family Sparassidae, the giant crab spiders. If it came to the U.K. in bananas from the New World it is probably Heteropoda venatoria, the huntsman or banana spider. If it came with fruit from other places it could easily be another species. In his World Spider Catalog, Platnick lists dozens and dozens of species from the subtropics and tropics around the planet.

    These are large, fast spiders with a bite that can be mildly painful, but largely harmless. They look distressingly like Phoneutria, the Brazilian wandering spider. Although probably overrated, Phoneutria are dangerously venomous and also appear as come-alongs in produce. The easiest way to distinguish the two is that Phoneutria have reddish or orangish chelicerae, while H. venatoria (and probably the other species as well) have brownish chelicerae. What do you do if you find such a spider with orangish-brown chelicerae? Treat it with a great deal of respect!

    The ones we commonly find are females. If they produce a flat, coin shaped eggsac (which they carry with their chelicerae until the spiderlings emerge) you can get several hundred more for free. However, the mother usually dies after the babies emerge. Unlike with tarantulas, it's a one-shot deal for them. The babies are easy to care for, but very small, very fast, and very good at escaping. You've been warned. They seldom survive once they escape in your home.

    If you want one, they're often offered for sale by the same Internet vendors that you buy your tarantulas from. If they don't list them, ask for them.

    Or, get to know the produce (i.e., "veggie") people in your local, neighborhood, grocery stores. Supply each store with a largish glass jar and secure cover. Attach an adhesive label to each jar with your name, address, and phone number on it. Explain that you're interested in getting anything alive (lest they kill it first!) of a creepy-crawly nature that they may find in their fruit or vegetables. Every time they do, be sure to repay them the favor with a 12-pack of a favorite brew, or some other gift. Very soon you will have more than you can handle! You should understand that there is an unwritten code among grocers that anything of a creepy-crawly nature that they find in their stores is immediately killed and flushed down the toilet. And, nobody dares say anything about the incidents thereafter lest they lose their jobs on the spot. By supplying you with these little treasures the produce clerk is risking his/her job. Be generous in your gifts!

    Enjoy your little (or big!), 8-legged wonders!
    The Tarantula Whisperer!
    Stan Schultz
    Co-author, the TARANTULA KEEPER'S GUIDE
    Private messaging is turned OFF!
    Please E-mail me directly at schultz@ucalgary.ca

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