As Winter breaks and Spring is right around the corner, we’ll soon start seeing more creepy crawlies. Here’s our guide to identifying common venomous spiders.
The Brown Recluse Spider (from Wikipedia):
The brown recluse, Loxosceles reclusa, Sicariidae (formerly placed in a family “Loxoscelidae”) is a spider with a necrotic venom and is one of two spiders (the other being the black widow) with medically significant venom in North America.
Brown recluse spiders are usually between 6 and 20 millimetres (0.24 and 0.79 in), but may grow larger. While typically light to medium brown, they range in color from whitish to dark brown or blackish gray. The cephalothorax and abdomen are not necessarily the same color. These spiders usually have markings on the dorsal side of their cephalothorax, with a black line coming from it that looks like a violin with the neck of the violin pointing to the rear of the spider, resulting in the nicknames fiddleback spider, brown fiddler, or violin spider.
While the majority of brown recluse spider bites do not result in any symptoms, cutaneous symptoms occur more frequently than systemic symptoms. In such instances, the bite forms a necrotizing ulcer that destroys soft tissue and may take months to heal, leaving deep scars. These bites usually become painful and itchy within 2 to 8 hours. Pain and other local effects worsen 12 to 36 hours after the bite, and the necrosis develops over the next few days. Over time, the wound may grow to as large as 25 cm (10 inches). The damaged tissue becomes gangrenous and eventually sloughs away.
The Black Widow Spider (from Wikipedia):
Female widow spiders are typically dark brown or black in color, usually exhibiting a red or orange hourglass on the ventral abdomen; some may have a pair of red spots or have no marking at all. They often exhibit various red or red and white markings on the dorsal abdomen, ranging from a single stripe to bars or spots. Females of a few species are paler brown and some have no bright markings.
The venomous bite of these spiders is considered particularly dangerous because of the neurotoxin latrotoxin, which causes the condition latrodectism, both named for the genus. The female black widow has unusually large venom glands and its bite can be particularly harmful to humans. However, despite the genus’ notoriety, Latrodectus bites are rarely fatal. Only female bites are dangerous to humans.
The prevalence of sexual cannibalism, a behavior in which the female eats the male after mating, has inspired the common name “widow spiders”. Research at the University of Hamburg in Germany suggests this behaviour may promote the survival odds of the offspring; however, females of some species only rarely show this behavior, and much of the documented evidence for sexual cannibalism has been observed in laboratory cages where the males could not escape.
The Hobo Spider (from Wikipedia):
Although the bite of the hobo spider is initially painless, the bite can be serious. After 24 hours, the bite develops into a blister and after 24-36 hours, the blister breaks open, leaving an open, oozing ulceration. Typically when the venom is injected, the victim will experience an immediate redness, which develops around the bite. The most common reported symptom is severe headache. Other symptoms can include nausea, weakness, fatigue, temporary memory loss and vision impairment. In any case, first aid and medical attention should be sought, if bitten, as and when any adverse health effects are observed.
The Hobo spider is brown in color and adults measure roughly 1/3 to 2/3 inch in body length and 2/3 to 2 inches in leg span. Their abdomens have several chevron shaped markings. Males are distinctively different from females in that they have two large palpi (mouth parts) that look like boxing gloves. Females tend to have a larger and rounder abdomen when compared to males.
The Mouse Spider (from Wikipedia):
The Mouse spider bite is known to cause severe illness, especially to young children – similar to Red-Back Spider. Although normally not aggressive, the male mouse spider will bite if provoked, and should be considered dangerous to humans. It has large hard fangs which can cause a deep painful bite. First aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought as soon as possible.
This spider has a medium to large spider of up to 1 and 1/2 inches in body length. The male Mouse Spider often has a bright red head and elongated fangs. Habitat – Mouse spiders are ground dwellers with burrows of more than 3 feet deep. The male often wanders about during the day on open ground, especially after rain, in search of females):
Wolf Spider (from Wikipedia):
There are many genera of wolf spider, ranging in body size (legs not included) from less than 0.4 to 1.38 inches (10 to 35 mm). They have eight eyes arranged in three rows. The bottom row consists of four small eyes, the middle row has two very large eyes (which distinguishes them from the Pisauridae), and the top row has two medium-sized eyes. They depend on their excellent eyesight to hunt. They also possess an acute sense of touch.
The bite of the Wolf Spider is poisonous but not lethal. Although non-aggressive, they bite freely if provoked and should be considered dangerous to humans. The bite may be very painful. First aid and medical attention should be sought as soon as possible, particularly as to children or the elderly.
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