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NEOTROPICAL Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest

The creepy but diverse spiders and other arachnids of the tropical jungles of South and Central America...

Phylum Arthropoda

Class Arachnida

Order Opiliones: Harvestmen

Distinguished from spiders by having a much more rounded ball-like body, with no constriction or 'waist' between body parts. In contrast to spiders, they have one pair of eyes, rather than eight eyes. They usually have very long thin legs.

(Yarina, Amazon)

Order Scorpiones

(Yarina, Ecuador)

Order Araneae: Spiders

Family Theraphosidae: includes the true 'Tarantulas'

There are over 1000 species in this family. The are found throughout the tropics of the world, but seem most obvious, species rich and BIG in the neotropics. While there are tiny species, they are best known due to the large size and weight of many species. This size is reflected in their diet, with some species of tarantula being recorded to kill and eat reptiles, mice, bats and birds. They are not known to be deadly to humans, however, their bites can be painful.

(Wildsumaco Lodge, Ecuador)

Family Araneidae

(Tandayapa Lodge, Ecuador)

? Probably related to North American Araneus gemmoides'Cat-faced Spider'.

Order Amblypygi: 'Tail-less Whip Scorpions'

Yarina Lodge, Ecuador

Back to the page on the tropical American rainforest

Throughout the virus I am working in Australia on and off as local borders close, mostly in the Kimberley with Coral Expeditions (May-September). If you can't go travelling until everything settles down, then until then, here I am doing online guided walks for Noble Caledonia and online lectures for Silversea.