Source: A still image from a social media video shows spiders’ gossamer near wetlands in Gippsland, Victoria, 2021, Australia. (Reuters)
(A still image from social media shows spiders’ gossamer near wetlands in Longford, Victoria, Australia June 14, 2021.(Reuters)
(This eastern Australian native spider is one of the most feared of the venomous animals down under. They are typically 1 to 3 inches long, and can be very aggressive when provoked. The long-lived female Funnel Webs spend most of their time in their silk-lined tubular burrow retreats. The males tend to wander during the warmer months of the year looking for receptive females. The Sydney Funnel Web Spider is responsible for 13 confirmed deaths between1927-1980.)
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A cellar spider, sometimes called daddy longlegs (not to be confused with a harvestman). Matt Bertone, CC BY-ND
3. WOLF SPIDERS
Wolf spiders are large and hairy with incredible eyesight. These creepy critters are agile hunters, but they do not build webs to catch their prey. They’re usually found on the ground or in burrows underground. Even though they are venomous, the bite symptoms humans experience are usually mild.
Jumping spiders are among the largest family of spiders, making up about 13 percent of all species. They are short, stout spiders that normally move relatively slow. However, they are known for being able to jump with extreme agility, especially while hunting. Some jumping spiders can jump 10 to 50 times the length of their bodies.
Ground spiders commonly make their homes under rocks, leaves, logs, and other objects on the ground. This group of spiders is normally red or gray-brown in color and can be solid or striped. They do not produce venom that can harm humans.
Sac spiders often reside in gardens, piles of leaves or wood, and timber. The population increases significantly during the fall, leading to many indoor infestations.
The front two pairs of a crab spider’s legs extend out to the side and are longer than the back two pairs. These legs are used primarily for hunting, since these spiders don’t make webs. Crab spiders are extremely patient hunters that are known to sometimes wait days or even weeks for their dinner.
Most spiders’ venom is not harmful to humans. But some spiders, like black and brown widows and the brown recluse, can inflict dangerous and painful bites. If any of these venomous spiders bite you or your family, seek immediate medical attention. If you find either of these venomous eight-legged critters in your home, especially in large numbers, your best bet is to contact a pest-control professional to help with removal.
2. Brazilian Wandering Spiders (Phoneutria feraand nigriventer ) are sometimes also referred to as banana spiders because they are frequently found on banana leaves. They have an aggressive defense posture, in which they raise their front legs straight up into the air. Their venom is toxic to the nervous system, causing symptoms such as salivation, irregular heartbeat, and prolonged, painful erections (priapism) in men.
3. Yellow sac spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum) found throughout the United States, as well as in Mexico southward through South America, is venomous to humans and is often found indoors. The spider’s venom is a cytotoxin (a substance that destroys a cell or impairs its function) that can produce necrotizing lesions, but such lesions occur rarely in bite victims. Still, redness and swelling at the site of the bite are common reactions.
4. Wolf spider (family Lycosidae) a large and widespread group that is found throughout the world. They are named for their wolflike habit of chasing and pouncing upon prey. About 125 species occur in North America, whereas there are about 50 in Europe. They are noted for their running speed and commonly occur in grass or under stones, logs, or leaf litter, though they may invade human dwellings that harbor insects. Most species build silk-lined, tubular nests in the ground. Some conceal the entrance with rubbish, whereas others build a turret like structure above it. A few species spin webs. Wolf spider eggs are contained in a gray silk sac attached to the female’s spinnerets, or silk-producing organs, so that she appears to be dragging a large ball. After hatching, the young spiders ride on the mother’s back for several days. Although the spider is not considered to be aggressive, it will often bite people in self-defense. Wolf spiders are venomous, but their bites are not considered dangerous. The spider’s large fangs cause physical trauma at the site of the bite.
5. Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus mactans) is responsible for more than 2,500 visits to poison control centers every year in the U.S. It is one species that can be found from the United States and parts of Canada through Latin America and the West Indies. The most common member of Latrodectusin North America, it makes its home in a variety of settings, such as woodpiles, burrows, or among plants that serve as supports for its web. The male, seldom seen because it is often killed and eaten by the female after mating (hence the spider’s name), is about one-fourth the size of the female. Its bite, which may feel like a pinprick on the skin, often produces severe muscle pain and cramping, nausea, and mild paralysis of the diaphragm, which makes breathing difficult. Most victims recover without serious complications. Although the bite is thought to be fatal to very small children and the elderly, no deaths have been attributed to bites by widow spiders in the United States.
(Spider web deformations produced by statically charged insects — bees, flies, aphids, fruit flies — and water drops (Victor Manuel Ortega-Jimenez and Robert Dudley)
(In Georgia, this black widow spider (Latrodectus sp.) snared a juvenile scarlet snake (Cemophora coccinea) in its web. DANIEL R. CROOK.
Take the Australian Redback. Not including legs, a female of this species of spider is only about the size of an M&M candy. But she can take down big prey — such as the eastern brown snake. It’s one of the most venomous serpents in the world. The spider’s web is a messy tangle of silk whose long, sticky threads dangle to the ground. A snake that mistakenly slides into this trap may get stuck. The Redback quickly throws more sticky silk to subdue her struggling victim. Then, chomp! Her bite delivers a powerful toxin that eventually kills the snake.)
Photo: cobweb spider dispatches some prey that got snagged in its web. Matt Bertone, CC BY-ND
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