Can You Identify These Dangerous South American Snakes and Spiders?


By: E-maginne Grant

6 Min Quiz

Image: Photo by Gordon Ashby / Moment Open / Getty Images

About This Quiz

South America is home to some of the most dangerous snakes and spiders in the world. There are over 3,600 distinctive snake species, and 375 of those are deathly venomous. Spiders definitely don't fall short in the numbers category. Over 35,000 species of spiders have been discovered in the world with hundreds more that are believed to be undiscovered. All of this may sound like a creepy-crawly slithering nightmare, but the good news is there are only 40 dangerous snakes and spiders in this quiz! 

Sit back and enjoy these beautiful candid shots of venomous emerald green and lemon yellow snakes, spotted neurotoxic biting spiders and multicolored constricting boas at their best. Not only will you enjoy these stunning and somewhat terrifying portraits, you will also learn some interesting facts about our friendly serpents and arachnids. Did you know that some species of snake have an oviparous reproductive system? These reptiles need very little to develop and care for their fertilized embryos. How many oviparous reptiles can you identify in this quiz? Find out which spiders hunt like wolves by directly going after their prey while other spiders use traditional web traps. There's something for everyone to discover here! 

Also called "Lancehead," this venomous snake is a member of the genus family. Can you identify this reptile?

The "Lancehead" is from the pit viper species. These snakes have a heat-sensing organ in between their eyes and nose. This thermoreceptor helps the snake detect differences in temperature, making it easy to find and hunt prey.


One bite from this dangerous rattlesnake can cause impaired vision and even total blindness. What do you call this friendly beast?

The Venezuelan rattlesnake is one of nine subspecies of the Crotalus durissus species. They are the most widely distributed species of its genus throughout Central and South America.


Can you identify the most famous boa in this quiz? This gigantic beauty starred in its own film.

The Green Anaconda is not only one of the largest snakes in South America, it's also one of the largest snakes in the world. This snake can grow up to 30 feet long, making it a very dangerous non-venomous boa.


These nocturnal spiders are one of the most venomous spiders on earth. Name this dangerous creepy-crawly nighmare.

The Guinness Book of World Records named this spider the most venomous spider in the world. The wandering spider is commonly found in Brazil but is also found in Costa Rica and Argentina.


It may not look like it, but this snake is the longest venomous snake in South America. Can you tell us its name?

You can find this snake in the forests and scrublands of the Amazon Basin. Their reddish-brown to pinkish-gray color matches the floor of their habitat, which helps them to blend in with their environment.


This tarantula is named after the funnel shaped web that is spins. Take a spin at the right answer. What name does this spider answer to?

Scientifically known as Dipluridae, these nightmarish tarantulas have distinct fangs and long spinnerets. True to its name, they often build messy funnel webs which they retreat to.


Venom from this spider's bite can cause necrosis of the skin. Can you pick out the name of this spider?

The Chilean Recluse Spider is the most dangerous one in the recluse spider family. Venom from this spider paralyzes prey before it becomes food. Ironically, it can go up to six months without food or water.


Can you name this snake, known as one of the rarest snakes in the world?

This beautiful belly crawler is classified as critically endangered with less than 250 adults left in the wild. Its habitat is limited to the south region of Aruba off the coast of Venezuela.


What's the name of this non-venomous beauty, which ranks as one of the largest snakes in South America.

Yellow anacondas can grow up to 14 feet long, and females tend to be larger than males. These snakes are known to be dangerous towards humans. As a result, the United States banned the transportation of the species in 2012.


Can you tell us what this sun-colored eight-legged creature is called?

Commonly found indoors, the Yellow Sac Spiders venom is necrotic and bites can cause lesions in humans. During the day, the spider spins a flat silk sac where it spends most of the day until it preys at night.


This rattlesnake is found only in Venezuela. Can you pick out the right name?

Officially named Crotalus Durissus Vegrandis, the Uracoan Rattlesnake is found in Uracoa, Sotillo District in Venezuela. Belonging to the family of Viperidae, this reptile has a longevity of 19 years.


True to its name, this spider is known for its ability to jump. Can you leap to the right spider name?

The jumping wolf spider is named after its ability to jump and its wolf-like hunting techniques. This jumping creepy crawly doesn't weave webs like most spiders; it makes burrows instead.


Named after the country it habitats, this snake is one of four in its species. Can you identify the correct name below?

The Bolivian anaconda was once believed to be a hybrid of the green and yellow anaconda because of its similarities with the green anaconda, but it was soon recognized as its own species.


Blink and you might miss it. Can you name this vibrantly colored reptile?

The eyelash viper is known for its variety of vibrant colors. Compared to other species of pit vipers, the eyelash viper is considered small, measuring up to 32 inches long. Females are known to be larger than males.


A bite from this coral beauty is so dangerous it can cause death. What snake does this toxic venom belong to?

Distinctively named after its red-striped tail, you can find this snake in agricultural areas of Colombia. Its neurotoxic venom contains nerve proteins that cause seizures in its prey.


The females of this species are known to eat the males after mating. Can you tell us the name of this maneater?

Fossils of the Banana Spiders genus have been found to be 165 million years old. They are the oldest known spider genus. Their silk is golden in color and are sometimes called Golden Orb Spiders.


The spiny back on this spider says it all. Can you choose the correct name for this arachnid?

These colorful spiny creatures have a very short lifespan. After hatching in the winter, they only survive long enough for reproduction the following spring. Females tend to die after laying an egg mass.


Webs spun by this spider form a silver zig zag pattern. Lets zig zag over to the right answer.

Silver Garden Spiders weave decorative non sticky sections into their webs. These sections are referred to as stabilimenta. There is no known purpose for these decorative sections.


Can you identify the correct name of this slender and arboreal slithering serpent?

This venomous viper releases a haemotoxic venom that destroys red blood cells and causes necrosis. Untreated bites can lead to lost limbs and even death. Polyvalent antivenins are used to treat bites and are effective if administered quickly.


Colored with envy this gorgeous serpent has a descriptive name. Can you tell us what it is?

Green with envy, adult emerald tree boas can grow up to six feet long. They have larger front teeth than any other non-venomous boas and are often mistaken with the green tree python.


Are you able to tell us the name of this rich-colored oviparous belly sliding reptile?

The mussurana snake is a part of the Colubridae family in the Clelia genus. This species practices Ophiophagy in which they attack and eat other snakes. Although they produce a mild venom, it is still quite dangerous.


Although non-venomous, this snake can cause as much damage as a venomous snake. Can you pick out the name below?

The boa constrictor is one of the rare snakes that shares its common English name with its scientific binomial name. These snakes are quite large with a female boa growing up to 10 feet long.


This spider shares a name with a famous biblical character who had a battle with a lion. Which name belongs to this biblical legend?

The tarantula pictured here belongs to the Theraphosidae family. Contrary to its name, this spider rarely preys on birds. Their diets consist of amphibians, worms and large arthropods.


True to its name, this spotted snake is found in Guayana and Brazil. Are you able to spot the answer?

The dark spotted anaconda is also known as the De Schauensee's anaconda. It was named after the Ornithologist, Rodolphe Meyer de Schauensee, who collected the first live specimen for the Philadelphia Zoo.


Boasting a leg span of 10 inches, this tarantula is considered one of the largest in the world. Can you guess the right name?

The Brazilian salmon pink birdeater tarantula is named after its long distinct salmon hairs on its leg. These pretty in pink spiders are still quite venomous, using their venom to catch prey instead of weaving webs.


You may notice this tarantula as a common pet despite its dangerous behavior. What's the name of this spider?

Also known as the Chilean rose spider, their venom contains several toxins that are dangerous to prey and humans alike. Despite the dangers of its venom, these tarantulas are still kept as pets.


As a neotropical reptile, this snake can be found throughout South America, but it's mostly found in one area. Can you select the right name?

Often called the South American rattlesnake, this venomous beauty is a part of the pit viper family and uses its heat-sensing organ to hunt. Ten percent of snake bites in Brazil are attributed to the South American rattlesnake.


Named after the color of its knees, it wont be hard to guess the name of this spider. Can you take a shot at it?

The primary form of defense for this tarantula is its urticating hairs. Because of this defense mechanism, they rarely bite or secrete their toxic venom but are known to bite when provoked.


Found in the Amazon, can you tell us what the name of this green beauty is?

The mode of reproduction for this reptile is Oviparous. The embryos remain inside the mother's body through the process of developing into eggs and remain there until they hatch.


Females in this spider family are famous for eating males. Can you name the spider we should all stay away from?

The poison from a black widow spider bite is more potent than the poison from a rattlesnake bite. Females are more potent than males, but bites are rarely fatal if treated in time.


Can you spot the scientific name of this spider, commonly called "mouse spider?"

The toxin released from the venom this mouse spider produces resembles robustoxin, which is also found in the funnel web spider. This toxin causes neurotoxic symptoms in its victims 10 minutes after the initial bite.


True to its name, this creature has rows of eyes. Can you count them all and guess its name?

Known scientifically as Sicarius, six eyed sand spiders are known to partially bury themselves in the sand. For this reason, they are found in barren deserts and dry countries, and they produce a necrotic venom that is toxic to humans.


You can find this speckled friend sliding through the equatorial forest of South America. Can you find its name below?

The speckled forest pit viper has a prehensile grasping tail. This helps the snake to climb through trees and forest vines. One bite from this venomous snake can swell entire limbs.


The common name for this spider is similar to its scientific name, Pirata. Which answer below belongs to this insect?

Similar to its name, the pirate wolf spider hunts down its prey by running after it, relying mainly on its good eyesight for help. After giving birth, the baby spiders stay attached to the mother until they are ready to fend for themselves.


Famous for its ability to weave vertical webs, this spiders name takes after a beautiful greek goddess. Can you try and guess the right answer?

The meaning of Micrathena translates to small Athena, referring to the goddess Athena. The Micrathena has a peculiar habit of bitting their prey before wrapping it in a vertical web.


Native to the Northwest region of South America, the shape of this snakes head is also its name. Can you point out the right name?

There are five different species of the Toad Headed Pit Viper. The Amazonian, small eyed, Colombian, Chocoan and rhombeatus, which doesn't have a common name. Their bite is poisonous but not deadly.


What would you call this beautifully striped friendly serpent?

The only home this snake knows is the forest. The western striped forest pit viper only inhabits forest areas and wet lowland rain forests, going no higher than 1000 meters in elevation.


Can you name this common, but deadly, house spider that shares the same name with their dangerous cousin?

The brown widow spider is the cousin of the black widow spider. The brown widow is slightly smaller and lighter in color, but it is just as toxic as it's darker cousin. It produces the same neurotoxic venom that attacks the nerve endings.


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