The Cupiennius genus is characterized by large, brown spiders with long, skinny legs and furry bodies. Some species of this genus are distinguished from other similar spiders by the bright red hairs on their mouthparts.

Cupiennius is a genus of spiders native to Central and South America and generally called banana spiders due to the plants on which they are usually found.

The presence of these spiders in banana shipments imported from other countries is quite common. Because cupiennius capture prey instead of spinning webs, these spiders are called hunting spiders.

Cupiennius genus

Scientific classification of Cupiennius 

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Trechaleidae
  • Genus: Cupiennius

Cupiennius banana spiders come in eleven species. 

These are the ranges they are known to have.

  • Cupiennius bimaculatus - Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, Ecuador
  • Cupiennius chiapanensis - Mexico
  • Cupiennius coccineus - Costa Rica to Colombia
  • Cupiennius cubae - Cuba, Costa Rica to Venezuela
  • Cupiennius foliatus - Costa Rica, Panama
  • Cupiennius getazi - Costa Rica, Panama
  • Cupiennius granadensis - Costa Rica to Colombia
  • Cupiennius remedius - Guatemala
  • Cupiennius salei - Mexico, Central America, Hispaniola
  • Cupiennius valentinei - Panama
  • Cupiennius vodou - Hispaniola

It is possible to confuse a wandering spider with the venomous Phoneutria (Brazilian wandering spider), if you are unaware of spider types. Cupiennius has bright red mouthparts, which distinguishes it from Cupiennius. Despite their large size and horrifying appearance, Cupiennius spiders are only mildly poisonous. Their venom can be compared to a bee sting in its effect on humans.