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Be Wary of Spider Bites!

For macro and nature enthusiasts, many understand that spiders have their own store of venom for hunting purposes. But what many don't know of each spider, is the propensity to bite a human and the effect of the venom on humans.

Most spiders contain amounts of venom too small to really affect a human being. Most also do not go biting a human unless provoked. But that doesn't mean you should go sticking your fingers at any spider you see. (but if you do, please tell me how much it hurt) ;)

Today, I did some close ups on the fangs of what looked like a Sac Spider. The sac spider's venom contains a cytotoxin, which means that it poisons or kills cells. The bite would typically give a stinging sensation, and heard to be very painful. The effect of the bite may vary from person to person, from redness, to swells, and even blisters that take weeks to heal. For the record, sac spiders do not build webs but a silk tube or sac which it hides in - hence the name.

The alleged sac spider dropped on me while I was fumbling with my camera. Luckily for me, it didn't leave me any souvenir except for a couple of photos.

Mantis nymphs (Mantodea) - DSC_0388 #1 View of the bottom of the sac spider.

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0476 #2 It shifted a little, so here's another shot!

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0483 #3 Side view, it was perched on the Y-junction of the branch. Good ya? More chance of catching prey at junctions? :P

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0497 #4 This is what you're up against if it decides to plunge its fangs on you. Don't play play.

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0515 #5 Didn't manage to shoot its face before it jumped on me, so here's a close up from the side

House Centipede (Scutigeridae) - DSC_0398 #6 This House Centipede was almost 3 inches long and busy munching on something

House Centipede (Scutigeridae) - DSC_0403 #7 This pic shows how long the legs were. It tried to "feel" me when I went in for a closeup

House Centipede (Scutigeridae) - DSC_0416 #8 Uncle James offered his arsenal of lights to help create a back-lit effect

House Centipede (Scutigeridae) - DSC_0405 #9 Closeup on its face! Fierce looking fella.

Ground Spider (Cryptothele sundaica) - DSC_0441 #10 Cryptothele sundaica, found hidden in a tiny crevice on a log.

Ground Spider (Cryptothele sundaica) - DSC_0445 #11 Quite skittish, it moved every time I fired a shot. Disturbed by the flash I suppose.

Ground Spider (Cryptothele sundaica) - DSC_0447 #12 Moved again!

Ground Spider (Cryptothele sundaica) - DSC_0453 #13 Face to face!

Ground Spider (Cryptothele sundaica) - DSC_0456 #14 A view slightly to the side

Ground Spider (Cryptothele sundaica) - DSC_0457 #15 Lovely pose, but the eyes were out of focus! No chance to retake as it moved after every shot.

Ground Spider (Cryptothele sundaica) - DSC_0459 #16 Closeup from the top

Baby Tarantula with mites (Theraphosidae) - DSC_0462 #17 A very small tarantula spotted by James. Very cute! He even pointed out 3 little mites on its back.

Baby Tarantula with mites (Theraphosidae) - DSC_0463 #18 Think it got scared by my flash and closed up

Baby Tarantula with mites (Theraphosidae) - DSC_0467 #19 Close up on the 3 little mites

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0525 #20 Odd looking Huntsman spider (Sparassidae) with yellow spots all over its legs and body

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0539 #21 Another huntsman, busy with some food

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0552 #22 Top view

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0562 #23 Close up of its face and food. The prey was so mashed up that we literally couldn't tell head or tail of it

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0612 #24 Going closer to the eyes

Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_0598 #25 Cropped view

The complete album can be viewed here.

James blogged about this trip here

New Book

Borneo Spiders: A Photographic Field Guide

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