What kinds of spiders can you find in Chile?
Before we begin, I want you to know that the list below is just a fraction of the spider species found in Chile. Because of the sheer number of these arachnids, it would be impossible to cover them all. For example, some estimates claim over 50,000 kinds of spiders on the planet (and the list is still growing)!
With that being said, I did my best to develop a list of spiders that are MOST often seen, to help you identify what you’ve found.
17 SPIDERS found in Chile!
#1. Gray Wall Jumping Spider
- Menemerus bivittatus
- This species has a flattened torso and short, thick, greyish-white hair. Tufts of dark brown hair grow close to the eyes.
- The male has a brownish-white stripe on each side of the abdomen and a black dorsal stripe.
- The female has a larger abdomen and is typically lighter brown. In addition, her abdomen is rimmed with broad black stripes that come together at the end.
The Gray Wall Jumping Spider is native to Africa but has spread worldwide. It frequently appears on the exterior of buildings or tree trunks in gardens.
Instead of weaving a web around their prey, the Gray Wall Jumping spider stalks the prey before springing on it to attack. Their wide eyes and visual acuity allow them to focus on objects and distinguish between different colors easily. And, using their exceptional jumping ability, they can seize their prey in the blink of an eye.
Interestingly, male Gray Wall Jumping Spiders can produce sounds as part of courtship behavior. The hairs on their femurs and the teeth on the chelicerae (small claws on the front of the mouth) make clicking noises that attract females. These sounds are too low and quiet for humans to hear, but it isn’t hard to imagine the creepy noise!
#2. Adanson’s House Jumper
- Hasarius adansoni
- Males have more colorful bodies, with black abdomen color and two white crescents on their bodies. They grow up to 6mm (0.23 in).
- Females are dark brown and don’t have any noticeable pattern, and are about 8mm (0.31 in) long.
- Both sexes have long legs covered with spines and hairs.
The Adanson’s House Jumper lives in warm climates all over Chile. Its natural habitats include woodland and low vegetation, but since they are highly adaptable, they can be found in any terrestrial area.
Although they can reuse their nests, they usually build new ones each night. Their webs are relatively small, about twice the size of the spider. The Adanson’s House Jumper is quite sociable and can be seen grouped in bigger numbers.
One of the most interesting traits of this species is its ability to jump incredible distances. They hunt by leaping several centimeters onto their prey, grabbing them, and injecting venom by bite.
#3. Brown Widow
- Latrodectus geometricus
- The coloring is mottled tan and brown with black accent markings.
- This species has an hourglass similar to the black widow, but it’s often orange or yellow.
- The striped legs are usually dark brown or black with light yellow bands.
The Brown Widow Spider employs a neurotoxic venom, causing pain, muscle rigidity, vomiting, and sweating. However, the bites of the Brown Widow are often much less harmful than those of the famous Black Widow.
Females create webs in isolated, safe locations near houses and branch-heavy woods. Brown widows frequently choose empty containers like buckets, planters, mailboxes, and entryway corners. So, checking these places thoroughly before disturbing them is a good idea!
One of the easiest ways to identify a Brown Widow is to look for its egg sacs. They have pointy protrusions and are frequently referred to as “fluffy” or “spiky” in appearance.
#4. Red House Spider
- Nesticodes rufipes
- Adult females are about 7 mm (0.27 in) long, while males are about 3 mm (0.11 in) long.
- Their body and legs have a reddish-brown coloration, and their abdomen is dark and globe-shaped.
- Adult females have a red band on the underside of their abdomen that resembles an hourglass.
Red House Spiders in Chile thrive in warm climates.
As their name suggests, you’re most likely to find them in your home. Despite their need for warm weather, they prefer cool shaded areas like cupboards, closets, door frames, and eaves.
Red House Spiders construct messy, tangled webs with multiple different anchor points. These webs help protect them from predators, and they don’t leave unless disturbed. They quickly fall to the ground using a dragline if they’re threatened.
These spiders aren’t aggressive but will bite in defense. While their bites aren’t life-threatening, they can be painful and cause redness and swelling in the area. Due to the female’s hourglass marking, people often mistake them for black widows. It’s best to see a doctor if you’re bitten to be safe.
#5. Banded Garden Spider
- Argiope trifasciata
Also known as the Banded Orb Weaving Spider.
- This species has an oval abdomen and bright body markings. The back of the abdomen is pale yellow with silvery hairs and lateral bands of black stripes. Males are usually paler, sometimes even white.
- Adult females are around 13-14.5 mm (0.51-0.57 in) long.
- Males are considerably smaller, reaching only one-third of the females’ length.
The Banded Garden Spider builds an enormous web, typically around 60 cm (23.6 in) in diameter. Occasionally, they can reach up to 2 m (78.7in) long. The web itself is sticky and strong, able to hold very large insects like wasps and grasshoppers.
One interesting feature of their webs is the so-called “stabilimentum,” a vertical zigzag pattern made from dense silk. Researchers think this feature is a way to attract insects that the Banded Garden spider eats.
These spiders rarely bite humans and are not aggressive. If disturbed, they may drop from the center of their web. They may bite in defense if handled and bothered, but it’s unlikely that the bite would cause more discomfort than a bee sting.
#6. Pantropical Huntsman Spider
- Heteropoda venatoria
- Adults are 2.2-2.8 cm (0.86-1.1 in) long with a leg span of 7-12 cm (3-5 in).
- Females have larger bodies, and males have longer legs.
- Both sexes are brown with yellow or cream markings and distinct black spots on their legs.
The Pantropical Huntsman Spider is native to Asia but is a bit of a world traveler! They’re often called banana spiders because they hitch a ride in tropical fruit imports, making their way to other parts of the world. These fearsome-looking spiders thrive in areas with warm climates but are occasionally found in greenhouses and heated buildings in temperate climates.
Because of their need for warmth, Pantropical Huntsman Spiders slip into small cracks and crevices around homes, barns, and sheds. Luckily, they’re most active at night, so your chances of disturbing one are fairly low. Additionally, their venom is not dangerous to humans. However, they can deliver a painful bite that might swell and turn red.
As you may have guessed from their name, this species is an accomplished predator. Instead of trapping prey in webs, they rely on their speed and strength, grabbing prey with their jaws and injecting venom into it. In fact, people in many tropical countries like them because they feed on cockroaches and other pests.
#7. Translucent Green Jumping Spiders
- Genus: Lyssomanes
- Females measure 7-8 mm (0.27-0.31 in) long, while males measure 5-6 mm (0.19-0.23 in).
- Most are pale, translucent green, with other characteristics ranging from bands on the legs, colorful fringe around the eyes, or spots on the body.
Translucent Green Jumping Spiders are often found in warm, humid forests. As their name suggests, this genus of spiders is often pale green with a nearly translucent exoskeleton. Although they look dangerous, most jumping spiders are harmless and good for pest control.
These common spiders in Chile don’t construct webs. They have excellent vision and hunt their prey rather than waiting for it to get stuck in a web. They wait and ambush their prey, leaping on it when it gets close and then biting, immobilizing it. These accomplished hunters can take insect prey three times their size!
While Translucent Green Jumping Spiders have venom that can easily incapacitate their prey, their venom isn’t harmful to humans. They rarely bite and will only do so when roughly handled. Their bites typically only result in mild redness and irritation that subsides in a couple of days.
#8. Chilean Recluse
- Loxosceles laeta
- Adults range in size from 8-40 mm (0.31-1.6 in), including their legs.
- They are pale yellow to reddish brown with a light tan violin-shaped mark on their chest.
- They have six eyes: two pairs on the sides of the head and one in the center.
The Chilean Recluse thrives in warm climates. They’re commonly found in human dwellings, especially in dark corners that are warm and dry. Woodpiles, sheds, closets, and garages are likely hiding places.
While these spiders are native to Chile, they have spread to several continents. They likely hitch a ride on shipments of fruit and other goods. Chilean Recluses are well-known for surviving 6 to 12 months without food, which has made their global spread easier.
The US, Canada, and Australia have all reported infestations of this spider. A famous colony has even infested The Natural History Museum of Helsinki in Finland since the 1960s, and parents must now sign waivers for school children visiting the museum.
These waivers are understandable since Chilean Recluses are considered the most dangerous of the recluse spiders. While they don’t generally bite humans unless they’re trapped against the skin, they are highly venomous. Their bites may cause symptoms ranging from mild skin irritation to severe skin necrosis, kidney failure, and even death.
#9. Chilean Tiger Spider
- Scytodes globula
- Adults are 30-70 mm (1.18-2.75 in). Their legs are three to four times their body size.
- They are tan with dark markings on their body and dark bands on their legs.
- Their abdomens are rounded and bulbous like a balloon.
Look for the Chilean Tiger Spider in Chile’s warm climates.
These terrestrial, or ground-dwelling spiders spend their day in dark, undisturbed places like fallen logs, meter boxes, small pump houses, and closets.
At night, Chilean Tiger Spiders leave their webs to hunt among the leaf litter or other debris on the ground. They use a distinctive hunting method that earned them the nickname “spitting spider.” They stealthily approach prey, then constrict their abdomen and project a sticky, strong web to trap it before biting it and injecting venom. These incredible hunters have also become well-known for preying upon the dangerous Chilean Recluse.
Possibly due to their unique hunting methods, it’s extremely rare for this species to attack anything more than twice its size. There are no records of humans being bitten.
#10. Spinybacked Orb Weaver Spider
- Females are bright-colored and have a hard shell-like abdomen. They grow to 5-10 mm (0.2-0.4 in).
- Six spines stand out from their body.
- Males are much smaller and are not brightly colored. In addition, the spines are not as prominent.
- Also is known as Spiny-backed Orb-weaver, Spiny Orb-weaver, Thorn Spider, or Spiny Spider.
Many people don’t even realize these arachnids are spiders! Their hard body with spikes sticking out makes them incredibly unique for spiders that live in Chile. Luckily, they aren’t dangerous to humans and will only bite out of self-defense.
Like most spiders, they make their webs at night. But here’s the interesting part, they have to make a new web EVERY day since they eat their web each morning.
Spinybacked Orb Weaver Spider webs are constructed a little differently than other spiders. They actually add little silk balls to the web so larger insects and birds don’t run into or destroy it. These act as a warning to larger insects and birds to save the spider the work of repairing holes made by larger animals.
#11. Woodlouse Spider
- Dysdera crocata
- Both sexes have six eyes, an orange or dark-red head, with shiny, orange legs.
- The abdomen can be yellow-brown or dark grey.
- Females are 11-15 mm (0.43-0.59 in), and males are 9-10 mm (0.35-0.40 in).
- Also known as the Woodlouse Hunter, Sowbug Hunter, Sowbug Killer, Pillbug Hunter, and Slater Spider.
Their diet primarily consists of woodlice (“potato bugs or pillbugs”). These isopods have thick exoskeletons, but the Woodlouse Spider can easily pierce them with their large fangs and inject their venom. They also eat earwigs, millipedes, silverfish, and crickets.
Look for these spiders in Chile under rocks, decaying logs, leaf litter, or anywhere else damp and dark. As you can see, these are the same places where their favorite prey (woodlice) are found.
Woodlouse Spiders have a painful bite, but luckily, it doesn’t require medical attention. Pain and localized itching, similar to a bee sting, should go away within a few hours.
#12. Common House Spider
- Parasteatoda tepidariorum
- Both sexes can appear from nearly black to a variety of other colors and sometimes have patterns of different colors on their body.
- Adults are 4-9 mm (0.16-0.35 in).
- Females have bulb-like abdomens, and males do not.
These spiders are found in Chile NEAR PEOPLE!
I know that I always find them in my garage! It always surprises me how small Common House Spiders really are, as they are generally only between 5-6 millimeters (0.20-0.24 in) long.
Even though there are probably a few of them in your house right now, you shouldn’t fear Common House Spiders. They are actually helpful because they feed on small insects and pests in your house like flies, ants, and mosquitos.
Even though they are relatively docile, bites do occur mostly due to their close proximity to humans. But have no fear, their venom is not dangerous in the least.
#13. Noble False Widow
- Steatoda nobilis
- Their brown bulbous abdomen has cream-colored markings that resemble the shape of a skull.
- Females are 9.514 mm (0.37-0.55 in), while males are 7-11 mm (0.27-0.43 in).
- Individuals vary considerably in color and size.
This spider is an invasive species in Chile, as it originates from Madeira and the Canary Islands.
Unfortunately, its population is still spreading, and it is considered one of the most invasive spiders in the world. Look for them both in and around your house. When the weather turns cold, these long-lived spiders (up to five years) retreat to the warm climate your home provides.
Noble False Widows get their name because of their resemblance to Black Widows and other venomous spiders. While they are not as dangerous to humans as Black Widows, their bite can be problematic. First, while the bite is painless, the release of venom into you causes intense pain and has been compared to receiving a bee sting, along with subsequent symptoms.
Second, these spiders carry pathogenic bacteria, which can cause an infection that is resistant to antibiotics. General symptoms from a bite include fever, general discomfort, and swelling. But luckily, bites are incredibly rare!
#14. False Black Widow
- Steatoda grossa
Also known as the False Widow, Cupboard Spider, or Dark Comb-footed Spider.
- Females measure 6-10.5 mm (0.23-0.41 in). Males are similar in size but thinner.
- They’re dark brown with a round, bulbous abdomen.
- The female abdomen is more rounded than the male.
As the name suggests, many people commonly confuse this spider with the venomous Black Widow. But luckily, this species is not dangerous, and it’s easy to differentiate because they don’t have the ominous red hourglass on the abdomen.
False Black Widows are considered cosmopolitan species, which means they are common to find in and around homes. They prefer dark areas, such as under furniture or in basement corners. These spiders normally don’t bite unless they are accidentally pinched or squeezed. But if you are bitten, they may potentially cause you some harm, unlike most spiders. Common symptoms include blistering, muscle spasms, pain, fever, sweating, and a general feeling of discomfort lasting for several days.
Here are two facts about False Black Widows that I found fascinating!
- Females can live up to six years! Males live shorter but still up to 1.5 years.
- As long as they have access to water, they can live several MONTHS without food.
#15. Long-bodied Cellar Spider
- Pholcus phalangioides
- The cephalothorax (head) and abdomen are shades of brown.
- Females have a body length of around 8 mm (0.31 in), with males slightly smaller.
- Legs are long and about 5 to 6 times the length of the body.
Do you know the spider that always seems to be in the corner of your basement? Well, it’s most likely the Long-bodied Cellar Spider! These long, thin, and delicate spiders are commonly found in Chile in homes and buildings as they prefer warm habitats (they originate from subtropical climates in Asia). I know that every time I clean my basement with a vacuum, a few of these spiders end up getting sucked inside.
Some people find cellar spiders beneficial because they are known to hunt down and kill other types of spiders. But unfortunately, they will also eradicate native spider species. Interestingly, these spiders will leave their webs to hunt for other spiders! Once they find one, they subdue their victim, using their long legs to avoid being bitten in retaliation.
Despite their proximity to people, they are not dangerous and are not known to bite humans.
#16. Half-edged Wall Jumping Spider
- Menemerus semilimbatus
- Yellowish or greyish with a pattern of several white V-shaped markings.
- Large, forward-facing eyes. Covered in grayish-white hairs.
- Females are about 6.5–8.4 mm (0.25-0.33 in) long, with males being slightly smaller.
These jumping spiders are usually found in Chile living near humans.
Half-edged Jumping Spiders seem to benefit from the artificial environments created by backyard gardens. Look for them on flat surfaces, such as the sides of buildings or fence posts, which provide perfect areas for them to hunt prey. They are even comfortable living inside houses. 🙂
Like all jumping spiders, this species does not make webs. Instead, Half-edged Wall Jumping Spiders have excellent eyesight to actively locate their next meal. They also have the unique ability to jump, which they use to pounce on prey or leap from plant to plant.
Half-edged Wall Jumping Spiders aren’t dangerous to humans. They’d much rather scurry to a dark corner and avoid a confrontation!
#17. Triangulate Combfoot
- Steatoda triangulosa
- Small spiders that are only 3-6 mm (0.11-0.23 in) long.
- The cephalothorax (head) and legs are brownish-orange.
- The round, bulbous abdomen is creamy in color. Look for the triangle-shaped pattern on top.
These spiders are found in Chile NEAR PEOPLE!
Triangulate Combfoots are primarily house spiders and are typically observed in corners, especially in basements or rooms that are not often used. Although native to Eurasia, they have now spread across the entire world, moving from house to house. 🙂
Honestly, there are probably a few in your home right now, but you shouldn’t be scared of Triangulate Combfoots. They are actually helpful because they feed on small insects and pests in your houses like ticks, ants, pillbugs, and other spider species (even potentially dangerous ones).
Even though they are relatively docile, bites occur due to their proximity to humans. But have no fear; their venom is not dangerous (unless you are allergic).
Check out these other guides about animals found in Chile!
Which of these spiders have you seen before in Chile?
Leave a comment below!