Ctenidae  Keyserling, 1877 / Phoneutria  Perty, 1833   2 species

Phoneutria boliviensis  (F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1897)


Colouration very variable: prosoma, legs and sternum dark reddish brown, opisthosoma brown.

Body length male: 30-35 mm

Prosoma yellowish to reddish brown with a thin black longitudinal stripe, black lines also lateral of the clypeus and dorsally on the pedipalpus, often yellowish banded. Opisthosoma dorsally yellowish with pairwise bright yellowish-brownish chevrons, ventrally gold to yellow with 2 rows of brown spots and 2 white spots. Chelicerae reddish to red brown, legs dorsally often with small yellow spots and thin black transversal stripes.

Body length female: 30-40 mm
Additional information

This species of Central and South American origin is not native to Europe (alien species). It is rarely imported to Europe, usually with bananas from, but could not establish. This spider can bite humans. The following information concerns the closely related P. nigriventer (Bucaretchi et al. 2000) because toxicological information is rare for P. boliviensis. Prior to a bite, the spider may jump towards an approaching human, about 30 cm wide. Following a large Brazilian study, bites occur usually in feet or hands. In single cases, no venom is injected (dry bite) and in only 13% fang marks can be detected after a bite. Most bites cause only mild envenomation, usually strong local pain and small edema, lasting for a few hours. In rare cases systemic effects such as sweating or tachycardia can be observed. In only 1 % of cases, strong pain was reported, followed by sweating, tremor and vomiting. Such severe cases were restricted to children. Deaths are so far not yet reported for P. boliviensis.


  Not established
  No data
Global distribution (WSC 2021): Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil
Distribution List
Germany   (Jäger & Blick, 2009) ||| Netherlands   (Noordijk, 2019) |||

Bucaretchi F, Deus Reinaldo C R, Hyslop S, Madureira P R, De Capitani E M, Vieira R J (2000) A clinico-epidemiological study of bites by spiders of the genus Phoneutria. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 42: 17-21 pdf

Hazzi N A, Hormiga G (2021) Morphological and molecular evidence support the taxonomic separation of the medically important Neotropical spiders Phoneutria depilata (Strand, 1909) and P. boliviensis (F.O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1897) (Araneae, Ctenidae). ZooKeys 1022: 13-50 pdf

Jäger P, Blick T (2009) Zur Identifikation einer nach Deutschland eingeschleppten Kammspinnenart (Araneae: Ctenidae: Phoneutria boliviensis). Arachnologische Mitteilungen 38: 33-36 pdf

Noordijk J (2019) In Nederland geïmporteerde 'Braziliaanse zwerfspinnen' (Araneae: Ctenidae: Phoneutria) [Imported 'Brazilian wandering spiders' in the Netherlands]. Entomologische Berichten 79: 202-207 pdf

WSC (2021) World Spider Catalog. Version 22.0. Natural History Museum Bern, online at (29.05.2021) doi: 10.24436/2 pdf

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