Wandering spider

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Wandering spiders
Wandering spider.jpg
Phoneutria nigriventer
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Superfamily: Lycosoidea
Family: Ctenidae
Keyserling, 1877

see text

39 genera, 472 species

The wandering spiders are the members of the spider family Ctenidae. Previously, the term referred only to the genus Phoneutria but now usually refers to the entire family Ctenidae. The members of the genus Phoneutria are highly aggressive and venomous nocturnal hunters, and are the only wandering spiders known to pose a serious danger to humans. However, the venom of some other members of this family is very poorly known,[1] meaning that all larger ctenids should be treated with caution. Some ctenids have marks and patterns that are attractive. Ctenids have a distinctive longitudinal groove on the top-rear of their oval carapace[2] (some other spiders have a similar groove; e.g., Amaurobiidae).


Cupiennius salei adult male. A species with an important toxin for medical research, but not a medically significant bite - although often mistaken for Phoneutria

The categorization into subfamilies follows that of Joel Hallan.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Okamoto et al. (2009). Ctenus medius and Phoneutria nigriventer spiders venoms share noxious proinflammatory activities. J. Med. Entomol. 46(1): 58-66
  2. ^ . McGavin, George C. (2002). Insects and Other Terrestrial Arthropods. New York: Dorling Kindersley Ltd. p. 230. ISBN 0-7894-9392-6. 
  3. ^ http://insects.tamu.edu/research/collection/hallan/Acari/Family/Ctenidae.txt

External links[edit]