Large and deadly!
The world’s largest venomous spider is the Brazilian wandering spider, a South American native which is also known as the banana spider due its fondness for banana plantations.
How big can it get?
Its body rarely breaches the 5 centimetre mark but its legs can grow as long as 15 centimetres (6 inches) making it the size of a an average paperback novel. However in terms of leg span it is dwarfed by both the Aussie Huntsman spider and the Goliath bird eating tarantula.
What does it eat?
Its dinner menu includes crickets and other large insects as well as small lizards, mice and other spiders. In fact, any creature smaller than itself is likely to be wolfed down when the dinner bell rings.
How does it hunt?
It takes to the jungle during the night time, stealthily looking for prey. Upon finding its desired dish, it clamps down with powerful jaws and releases its venom. After mealtime it returns to the darkness of termite hills and banana plants to rest.
How dangerous is it?
Fatally! There’s a reason that it is considered the most venomous spider in the world. Approximately half of all spider-related hospitalisations in South America are caused by this brute. It can release huge quantities of neurotoxins that attack the immune system in humans. Swelling, breathing problems, loss of muscle control and paralysis are just some of the effects of a bite. If left untreated a human can die in as little as two hours.
How many are left?
Population levels of this spider are unknown. Anybody that has been bitten probably thinks there are too many though.
Not content with simply wandering around its native South America, this spider clocks up more airmiles than any other spider, often stowing away within banana boxes. As such, reports of banana spider bites have come from as far away as Australia and also the U.K.