Dangerous spiders

Other creatures that are always going to be part of our lives in Costa Ballena are spiders. Feared by many, spiders represent the second largest group of animals on the planet (ants are number 1). There are huge amounts  everywhere, but not all are dangerous spiders.

Por ~ by Cesar barrio amorós

Just take a headlamp and go out to your garden at night, and you will see thousands of bright, green dots; each one of them is a spider. Of course, not all are dangerous spiders; in fact, very few are, and in our area, only one represents a clear danger: the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria sp.).

Dangerous spiders - Phoneutria sp. imagen de internet

Many not dangerous spiders end up crushed by brooms; but, how can we recognize a Phoneutria, and what should we do if we they get too close to us? The most common spiders that live in our yards are the golden silk spider (Nephila clavipes), which is completely harmless despite its size, and builds enormous golden webs that are incredibly resistant; and also the ground spiders, which eat insects.

There are also tarantulas, but they are very uncommon, and hide quickly inside holes on the ground or in trees when bothered. Phoneutrias are big, orange spiders (especially the females) whose abdomen is larger than their heads (or cephalothorax); the lower part of their legs and their chelicerae is bright red.

Humans must avoid getting bitten by these arachnids because their venom is hemotoxic (like the fer-de-lance’s), and produces localized gangrene. There are not any reports on any spider-related death in Costa Rica, but their bites can actually be very painful, and any bite must be examined by specialists at a hospital.

iNFO: César barrio amorós – Doc Frog Photography and Expeditions www.docfrogphotography.com – cesarlba@yahoo.com

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