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Some of the World’s Most Venomous and Dangerous Spiders

by Anastasia on March 12, 2010 · 17 comments

in Animals, Nature, Photos

Brazilian Wandering Spider (aka Phoneutria Nigriventer)

The Brazilian wandering spider (aka Phoneutria nigriventer) is considered to be one of the most dangerous spiders in the world. It lives in South America, doesn’t create a web, and never stays in one place. That’s where it gets its name from –  Phoneutria sp. It’s just 10 centimeters in length but can kill about 225 mice with its poison. It can hardly kill a wise man, but can indeed cause a major allergic reaction. Fortunately there was an antidote found for its poison. The Phoneutria spider mostly feeds on insects, smaller spiders, and sometimes birds or even lizards which are much bigger in size. It prefers to hide in fruit baskets, especially among bananas, and that’s why it earned the nickname of the “banana spider.” An interesting fact from FoxNews.com states that the venom of phoneutria can stimulate a long-time uncomfortable erection ( check http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,269455,00.html).

Photo by smccann
Brazilian wandering spider

Photo by smccann
Brazilian wandering spider

Photo from wikimedia.org
Brazilian wandering spider


The Brown Recluse Spider

The brown recluse spider, or violin spider (Loxosceles recluse), is one of the few spiders in the world known to be harmful for humans. It inhabits midwestern and southeastern states of the US, especially California. It is recognized by its brown body and violin pattern on the back. The spider is rather small – from 0.6 to 2 centimeters – which makes it not exactly simple to identify. It seeks out warm, dry and dark places like attics, closets, or old tires. Unlike most spiders with 8 eyes, the brown recluse has 6 eyes in 3 pairs arranged in a semi-circle in front of the violin markings. When the brown recluse bites, there are often no evident symptoms occuring during the first 24 hours. In the meantime, poison spreads all throughout the human’s body. That’s why it’s important to hospitalize a patient as soon as possible. Brown recluse spiders are not aggressive and bite only when threatened.

Photo by graftedno1
The brown recluse spider

Photo by graftedno1
The brown recluse spider

Photo by graftedno1
The brown recluse spider

The Black Widow Spider (Latradectus Lugubris)

This spider is known to be very harmful to humans because of its venom which exceeds the poison of rattlesnake by a multiple of 15. Black widows inhabit prairie and desert places all over the world. Females are around 2 cm in length and are more dangerous than males. The female invariably kills the male after mating, which is in fact how the black widow got its name. Black widows are usually recognized by a black body with some red dots on it. The spider is usually active from April to November with its peak period of aggression in June-July. It should be noted that black widows, much like the other venomous spiders, attack iprey only when disturbed. Its bite brings severe stomach, chest, and waste pains with convulsions and a red rash. It’s very important to deactivate the poison during the first 30 seconds after the bite by burning a match directly on the bite spot.

Photo by buckeye98
The black widow spider

Photo by JeremyHall
The black widow spider

Photo by Don Van Dyke
The black widow spider

Photo by jervin07
The black widow spider

Tarantula (Theraphosidae)

Tarantulas represent a group of hairy and very large (approximately 3-4 cm in length) spiders which belong to the family Theraphosidae. There are many color variations of tarantulas – from light-brown to dark-gray. Tarantulas live in deep and damp holes in prairies and desert places. In the dark of night tarantulas hunt their prey. The tarantula’s poison is not very dangerous to humans, and some people even keep them as pets. The worst of a tarantula bite to a human is generally severe pain in the spot of the bite, later changing into reddening and swelling. Within 5-6 hours the mild illness resulting from the bite passes.

Photo by listentoreason
Tarantula

Photo by o r t
Tarantula

Photo by listentoreason
Tarantula

Photo by matt knoth
Tarantula

Water Spider (Argyroneta Aquatica, Latin for “Silvery Net”)

Water spiders or diving bell spiders (Argyroneta aquatica) inhabit fresh ponds in Northern and Central Europe and Northern Asia. Argyroneta is one of a type of air-breathing water spiders who spend their whole life under water. It’s good at diving, with speeds of 2.3-3.5 cm per second with its length of 1.5-1.7 cm. The water spider weaves its web among water plants and stocks it with air from the surface, which looks like a diving bell. Argyroneta is not considered harmful to humans. It mostly hunts small crayfish and insect larvae, which it kills with its poison. Water spiders surround their living place with safety nets. These nets also signal them about prey’s arrival. The bite of the spider is very annoying to humans even if not dangerous.

Photo from wikimedia.org
Water spider

Photo from wikimedia.org
Water spider

Photo from wikimedia.org
Water spider

Photo from wikimedia.org
Water spider

Australian Funnel-Web Spider (Family Hexathelidae)

Australian funnel-web spiders live on the eastern coast of Australia in damp and cool places. Funnel-web spiders are known as one of three of the most dangerous spiders in the world. As far as being dangerously venomous goes, the funnel-web competes with its relatives, the Australian H. Formidabilis and Brazilian Phoneutria fera (also known as the Brazilian wandering spider). Funnel-web spiders have a dark color which varies from brown to black with a glossy covering. The fangs are so strong that they can bite through even a shoe. The venom of a funnel-web spider can kill a human within an hour. Fortunately, there is antidote for its poison. Specimens of funnel-web spiders are found in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland which is how they got their name. Each of these are presented on the pictures below: Sydney funnel-web (Atrax Robustus), Victorian funnel-web spider (Hadronyche modesta) and Blue Mountains funnel web spider (Hadronyche versuta).

Sydney funnel-web spider
Photo by marcleh
Australian funnel-web spider

Sydney funnel-web spider
Photo from wikimedia.org
Australian funnel-web spider

Victorian funnel-web spider
Photo from wikipedia.org
Australian funnel-web spider

Blue-mountain funnel-web spider
Photo from nsf.gov
Australian funnel-web spider

Crab Spider (Selenopidae)

The Selenopidae family includes more than 3,000 crab spider species. They got their name from Selene, the Greek goddess of the moon. Crab spiders resemble crabs with their front pair of legs angled alongside their flattened bodies. Also, just like crabs they can move sideways and backwards. Usually crab spiders are found in northern America and sometimes in southern Europe and Asia. They do not weave webs; they usually hunt on the ground while hiding among vegetation such as flowers. Crab spiders are not known to be venomous to humans, and are sometimes mistaken for an unrelated genus, Sicarius, which are close relatives to the brown recluse and which are indeed very dangerous to humans.

Photo by myrmician
Crab spider

Photo by myrmician
Crab spider

Photo by myrmician
Crab spider

Photo by myrmician
Crab spider

Photo by M Hedin
Crab spider

Yellow Sac Spiders (Cheiracanthium Punctorium)

The yellow (golden) sac spiders inhabit mostly European countries. These spiders are rather small (10 mm in length), are yellowish in color, and are hardly recognized. Yellow spiders build sac-like tubes under things like stones to serve as their home. Sometimes they are found inside houses. Their bites are known  to be at least clinically dangerous and often are misdiagnosed as bites of the brown recluse spider. The bite of a yellow sac spider causes severe pain with the development of a necrotic wound (although not as intense as that from a brown recluse). Just like other spiders they are prone to bite defensively.

Photo from wikimedia.org
Yellow sac spiders

Photo from wikimedia.org
Yellow sac spiders

Photo from wikimedia.org
Yellow sac spiders

Photo from wikimedia.org
Yellow sac spiders

Photo by macroclub.ru
Yellow sac spiders

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Justice April 6, 2010 at 5:23 pm

awsm pics

Reply

Jodell Robbins April 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I Had A 3in white spider on my arm squar body and raised head long legs and a long st body do you know what kind of spider it is and it almost appeared to be irradesant

Reply

youngwoo March 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm

that is a crab spider it can go up to 3 inches{it is not poisonous} it can be yellow, wihte, or red. Mostly on peoples backyard and on flowers camoflauged

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Joel April 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm

thank you i thought i found a brown recluse outside yikes!

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smokes April 30, 2011 at 12:24 am

The two funnelweb photos are the same image, rotated though 90degrees and with a different colour tint.

Funny, you didn’t mention the Australian Redback spider. Similar in appearance to the Black Widow but with a red hourglass spot on it’s back.

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niall May 3, 2011 at 5:40 am

no white tip or red back? this list fails.

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Barry June 1, 2011 at 7:56 am

The White Tail Spider is harmless, but yes the Redback and also the Mouse Spider are two very dangerous spiders that weren’t listed there.

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Joel October 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

We got Brown recluses and black widows in are house.

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greg November 30, 2011 at 11:16 am

The brachypelma smithi reknee is totally harmless spider …. why on earth set there. This spider is a pet actually and is very beautiful. if for me to rate them
1. Brazilian Wandering spider – Phoneutria nigriventer/fera
2. Atrax Robustus – Sidney funnel web spider – Also the eycalyptus atrax spieces
3. Mouse spider – Australia close to sidney rarely found similar to atrax
4. Sand spider or crab spider of the coast rarely found where people go for swim
5. Brown Recluse – Loxosceles recluse
6. Black widow or Redback or malmignate (considering where exists to different palces same family Latrodectus mactans/Hasselt/Tredencimguttatus
The rest is just not big deal
In terms of which are agressive phoneutria and atrax
In terms of proximity to people is redback, atrax, recluse and phoneutria
Hence since scarring is not nice and skin scars can be painful process besides other effects (death is now close to zero for all spiders worldwide) and most dangerous spiders in the world in terms of agressiveness and proximity to peoples homes are phoneutria and atrax and recluse
Finally learn to live and generally learn these and continue normally your life

Reply

youngwoo March 12, 2012 at 8:18 pm

where is the brown recluse’s main location?

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greg May 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

brown recluse stays mainly in caves and dark places not people go. But it can go in dark basements and attics not cleaned with rubbish wood piles stones anything. People get bitten there during cleanning up their basements. Recluses never stay close to light stays close to dark places and cracks. You might get bitten during clean up your basement…imagine you pick up a box with tonnes of dust you can’t see where you put your fingers and the spider is caught on your fingers or cloth free body without noticing of got bitten (the bite of recluse can go unnoticed). Then a blister which deteriorates without knowing the reason after a few hours/days (5% the evenomation in all recluse bites get to this stage ) if still worsen it gets an open ulcer wound and if persists for the following month an open wound expanded ..finaly you have to do a topic sergury operation to get rid of the ulcer and probably plastic surgery is needed to heal the scar. If you stay in a place where recluse is common just follow this: If you have to clean up your basement or a place that had a long time to be cleaned use gloves and wear trousers. Mostly bites occur on hands arms and feet as the spider was caught and pressed on the skin without knowing its alive or even existing. Probably afterwards when you have a blister you might think …wait a minute where did this happened and propably find a small dead brown spider with a violin shape …on the basement floor. Cleaning of course with gloves for healthy reasons is a good practice of course not for spiders only but for everything …i believe … so there is no need to panic. If you see a brown recluse crawling on the floor the best way apart from using a crashing shoe is to take a cup and a piece of paper trap it in the cup use the paper to ensure is in upside down the cup .. then go out and empty the container in the garden or dust bin whatever….

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sydney December 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

wow!!!!!!!you know all that???good job!!!!!!

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greg May 18, 2012 at 9:39 am

If you live in the farm in villages or whatever use a window mosqito safer….it can do the same for all the arachnids. For sure again i am telling you spiders will invade again … where is that? Of course the empty gap between the floor of the front door…put a hinder or tape there …90% to be arachid free but still there are chances… the reason why ..spiders are very well adapted not only in the nature but also in our houses. They do know that a house is the perfect place to hunt insects and get moisture and also a nice living temperature environment.
Simply learn to live with and normally continue cleaning up them from time to time…untill recolonizing… i live in a village and this is always the same case…insectisides is just a way spending money for immediate results but not long lasting at all

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Matt Alchin May 21, 2012 at 6:01 am

you dont have the BROWN funnel web spiders from the Blue Mountains, they are 2 to 4 times larger than other funnel webs, just as or more deadly, and hyper agressive, they will charge at you from 5 or 6 metres away if they decide you are a threat.

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C E Mac Millan February 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm

You have some errors here :

“The brown recluse spider, or violin spider (Loxosceles recluse), is one of the few spiders in the world known to be harmful for humans. It inhabits midwestern and southeastern states of the US, especially California.”

California is neither a midwestern, nor southeastern state (and the brown recluse is not by the way, found in the coastal region – more like “central southeast” !)

The brown recluse is not found at all in California, except as a myth :

http://spiders.ucr.edu/myth.html

On the other hand, Latrodectus (the black widow) is _definitely_ to be found in California
and to be watched out for.

Yellow sac is widely regarded now as totally harmless (study done a few years back).

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