Sparassidae  Bertkau, 1872 / Heteropoda  Latreille, 1804   2 species

Heteropoda venatoria  (Linnaeus, 1767)


Both eye rows recurved. Anterior median eyes smaller than anterior lateral eyes, posterior lateral eyes on vague elevations. Legs II much longer than remaining legs, leg position distinctly laterigrade, leg formula II-I-IV-III.

Body length male: 21 mm
Body length female: 17-34 mm
Additional information

Big, very quick spiders, in Central Europe only in warm houses, often also in storehouses (banana spider), but not able to survive here in the wild. Originally from Southeast Asia, cosmopolitically distributed today. Females carry the discus-shaped, 20-30 mm large cocoon, welcomed guests in houses in the tropics because they capture cockroaches and other insects.

This species can bite humans, usually when they try to catch or remove it with their hands. The bite causes pain, described as immediate and transient, disappearing already after a few minutes.

This species of Asian origin is not native to Europe (alien species). It had been introduced to Europe at least once and did establish.

  Not established
  No data
Global distribution (WSC 2020): Tropical Asia. Introduced to Pacific Is., North, Central and South America, Macaronesia, Europe, Africa
 male  female
Distribution List
Belgium   (no references) ||| Czechia   (no references) ||| Germany   (no references) ||| Morocco   (Bosmans, unpubl.) ||| Netherlands   (no references) ||| Poland   (no references) ||| Switzerland   (no references) ||| United Kingdom   (no references) |||

Bosmans R. (unpubl.) Provisional list of spiders of North Africa. Database excerpt Aug. 2019

Isbister G K, White J (2004) Clinical consequences of spider bites: recent advances in our understanding. Toxicon 43: 477-492 pdf

Jäger P (2000a) Selten nachgewiesene Spinnenarten aus Deutschland (Arachnida: Araneae). Arachnologische Mitteilungen 19: 49-57 pdf

Rozwałka R, Rutkowski T, Bielak-Bielecki P (2013) New data on introduced and rare synanthropic spider species (Arachnida: Araneae) in Poland. Annales Universitatis Mariae Curie-Skłodowska, Lublin-Polonia 68: 127-150 pdf

Wilson R (2012) An American jumper in Leeds, west Yorkshire and an update on non-native taxa recorded in the UK. Newsletter of the British Arachnological Society 123: 10-15 pdf

World Spider Catalog (2020) World Spider Catalog. Version 21.0. Natural History Museum Bern, online at (20.03.2020) doi: 10.24436/2 pdf

02-05-2020 Datasheet update Detail
21-09-2017 Distribution update Detail
05-09-2017 Distribution update Detail
03-02-2017 Image insert
13-05-2014 Distribution update Detail
10-12-2013 Distribution update Detail
26-11-2013 Datasheet update Detail