Project Description


Spiders are active hunters and rely heavily on their bites to paralyze and kill their prey before consuming it. They also bite in self-defense. While many spiders will never attack animals larger than themselves, some exhibit a rather aggressive behavior and will stand their ground when approached by larger animals. Most spider bites occur when humans unintentionally press up against spiders and receive a defensive bite. On rare occasions, spiders may make prey mistakes and bite a human finger or other body part as though it were a caterpillar or other such insect.

Only spiders of fairly large species possess chelicera long enough to penetrate human skin, and most of those are females. The effect of a bite on humans is dependent on both the toxicity of the venom and the amount of venom. About 98% of the bites inflicted by species that are large enough that their bites are noticed will have no serious medical consequences.[1] Of those bites that humans notice, venoms can include necrotic agents, neurotoxins, and agents such as serotonin. Only some two hundred species in twenty genera (out of over 40,000 known species) are known to have serious, potentially lethal bites.