What kinds of spiders can you find in Paraguay?
Before we begin, I want you to know that the list below is just a fraction of the spider species found in Paraguay. 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.
11 SPIDERS found in Paraguay!
#1. Silver Garden Orbweaver
- Argiope argentata
- Females average 12 mm (0.47 in) long, and males average 4 mm (0.15 in) long.
- They have a silver or white head and abdomen, and the back half of their abdomen is bumpy and dark colored with “windows” of white.
- Their underside is dark brown, their long legs have bands of orange, silver, white, black, or dark brown, and they have two sets of eyes.
Silver Garden Orb Weavers produce seven distinct types of silk. The silks have different compositions, each used for a different purpose when constructing the web.
These webs are incredibly important for the survival of the Silver Garden Orb Weaver because they help with nearly every aspect of their life. For example, they trap food in their web and detect it by feeling the vibration. In addition, the surface of the web collects droplets, and this is their only water source.
These spiders will occasionally bite people in self-defense. However, Silver Garden Orb Weaver venom is not toxic to humans. Bites are typically less severe than a bee sting, with minor redness and swelling.
#2. Golden Silk Spider
- Trichonephila clavipes
- They have reddish-brown and yellow coloring and a yellow oblong abdomen.
- Their legs are long, straight, and yellow, with black bands covered with hair.
- The head is small and grayish-white with black dots that look like a skull.
Golden Silk Spiders in Paraguay produce a truly amazing web.
First, the asymmetrical webs of golden-colored silk can be up to 2 m (6.5 ft) in diameter! These clever spiders often construct their webs above garbage, helping to attract insects. Unfortunately, Golden Silk Spiders must repair damage to their webs constantly because birds and large insects are always flying through them.
The silk of this species is also being tested in medical applications. For example, some studies have shown that a piece of silk can connect severed neurons, allowing them to heal properly after injuries. In addition, the silk doesn’t elicit an immune reaction from the body, which means it could be used to help people with paralysis or brain injuries. It sounds like science fiction, but it could be groundbreaking in the future!
#3. 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!
#4. 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 Paraguay. 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.
#5. 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.
#6. 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 Paraguay 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.
#7. 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.
#8. Brazilian Wandering Spider
- Phoneutria nigriventer
- Adults grow up to 5 cm (2 in) with a leg span of up to 15 cm (6 in).
- They are typically dark brown with red or reddish brown jaws.
- Their legs may have dark bands which are more distinct on the underside.
This species is the most venomous spider in Paraguay.
Their common name is often used to describe several species in the genus Phoneutria, which means “murderess” in Greek. And the name is appropriate considering how deadly Brazilian Wandering Spiders can be!
Their venom contains a powerful neurotoxin that can be deadly to humans, especially children. A bite can cause a racing heart, convulsions, vomiting, dizziness, drooling, and dangerous changes in blood pressure.
If a Brazilian Wandering Spider bites someone, they should receive emergency medical care immediately. Bites appear relatively mild for the first few minutes but usually worsen within 30 minutes. They may need to be treated with anesthetics, antivenom, and fluid replacement. Luckily, bites are rare, and this species usually only attacks as a last resort.
#9. 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 Paraguay 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.
#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 Paraguay. 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. Southern House Spider
- Kukulcania hibernalis
- Females are large, 13-19 mm (0.51-0.74 in) across, with bulbous bodies.
- Males have longer legs but are smaller at 9-10 mm (0.35-0.39 in).
- Both sexes are covered with fine, velvety light gray hair, elongated bodies, and compact legs.
Female Southern House Spiders are hard to see in Paraguay because they primarily stay in their webs. The males are observed more frequently as they tend to wander in search of food and while looking for a female to mate with. They’re occasionally mistaken for Brown Recluse Spiders since they have a similar coloring and body shape.
Males will crawl on anything in their way, no matter what it is, so some people think they are aggressive. But in actuality, these spiders do this because they are nearly blind and can’t see larger objects well.
Luckily, Southern House Spiders don’t bite unless they feel trapped. Even so, they are usually unable to penetrate human skin with their fangs. If they do happen to bite, mild pain and swelling are the only ill effects. If they feel threatened, they will play dead, which is very effective against predators!
Check out these other guides about animals found in Paraguay!
Which of these spiders have you seen before in Paraguay?
Leave a comment below!