Domain: Eukaryote- This organism is characterized as a eukaryote because of its multicellularity, membrane bound organelles, and a true nucleus. Other eukaryotes include: Red Algae, the Split Gill Mushroom, and the Giant Panda. Pictured to the right is a generic eukaryotic animal cell.

custom made phylogenetic tree
Kingdom: Animalia- P. fera identifies with the animal kingdom for a few main reasons. Animals are all multicellular, heterotrophic, reproduce sexually, lack of cell wall, and are mobile at some point in their life cycle. The following organisms are all members of the animal kingdom: Tiger Flatworm, Magician's Cone Snail, and the Great Seahorse.
Phylum: Arthropoda- The common characteristics of this phyla that P. fera exhibit include a segmented body, paired and jointed appendages such as legs, external feeding structures, or antennae, a hard exoskeleton made of chitin which they must molt (an amazing video of the giant spider crab going through the molting process), and bilateral symmetry. Some other arthropods include the Embossed Stonefly, Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly, and the Deer Tick.

Class: Arachnida- A common misconception is that spiders are insects. Spiders as well as a multitude of other organisms have their own class- Arachnida. Members of the class Arachnida consist of spiders, scorpions, ticks, mites, and others. P. fera falls into this phylum because of its segmentation into an anterior and posterior segment, possessing chelicerae and pedipalps, and modified gills known as book lungs. These features are common throughout the class.
Order: Araneae- The Araneae order consists of all the spiders, which is the largest entirely carnivorous group of animals on the planet. The defining characteristics of this order are that they consist of just two body parts, a cephalothorax and abdomen, using predation as a means of getting food, a softer unsegmented abdomen, and eight legs. Some webpages done on other members of the Araneae order: Jumping Spider, Brown Recluse, Hobo Spider.

Family: Ctenidae- The Ctenidae family of spiders, also referred to as Ctenids or the wandering spiders is an interesting group of spiders. Members of this family are highly aggressive and venomous. They seek out their prey instead of just making a web and waiting like almost all other spiders. Ctenids also have a distinctive groove that runs down the length of their back. Because of the multitude of families within the Araneae order a phylogenetic tree was made only for the superfamily that Ctenids fall under known as Lycosoidea, or wolf spiders. An interesting web page on this superfamily can be found here: Wolf Spiders.

Genus: Phoneutria- Although all genera within the Ctenidae family are quite similar, there are a few things that set Phoneutria apart. When this genus feels threatened they have distinctive rigid defensive position, lateral movements, and elevated front legs. This Wikipedia article gives a general overview of Phoneutria: Brazilian Wandering Spiders.
Species: P. fera – there are eight different species within Phoneutria genus however what sets P. fera apart from the rest of the genus is that they are generally larger in size and differences in the morphology of reproductive organs. Although it is not a concrete difference, P. fera as well as P. nigriventer tend to be more aggressive and vicious than the other members of the genus.

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