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Spider-man and other arachnids

By: Bruno Amorim

 Black widow. Photo: Instituto Vital Brasil.

Black widow. Photo: Instituto Vital Brasil.

In the movie, spider-man got his superpowers after being stung by a genetically modified spider. But don't think that if you get stung by one of these animals you will get stronger and start shooting web. At best, you will feel a lot of pain and get sick.

However, you don't have to be scared of them, because most spiders only attack when threatened. Tarantulas are big, but they are practically harmless. Therefore, if you respect spiders, they are not going to bother you.

Venomous quartet

The black widow is maybe the most frightening spider and was named like that because of how it breeds. After intercourse, depending on the species, the female usually eats the male. Despite the horrendous habit, the black widow is not the most dangerous spider in Brazil. The poison of the Brazilian species is not too strong and, thus, does not pose a threat to human beings.

 Wandering spider . Photo: Instituto Vital Brasil.

Wandering spider . Photo: Instituto Vital Brasil.

The wandering spider (Phoneutria sp.) is the most dangerous in Brazil. Considered one of the most aggressive in the world, the spider lifts its front legs and assumes an attack position. Standing on its hind legs, it jumps on its target. So, if you see a wandering spider, get away from it quick!

Brown spiders (Loxosceles sp.) are small, but their poison is very strong. They very rarely attack humans, and usually do so because they were pressed against someone's body. The would at the site of the sting can take up to two months to heal.

See also

Frightening, perilous and venomous

Venoms and antivenoms


Miguel Oliveira – Museu da Vida.


Freitas, Marco Antonio de. Guia ilustrado - Animais venenosos e peçonhentos no Brasil

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