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Venomous Spiders


Tarantulas are not generally very venomous. In most cases they are no more dangerous than a honey bee. However, there are a number of spiders that are very or extremely venomous.
The 'Black Widow'; also known as the 'Redback' or 'Katipo' spider is probably the most infamous of venomous spiders.

Only the female of the species is dangerous to humans.

(Picture: Black Widow - Latrodectus Indistinctus South African Species)
This is the 'Funnel Web Spider' that is well known in parts of Australia.

In this species the male is the one to avoid, as it is very aggressive during the mating season and tends to turn up in lots of places that bring it into contact with humans.

(Picture: Funnel Web Spider - Atrax species)

This is the Brown Recluse spider which is widespread in the southern and Midwestern states of North America, especially Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

The brown recluse spider is not aggressive. Most bitten people have directly contacted the spider when putting on clothing or shoes not used for long periods of time.

Fatalities are rare, but bites are most dangerous to children, elderly and those in poor physical condition.


(Picture: Brown Recluse - Loxosceles reclusa)

This species of spider is feared in and around Brazil and there are reported cases of young children being killed by it. Little other information appears to be available about it's range and the effects of its venom.


(Picture: Brazilian Wandering Spider - Phoneutria nigriventer)

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Last Updated: 04 April 2007