Can you get through this post without squirming? We bet you can’t!
Spiders have a big image problem; many of us squirm at the very sight of them. Indeed most spider species are venomous, but the venom is used to catch prey and is often not harmful to humans.
In fact, spiders help us out by consuming many insects we consider pests – but that does not change the fact that these eight-legged creatures often strike fear into those they approach.
With that said, here is a list of ten uber scary spiders you definitely don’t want to meet:
1. TarantulaTarantulas are among the largest of all arachnids. Depending on the specific species, they can be as small as 2 centimeters or as big as 10 centimeters in length, with legs spanning from 8 to 30 centimeters. Although these large and hairy arachnids are known to be venomous, their bites are not very harmful to humans. At most, their bites will only cause several days of discomfort to the skin. The keeping of tarantulas as pets is becoming increasingly popular in many countries.
Like other arachnids, tarantulas usually eat insects and other types of arthropods. However, some larger tarantulas have been known to prey on animals as big as birds, snakes, and rodents. This subset of arachnids can be found in most continents and can thrive in various habitats—such as grasslands, mountains, and forests.
2. Redback SpiderAlso known as Latrodectus Hasseltii, this species of arachnids is indigenous to Australia and are potentially deadly to humans. I say potentially because their venom, in theory, is deadly. However, only 14 redback-related deaths have been recorded in history—all before the introduction of commercial antivenom in 1956. Nonetheless, most bites from redbacks will cause pain and may require medical care if the pain is severe.
Female redbacks are easily identifiable by their black exterior and a red stripe across the back. Most female redback spiders are only 1 centimeter long and most male redbacks are 3 to 4 centimeters in length.
3. Brazilian Wandering SpiderAlso known scientifically as Phoneutria, this genus of spiders is usually found in tropical locations in South and Central America. According to Guinness World Records, these spiders are the most venomous of all genuses of spiders. Unlike other spiders whose bites are only venomous when hunting or defensive, bites of wandering spiders are almost always venomous. When bitten with enough venom, it will cause an immense amount of pain, impotence, and in very rare instances, even death.
Brazilian wandering spiders vary greatly in size; they can be anywhere from 1 to 5 centimeters long, with legs spanning as long as 15 centimeters.
4. Golden Orb Weaver SpiderThese spiders belong to the Nephila genus of spiders and are known for weaving extremely intricate and impressive webs. These spiders vary in the color spectrum; they can be found with bold colors such as red or much mellower colors such as green. Unlike many of the other genus of arachnids, golden orb weavers don’t delineate too much in terms of size; females are about 4.8 to 5.1 centimeters and males are usually around 2.5 centimeters. Golden orb weavers prefer warmer regions and can be found in all warm parts of the world.
5. Huntsman SpiderHuntsman spiders are a family of spiders also known as Sparassidae. These eight-eyed arachnids are sometimes referred to as giant crab spiders because of their large size and crab-like colors. The leg span of some huntsman spiders can grow as long as 30 centimeters. These spiders are prominent in Australia, but they are also found in many other countries in Asia. A few species are also found in the southern parts of the United States, where it is hot.
Like most spiders, huntsman spiders have venomous bites. However, their venom is not dangerous to healthy humans.
6. Wolf SpiderWolf spiders belong to the family of Lycosidae. Their size ranges from as small as 1 millimeter to as large as 30 millimeters. Wolf spider’s 2,300 species reside all over the world, and in many different climates and habitats. Although their bite can be venomous if threatened, the venom will not cause more than swelling, itching, and mild pain in humans. In fact, smaller wolf spiders that live on pastures, fields, and farms actually contribute to the ecosystem by eating insects harmful to grass and crop.
7. Brown Recluse SpiderBrown recluse spiders belong to the Sicariidae family, and are known for their venomous and necrotic bites. The size of brown recluse spiders range anywhere from 6 to 20 millimeters in length. These spiders reside in many parts of the southern United States as they prefer warmer climates. Although bites from brown recluse spiders are rare, they can be potentially deadly; a portion of their bites result in necrosis. If the necrotic bites are left untreated, the symptoms will worsen and become gangrenous—which will cause death.
8. Australian Funnel-Web SpiderKnown in the medical community as Atracinae, these spiders belong to a subfamily of spiders called Hexathelidae. This subfamily of spiders produces some of the most venomous bites out of all the spiders. In fact, Sydney funnel-web spiders are known as the world’s deadliest spiders.
The size of these funnel-web spiders vary; they can be anywhere from 1 centimeters to 5 centimeters in length. These spiders like to live in moist and cool habitats but also like to live under shelter such rocks, shrubs, and logs. These spiders can be found all over Australia, with the exception of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
9. Mouse SpiderMouse spiders belong to the genus Missulena and consist of 11 species—all of which are venomous. Ten species are native to Australia and one species is found in Chile. These spiders vary in size, being anywhere from 1 centimeters to 3 centimeters in length. Their dorsal is extremely glossy with broad heads and eyes wide across their foreheads.
Although the bites of these spiders are venomous, serious cases of envenoming are extremely rare. To the contrary, most bites from mouse spiders do not require the use of antivenom to treat.
Another spider, known as Scotophaeus Blackwalli, is also known as Mouse Spider. However, the Scotophaeus Blackwalli does not belong to the same genus and is not venomous.
10. Black Widow SpiderOf course what scary spiders list would be complete without mentioning the Black Widow? Also known as Latrodectus Hesperus in the medical community, these spiders live in warmer climates and are usually found in the deserts of the United States. Although black widow spiders are known for their deadly poison, only about one percent of black widows inject poison with their bites. Even if the bite is poisonous, it rarely causes death in humans.