One of  most  venomous   spiders  in  the  world  is  currently  understood  to  be  the  Brazilian Wandering Spider or Banana spider. This spider is very deadly perhaps the worlds deadliest and is  even  stated in the 'Guinness  Book  of Records' as being such.  I  will however  state here at Vince's Worthwhile Website that this is not exactly the case.

I will however continue talking about the Brazilian Wandering Spider as possibly the second worlds most deadliest spider.

This  spider  is  indigenous  to  the  tropical and  subtropical  regions of  most areas in  South America.

It is called a  wandering  spider  as  its  a real nomad  in that it doesn't  live in any certain area but likes to  roam  around  and  take refuge in any place that it finds suitable, such as cardboard boxes,  hollow  tree  trunks, logs, cars, houses, clothes, shoes and boots.

The photo below shows one of these spiders on the arm of the photographer Teschuser. This was a  really  risky  thing to do and  is  not  recommended for anyone to attempt, ever, if at all.  One bite from this creature can be fatal.

Photo credits to Techuser

One  of  its most  favored  dwelling  places  is  within bunches of  bananas  and consequently many  of  these  deadly  creatures  have   appeared   around  the world  more notably  in supermarkets.

The  spider  is  the classic stow-away  and  will  secret itself in the center of a bunch of bananas  only  to  emerge  when  the bananas  are  being sorted  at their destination i.e. the U.S.A, Canada, UK, Germany in fact any country that imports bananas.

The Brazilian Wandering Spider is not just indigenous to South America, as these creatures have also been found in Cameroon, Africa and other hot countries as well.  It isn't called a wanderer for nothing and certainly likes to get around!

The Brazilian Wandering Spider has an ostensible  reputation as being a very nasty creature to come  across  due  its  nature of being extremely aggressive.  It can run very fast and will attack  anything  that gets  too close   to  it, including people.    The spider is  very nervous, possibly paranoid and this agitated state tends to make the spider chose to fight rather than flight.

The image below  of this spider  sitting on  the hand of photographer Techuser  was done at extreme  risk   and   should not  be attempted by anyone  else and  I do  not  promote  this  display  of  disregard to the creatures lethality, but its a great photo isn't it!

The toxin that  this spider injects  into its victims is amongst   the most deadly known to man, the  neurotoxin is potent, very potent in fact only six thousandths of  a   milligram  is needed to kill a mouse.  It carries this toxin in a small sack situated behind its fangs and there is enough there to kill thousands of mice.

The fangs usually remain retracted inside the spiders jaw until needed.  When needed  the   fangs are  then released to stab or bite the victim  and inject the deadly toxin.

Not  all of these spiders  bites are  potentially  fatal  though, as they can often  render a " dry bite " with out any toxin being injected.  They tend to do this as a warning shot to discourage any further interaction from the potential threat.

For the uninitiated, the spider  is  quite  frightening and ugly to see, enough  to make  that instinct in you come alive and make you run off, far away from it.  The Brazilian Wandering Spider grows to  about five inches in length with a body of about one inch long.  They like to eat lizards, mice, large insects and even other spiders.

All of course rendered incapacitated by the spiders toxic bite beforehand, the spider can then settle down for lunch.

The  Brazilian Wandering  Spider  will  usually  rear  up on four of is legs to give intention of imminent attack, just before it actually does attack!  A threatened Brazilian Wandering Spider is seen below, displaying its apparent annoyance and willingness to attack the threat.

Definitely not for the feint hearted!

Below is a list of deadliest,  most venomous spiders in the world, from left to right: the  Black  Widow,  the  Brown  Recluse and the Funnel Web, these spiders rank quite highly, in fact very highly as the worlds most dangerous and toxic arachnids.

There is one spider  missing from  that list though,  as it is not very well known and is perhaps the most deadliest,  most  venomous of all spiders, even more so than our friend the deadly Brazilian Wanderer.


This spider  then  is the  Sicarius Hahni  (  Sicarius: Lat: Murderer  ) or  The Six Eyed Sand Spider, also known as The Six Eyed Crab Spider and is a member of the 'recluse' ~Loxosceles  family of spiders.  This spider is shown in the image below.

It is a quiet and shy but fast  moving spider that thankfully only lives in the South African desert.  It is a light or  reddish  brown and   sometimes yellowish  colored spider with  a body of about half an inch  long and  when  measured to   include   its legs is about two inches in length.

Its legs are cambered in  slightly like that of a crab and looks similar to the American Wolf Spider or the North American Huntsman Spider.  Depending  on the  actual  species,  the spiders abdomen can be greater or smaller.

The closest relative of this spider would be the Chilean Recluse Loxosceles  spider.  When we talk about the lethal  poison's  that spiders  such as the Chilean Brown Recluse have or the poison's that belong to the famously aggressive Sydney Funnel Web or indeed that of the Brazilian Wandering Spider then none come close to the absolute lethality of the poison known as a  cryotoxin of the Sicarius Hahni.

The lethal venom  of the  Sicarius Hahni  has what  is described as the most potent cryotoxin that has ever  been discovered in any living  thing, even more  potent than the  neurotoxin carried by  the Golden Poison Dart Frog.

The  venom of the Sicarius Hahni is a cryotoxin in that it totally devastates  and destroys  the  composite structure  of all  living tissue and indeed their cells.

How this toxin actually works in the total breakdown of cell tissue is not currently fully understood by science but it  is  believed  that  it  behaves  like  an  acid,  almost like sulphuric acid.

When animals have actually been bitten by this spider they all die with no exception.  Some animals that have died via  this spiders  bite  have  had  an  autopsy  afterwards and it  was  noted  that  the  dead animals  cell structure and internal organs were all broken down with massive trauma and internal haemorrhaging.


The  undisputed  lethality  of  the  cryotoxin of Sicarius Hahni means its the most deadliest spider  to crawl the earth but statistics portray  a  picture  of  almost  negligible  accounts  of death or injury sustained from it. In fact just two reported accounts are currently known about, as explained further down the page.

This is because the spider is very shy and hides away from people,  it  has  almost zero aggressive tendencies and hence getting bitten by this spider is an extremely rare occurrence. When it comes to fight or flight, then this spider chooses flight every time.

The image below is of Greta Binford of Lewis and Clark College, Oregon, USA.  Apparently she is called The Spider Woman  by  friends  and  colleagues  as  she  collects, breeds and extracts the venom from this most dangerous spider for research and better understanding of it.  This is a job that I for one don't envy her for!

There  is no  known  antidote  whatsoever for the cryotoxin that the Sicarius Hanhi delivers,  if you are bitten then you are in very serious trouble.

There have been reports of two suspected casualties off a bite from this spider,  it was death for the first victim due  to  massive  internal  bleeding  and  destruction of vital organs  due to  the  acidic  content  of  the toxin.

Whilst amputation of the limb, in this case an arm, was the only cure for the other victim.  Indeed it is advised that the only  antidote from a bite from this spider is the immediate amputation of  the infected limb!  Below is pictured a baby Sicarius Hanhi crawling over a quarter dollar coin for size comparison.

There are over  38, 000  known  species  of  this  spider  but  it  is  thought possible that over 100,000 species may exist that have never been seen, this is due the spiders habit of concealing itself and hiding itself every time a person gets near to one.

The spider has an ingenious  way  of  hiding which is why they are never really seen, it flicks sand onto its body and legs and thus  totally  camouflages  itself.  

Regardless of the different colors of sand for the different areas it will always be one hundred percent camouflaged,  this due to it using the sand of its habitat at the time, whether its buried or not, the spider  will be  impossible to see.

Once covered it will remain totally still, not moving at all for a good length of time.

The Sicarius Hanhi  will  ambush  its  prey  by simply lying in wait either on top or just a few millimeters under the surface of the sand.

It will feel vibrations of any little creature passing by and then as the creature gets close the  spider will pounce, as fast as lightning and bite the creature.  The creature, regardless of size, will start to die almost straight way.

This spider is a true survivalist in that it will store up food energy in its body so much so that it can survive for months if not longer without eating or drinking.

Science has yet to discover why the spider does  not  die by the inducement of its own toxin, maybe with research, an antidote will one day  be found, as a safeguard to  be carried by intrepid travellers and those hardy, enduring indigenous peoples of the African Deserts.


Page created November 1st 2008.    Updated October 28th 2012.