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 Spiders and Their Venom

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LadySnow
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PostSubject: Spiders and Their Venom   8/26/2013, 1:49 pm

I noticed the other day I talk an awful lot about spiders, snakes, specific fish, and other types of commonly venomous/poisonous and potentially deadly animals.

happy It's kind of my thing.

Anyway! I'll be doing random posts as I think of them in here about spiders and their venom. I might end up doing one for other creatures but spiders are pretty much what I know most about.

To begin with not all arachnids are spiders. This can confuse people because of the word, "arachnophobia" which refers to the irrational fear specifically for spiders and nothing else. Other types of common arachnids are scorpions and ticks.

I'd like to tackle the issue of the "deadliest" and "most dangerous" spiders in the world to start off with. I'm doing this because I can't tell you how many people have told me either Black Widows, Camel Spiders, or Grandaddy Longlegs are the deadliest spiders in the world.
Which neither of them are even on the top 10.

To begin with, Camel Spiders and Grandaddy Longlegs aren't spiders.
*gasp* Oh my gosh, she's stupid! I can't believe she just said something with eight legs isn't a spider! I mean gosh, Camel Spiders are called SPIDERS for crying out loud!

Let's go with Camel Spiders first.
Camel Spiders are feared immensely by American troops in the desert. They honestly should be more worried about the snakes and actual spiders that live out there.
Camel Spiders are not spiders, get that through your thick skull. I imagine they're called spiders possibly because they have massive jaws that look like fangs, multiple legs, and two body sections. However, count their eyes for me.
"One...two..."
Only two eyes.
Count their legs for me now.
"One...two...three...four...FIVE!"
Oh my goodness they have fives legs on both sides adding up to ten instead of eight.
Yeah, not spiders. MOVING ON!

Camel Spiders aka Solifugae are nonvenomous arachnids with powerful, pincer-like jaws they use to crush pray. Solifugae get up to about 4 inches across however the largest on record was 6 inches (that's a big ant). Contrary to common beliefs Solifugae are not big enough, nor strong enough to take dogs, kill adults or even their children, or disembowel camels with a swift move and bite from their jaws. Camel Spiders are however incredibly fast for their size and are difficult to catch. They enjoy sitting under cool rocks or hiding in the shade of a nicely built tent. People often think Camel Spiders are chasing them when the Solifugae is actually chasing their shadow trying to hide from the desert Sun.

Something notable about Solifugae is that they do have a mild neuro-toxic saliva used to break down food, easily mistaken for venom (they don't have fangs, just pretty ugly looking jaws). Soldiers have woken up with small holes and a limpness or dull ache in their limbs. As disturbing as it is, a Camel Spider was most likely munching on their arms/legs while they were asleep. It's fine though, put a bandaid on it and slap your arm around until it wakes up.


Notice, just two itty bitty eyes.


I'm posting this because I know someone is going to mention it trying to completely disregard everything I've said.
This is actually a picture of TWO Solifugae tied together, not one. Also please notice the person's arm on the side of the picture and how the Solifugae measure up to it. Yep, these buggers are a lot smaller than war stories make them out to be.


People often don't believe that Solifugae don't have fangs and that they really are just jaws. As you can see here an aggravated Camel Spider demonstrates its FOUR lateral pincers extending from the top and bottom jaws.


Last edited by LadySnow on 8/26/2013, 2:28 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/26/2013, 1:51 pm

Grandaddy Long Legs!

I've spoken to many people who think these gentle creatures are the most venomous spiders in the world. To begin with there is some misconception of what Granddaddy Long Legs actually are being that there are a few different creatures people consider them to be.

There are some arachnids known as Harvestmen, these aren't actual spiders. Some reasons why they aren't classified as spiders are they do not have spinnerets therefore don't or can't make webs, they only have one body part (cephalothorax) instead of two, they have two eyes while most spiders have 6-8, and they do not have fangs much less venom.

There are Pholcidae, which are an actual family of spiders referred to as "Cellar Spiders". Are Pholcidae extremely venomous however unable to bite humans due to their "uncate" (very short) fangs?
There actually is no scientific evidence to support claims that suggest these creatures are in fact deadly but aren't able to puncture our skin. Something I read which I have to share drives a very good point. For one, if their fangs are too short to actually bite someone then how would we know that they can kill unless we milked the spiders and injected a person with acquired venom? There is also no research supporting any claims of extraordinarily toxic venom done on other mammals such as rats or mice (the typical test-subject due their similar anatomy to their humans). There is no research supporting these animals wield the deadliest venom on Earth.


Source A
Source B
Source C
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/26/2013, 1:54 pm

The "deadliest" spider in the world is, to my knowledge, the Brazilian Wandering Spider.



This spider is also known as the Banana Spider:


Many people here in Florida often mistake common tree spiders, orb weavers, or golden silk spiders (mild to harmless venom) for Banana Spiders because of their color and shape. The Brazilian Wanderer really is the Banana Spider because this tropical fruit is a common place for them to hang out.

Now the Brazilian Wandering Spider is a sight that I believe could be the reason for many nightmares. They are fairly large compared to most other spiders pulling in a whopping 5.1 to 5.9 inches. They've got a tough bite, considered perhaps the most toxic spider bite in the world or at least the bite most capable or directly causing death. Yes, these are the infamous spiders who cause a painful erection just before death in males that have been bitten. They have a sassy temperament and can be nervous little pieces of hatred. Fortunately they aren't incredibly common but have developed a nasty habit over the past few years of living near and around humans.

While these creatures are terrifying in my opinion they still hold nothing in temperament compared to the other spider frequently confused for the deadliest in the world.

The Sydney Funnel Web Spider:


The Sydney Funnel Web Spider I would consider not the deadliest (though it is one of the top 10 deadliest biters) but possibly the most dangerous. I would call it the most dangerous because of a few reasons:
1. Sydneys are infamous for their tempers. They are the grouchy old men of the spider world. They've been witnessed actually chasing humans unlike most other species of spiders which will do what they can to get away.
2. Efficient swimmers. While most spiders can effectively float and/or swim this coupled with 1. is kind of scary.
3. High population in very close proximity to humans. This is what the Sydney has on the Hairy Banana I wrote about earlier on in this post. Unlike the Brazilian Wandering Spider, Sydney Funnel Webs are incredibly common. They love shoes and garages (where you can't see their fat, black butts). If you ever visit Sydney, Australia don't be surprised if you walk into your kitchen and find a very unwanted visitor waiting in your dog's food bowl.

To be frank, if it weren't for the Hairy Banana's unbelievable venom toxicity the Sydney Funnel Web Spider could easily take the trophy of deadliest spider in the world. Don't get me wrong though, the Sydney is still not even the second most venomous spider in the world.
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/26/2013, 1:55 pm

One of many species of Orb Weaver:


Golden Silk Spider:
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/26/2013, 2:07 pm

One little piece of information that I'm not sure if I've covered yet or not is the actual meaning behind dangerous bodily fluids.
What!?

Well to begin with venom vs. poison.
They can be the same substance, same chemical compounds, but the words mean completely different matters. Venom is injected, intentionally, causing harm from an animal's bite or sting. Poison is ingested or absorbed by either touching or swallowing the substance. To be venomous means the animal has a notable poison/venom that is injected either through a bite or sting. A spider that is venomous means that it carries venom glands most likely funneling down into a set of fangs used to catch and kill prey or harm enemies. A poisonous spider is most likely a spider with a toxic substance in or around its body, this can include its venom glands, and if ingested can cause harm.
Other venomous animals include a Bee and a Platypus. Poisonous animals may include Lion Fish and Dart Frogs.
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/26/2013, 5:14 pm

glad you got that out for us .. mylady ..
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/26/2013, 11:00 pm

Hehe I'd been tempted to do so ever since I originally saw this forum. Rambling is what I'm good for after all! afro 
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/27/2013, 4:14 am

haha went into a frenzy last night?
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/27/2013, 5:50 pm

Not last night, I actually wrote these a while ago.
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/30/2013, 4:09 am

Skin crawls a bit, camel spiders...
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/30/2013, 4:25 am

Up until a few weeks ago i had never seen one of these things. Kill it with fire.

I take it that these are all cited articles, so 3 pts. If not please let me know.

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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   8/30/2013, 10:41 am

No I wrote most of these from my own knowledge. The article Grandaddy Longlegs did take research about what you call certain parts of their anatomy.

Unless you count the pictures in which case sure, I went to google images no lie!

I didn't think we got points for non-magic related articles.
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PostSubject: Re: Spiders and Their Venom   9/8/2013, 7:25 pm

Yep you're write, forgot about that.  Thanks for reminding me and thanks for posting.
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