Mexico is one of the three countries in North America known for its tropical and arid environments. The wildlife in the country is diverse and differs widely from that of the United States and Canada. Spiders are found all over the globe, and in Mexico, you can find some of the largest and most dangerous. The following article will explore 12 of the most terrifying spiders found in Mexico.
The country houses more tarantula species than almost every other region in the world, only comparable with Central and South America. While most spiders are harmless, Mexico has spiders with strong venom that should be avoided at all costs. Let’s look at 12 spiders found in Mexico that may send chills down your spine.
1. Green Lynx Spiders (Peuceita viridans)
Beyond Mexico, the green lynx spider is also found in the United States, Central America, Venezuela, and the West Indies. This spider is the largest type of lynx spider and has a vibrant green coloring. Lynx spiders are active during the day and get their name from their acrobatic cat-like movements when traveling around vegetation.
Long legs help green lynx spiders move around vegetation and are covered in thick hairs. The spider’s day revolves around hunting smaller insects and other spiders. This spider can be found in gardens, woodlands, agricultural fields, and other areas with tall grass.
Green lynx spiders are not dangerous to humans and are beneficial to have in gardens and other places since they feed on pest insects like worms. Bites from these spiders cause mild symptoms like swelling, but their venom is not dangerous unless allergic.
2. Woodlouse Hunter (Dysdera crocata)
Woodlouse spiders have recently been reported in several regions of Mexico, like Baja California, Nuevo Leon, Hidalgo, and many more. This spider is nocturnal and, during the day, hides in a secluded area, creating a silk sac to rest in. Dark and moist environments are where this spider is often found. Woodlouse spiders are regularly found near woodlice, where their name originates.
Sometimes seen in homes, this spider spends its night wandering, looking for food. They have a tan round abdomen. Their legs and carapace are orange or reddish in color. The fangs of this spider may frighten you since they are very large. While their venom is not significant to humans, their bites can be painful and cause infection if not cleaned correctly.
Woodlouse spiders have large fangs to pierce the exoskeleton of their prey. While woodlice is a part of their diet, this species also eats other small invertebrates it finds, like beetles and millipedes.
3. Spiny-backed Orbweaver (Gasteracantha cancrifromis)
Orbweavers are one of the world’s most common types of spiders, with more than 3,500 species identified. The spiny-backed orbweaver is unique due to the spikes that protrude from its abdomen. This spider has an oval-shaped abdomen, and is covered in dimples. They appear in white, red, orange, or yellow colours.
Spiny-backed orbweavers create circular webs and live in woodlands, gardens, and other vegetated habitats. Their tightly knit silk catches small flying insects like gnats or flies.
Active during the day, this spider is sometimes seen sitting in the center of its large web, waiting for food. The pointed spines on this spider may be used to ward off predators, and males lack these spikes entirely.
4. False Black Widow Spider (Steatoda grossa)
The false black widow is a member of the Steatoda genus, regularly confused with black widows or other Latrodectus spiders. The false black widow spider is sexually dimorphic, with females having very large abdomens and spindly legs. They are sometimes covered in cream markings and lack the hourglass marking black widows are known for.
Male false widows are much smaller in size and have very small abdomens. This spider does have venom that is medically significant, but its venom is nowhere as severe as true black widows. Reported symptoms from their bites include nausea, sweating, and blistering, which may last a few days.
False black widows live in both man-made structures and outdoors. Messy webs are built by them, which are used to catch their prey. False widow spiders are not aggressive to humans, only biting if provoked.
5. Golden Silk Orbweaver (Trichonephila clavipes)
Golden silk orbweavers are among Mexico’s most terrifying spiders but are also among the most elegant. This spider, like other orbweavers, builds large circular webs to inhabit. Golden silk orb weavers’ webs can reach over 3 feet in diameter, and when in the sun, their silk gleams a shining yellow coloring.
Females are very large, with elongated abdomens and spindly legs. They have the vibrant coloring of yellow, white, and black. Males of this species are much smaller, only growing to about ¼ the size of the female, and are rarely seen unless in a mate’s web.
The yellow coloring of their silk is caused by several factors, like the carotenoids and xanthurenic acids they produce. The large web’s female spin catches flying insects like grasshoppers and butterflies. This terrifying spider has been seen feeding on small bats and birds on rare occasions. While colorful and large, this spider found in Mexico is not venomous.
6. Ravine Trapdoor Spider (Cyclocosmia truncate)
Trapdoor spiders have a large range spread across North America but are not seen often due to their secretive nature. The ravine trapdoor spider is found in Mexico, the United States, and other tropical countries like China and Thailand. A burrowing species, they make their homes next to ravines, and sloped river banks, preferring sandy and shady places.
Ravine trapdoor spiders have robust bodies, with dark brown, to black coloring. Their abdomens are bulbous and shaped similarly to an acorn. Species within the Cyclocosmia genus look very similar and are distinguished from each other by the grooves on their abdomen, hairs, and the shape of their sexual organ location.
The oddly shaped abdomen of this spider has a hard disc at its end. When in danger, ravine trapdoor spiders use their disc abdomen as a shield to block off the entrance of their burrow. Their unique way of closing off their burrows is called phragmosis and helps protect them from predators, centipedes, parasitic wasps, and birds.
7. Mexican Pink Tarantula (Brachypelma klaasi)
Mexican pink tarantulas, while terrifying spiders to some, are also beautiful spiders kept as pets. This large species has a body size of 2.3 to 2.9 inches and a leg span that reaches over 6.2 inches. Velvet black in color, Mexican pink tarantulas have orangish to pinkish hair on their legs. Not to be confused with the pink-toe tarantula (Avicularia avicularia) that has pinkish hair on the tips of its legs.
Living at elevations between 300 to 1400 m above sea level, the Mexican pink tarantula lives on the western slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental and in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt region. This spider has declined significantly in the wild due to collectors from the pet trade. Native to Mexico, this large spider is one of the rarest tarantulas in the Brachypelma genus.
8. Desert Recluse (Loxosceles deserta)
Belonging to the Sicariidae family, the desert recluse is related to spiders like the brown recluse. This species is found in northwestern Mexico and southern regions of the United States, in states like California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. The desert recluse is not seen as often as the brown recluse since it avoids urban areas, sometimes inhabiting the dens of other animals.
This spider is one of the most terrifying spiders in Mexico, with a leg span of up to 2 inches. Desert recluses have a powerful venom that is used to neutralize prey. Their venom is necrotic and damages the skin and cell tissues in the area.
9. Brown Widow (Latrodectus geometricus)
The brown widow spider is one of the few spiders in the Latrodectus genus found in Mexico. This species prefers tropical and subtropical regions. The brown widow is thought to have evolved in Africa, but this species was first described in South America. Messy webs are built by brown widows to live in, placed in places like on the sides of the home or in bushes.
Brown widows are sexually dimorphic, with males being very small in size and rarely seen unless mating. Females have brown coloring, with bands on their legs. A red hourglass marking appears on their underside, much like their relative, the black widow.
This species is venomous to humans, and while its venom is medically significant, toxins are less powerful than the black widow. Avoiding bites from this spider is best, as getting bit may cause symptoms like nausea, cramping, swelling in the area, and fever.
10. Red Kneed Tarantula (Brachypelma hamorii/smithi)
The Mexican red knee tarantula is a name held by two spiders found in Mexico, which are B. smithi, and B. hamorii. These tarantulas are named after the red orangish bands on their legs. Both of these spiders are native to Mexico but inhabit different regions. B. smithi lives on the Pacific coast in the state of Guerrero, while B. hamorii lives in the Sierra Madre Occidental and the country’s Sierra Madre del Sur mountain ranges.
These spiders grow up to 3 inches and have bold black coloring, with orange markings on their legs and abdomen. They are very hairy and have slight differences in their patterns. Mexican red-knee tarantulas make excellent pets, despite their terrifying appearance. Like other New World tarantulas, they have urticating hairs on their abdomens, which they kick at predators. Their bites can be painful due to their large fangs, but their venom is mild.
11. Mexican Wandering Spider (Califorctenus cacachilensis)
A nocturnal species, the Mexican wandering spider is one of the recently discovered spiders only found in Mexico. This spider was first discovered in 2013 in an abandoned mine in a mountain range in Baja, California. Researchers suggested this spider was similar to a small-sized tarantula, with a thinner appearance. They had a body the size of two quarters and a leg span the size of a softball.
While in the same family as the Brazilian wandering spider, this species is not believed to be deadly, but no studies have been conducted into their venom. One bite that occurred from this spider was described as having similar pain to the prick of a cactus, with mild symptoms.
12. Mexican Jade Fuego (Aphonopelma mooreae)
First described in 1995 by Andrew Smith, the Mexican jade fuego tarantula is also called the North American cobalt blue. This species is one of the many types of spiders found in Mexico. Native to the country, they live in Sonora, south of the town of Yecora. Forests are the habitats this spider lives in, and they build burrows to inhabit or find ones premade.
Like other tarantulas, the Mexican jade fuego is sometimes kept as a pet, but they are extremely expensive spiders due to their elegant appearance and rarity. Their leg span reaches up to 6 inches long. Beautiful blue coloring appears on their carapace and legs, with their abdomens having orangish or brown hair. Buying one of these spiders may cost up to $350 or more.
Summary Of 12 Most Terrifying Spiders Found In Mexico
|1||Green Lynx Spiders||Bites cause mild symptoms like swelling, but their venom is not dangerous unless allergic|
|2||Woodlouse Hunter||Venom is not significant to humans, bites can be painful and cause infection if not cleaned correctly|
|3||Spiny-backed Orbweaver||They may contain mild venom, but it isn’t harmful to humans or even large animals|
|4||False Black Widow Spider||Venom is not as severe as true black widows. Reported symptoms from their bites include nausea, sweating, and blistering|
|5||Golden Silk Orbweaver||Not venomous|
|6||Ravine Trapdoor Spider||Non-toxic but very painful bites|
|7||Mexican Pink Tarantula||Mild venom but their bite is not deadly to humans|
|8||Desert Recluse||Their powerful venom is necrotic and damages the skin and cell tissues in the area|
|9||Brown Widow||Venomous to humans|
|10||Red Kneed Tarantula||Their bites can be painful due to their large fangs, but their venom is mild|
|11||Mexico Wandering Spider||Not believed to be deadly, but no studies have been conducted into their venom|
|12||Mexican Jade Fuego||Possess mild venom and only bite if they feel threatened|
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.