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Ecuador Spiders: Tarantulas and Red Fanged Wolf Spiders in Cuenca

Posted in: Cuenca Ecuador, Ecuador Animals, Ecuador Travel

tarantula-ecuadorDo you like spiders?

Now we have some new photos – and a video – of the largest spider we’ve ever seen.

This spider had a 4 inch footprint and it’s body was shaped like a crab shell.

It didn’t have the typical extended abdomen like every other spider we’ve seen.

Update (May 1, 2014): After closer examination of the photo, we noticed that this spider does, in fact, have an extended abdomen. It seems that the weird shaped head distracted us – at least that’s my argument…

When we poked it’s burrow with a stick, it came after it with two red fangs.  (You can see it in the video.) I should mention that after we filmed this short clip, we just left the spider alone.

We tried to find it online, but we didn’t see anything that came close. Do you know what kind of tarantula this is?

Update (May 1, 2014): This has been identified as a Wolf Spider by the experts at WhatsThatBug.com. Large individuals may bite but they aren’t considered dangerous.

Our Very Own Red Fanged Spider (Video)

Watch on YouTube

Closeup of the Tarantula (and his four eyes)

spider-closeup

Spider with his Burrow in the Back

The burrow was about 4″ in diameter.

ecuador-spider

What is the largest tarantula you’ve ever seen? What’s your scariest (funniest) spider story?

Tarantulas in Cuenca Ecuador

tarantula-hole-cuenca-ecuador

When exploring options for moving abroad scary animals are often on the list of concerns. Some places have weird parasites that can enter your skin while swimming. Other places have poisonous snakes and other weird reptiles.

But what does Cuenca have?

So while Cuenca doesn’t have poisonous snakes or dangerous mammals it does have tarantulas. And you probably won’t see them unless you  really look.

Sometimes in the early morning you can see some dead ones on the road – ones squished unknowingly from the night before.

We had been here a full year before we saw our first live one – poor guy, he didn’t really have a chance. Dena saw him in the entrance and before he knew what hit him, his insides were outside…

Are Tarantulas Dangerous?

In Cuenca, not really. I did a little research and it seems that while some types of spiders can pack a punch, tarantulas are not deadly anywhere.

Here in Cuenca, they will bite and (I’m told) it is similar to a bee sting, although I’ve get to experience it. In fact, I haven’t talked to anyone who has been bitten. I think you would have to either stick your hand inside of their hole or be a small insect to be bothered by them.

The pictures were taken on the lawn of a friends place where he was getting married. After parking we noticed the hole in the ground and looked closer to see this guy still at home.

How Big Are The Tarantulas?

The photos are pretty deceiving. The actual size is about 2 inches in diameter. They look much less scary at this size.

tarantula-cuenca-ecuador tarantula-hole-cuenca-ecuador

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

16 comments… add one
  • Beverly McCarter May 25, 2014, 6:56 pm

    You can now officially count me out retiring there! LOL!

  • Justin M May 18, 2014, 6:26 pm

    Hey hey. Long time, no see. Upon closer inspection, and some quick research, it would appear that this spider actually has 8 eyes, not 4, as mentioned in the article. Just thought I would throw that out there.

  • Max Sand May 3, 2014, 5:15 pm

    Yikes! Maybe staying in a cooler climate like……..Canada! isn’t such a bad idea after all.

  • Eric Lutz May 3, 2014, 3:55 pm

    Brian old pal I really don’t care for spiders. I won’t kill them as long as they are in their own environment . In fact I have taken bigger spiders and put them in my garden. If I happen to find a big spider in our bedroom… ahh.. look out Mr. spider, you have seen better days. Your friend Eric.

  • Denise Toepel May 3, 2014, 2:45 pm

    This is the same type of spider that Hagard befriended isn’t it? I think this is the same style that Harry and Ron encountered when Haggard told them to follow the spider trail…… now I have to watch the movie again!!

  • Andre Hugo May 3, 2014, 10:09 am

    My son and I went into the Amazon Jungle on the Cuyabeno River. On a night walk, the indigenous guide said to my boy “Sean! Don’t Move!!” Of course he looked to see why he should not move. On a leaf nearby was a large spider. I wear a size 10 men’s glove and the spider was easily as big as my expanded hand. “That spider is a baby.” he said. “When it grows up, it will jump two feet to plant its fangs into you.”

  • Ross jamieson May 1, 2014, 12:18 am

    Hi guys- I’m no expert but maybe Ancylometes (giant fishing spider)? You should definitely submit to http://whatsthatbug.com – they do a great job answering questions like this….
    Ross

  • Robin Apr 29, 2014, 9:09 pm

    I am hoping these spiders don’t wander out of their environment. Does anyone know? I would hate to find one in my home!

    • Bryan Haines Apr 30, 2014, 9:01 pm

      This was the first time we ever saw this huge type – but we did get a few tarantulas in our home when we first moved to Cuenca.

      • Cindy Kralik Jul 13, 2014, 1:45 pm

        I just returned from Cuenca last month for a vacation. I would have been totally freaked if anyone would said there are huge spiders. I never thought of asking since we weren’t going to the outback.

  • Jason Apr 29, 2014, 12:38 pm

    Wow! That’s amazing.
    I really like the sound effects on the video. Nice touch.

    • Bryan Haines Apr 29, 2014, 1:07 pm

      Thanks Jason. Drew still gets creeped out when she sees the video.

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