Texas is a big state that contains many different types of landscapes, and therefore, the state contains a great diversity of arthropod life. Although Texas is well known for its massive cockroach population, the state also contains at least 900 different spider species. while many Texas spiders may be big, hairy and frightening to look at, there does not exist any spider species within the state that are capable of inflicting medically significant bites to humans, with the exception of two species. Most people may feel inclined to assume that the most dangerous spiders in Texas are the giant tarantula species that can be found in the arid southwestern region of the state. But this is not the case, as the two spider species in the state that have been known to send people to the hospital are, not surprisingly, the brown recluse and the black widow.
The black widow spider is well known for having a red hourglass design on its abdomen, but not everyone is aware that this design can only be found on female black widows, which, like most other spider species, are much larger in size than their male counterparts. As a result of this body-size disparity, female black widows often consume their male mates, or do they? According to officials with the Houston Zoo, this form of cannibalism rarely occurs among black widows. Despite black widow spiders being the most venomous spider species in the United States, their bites usually do not pose a medical threat to healthy adults, but children, the elderly and the immunocompromised can fall ill or even die as a result of black widow envenomation. These spiders are typically found in dark and dry areas, such as garages, sheds and outhouses.
The brown recluse is the most common of all brown spiders in the US, and they are often found within wood piles and even inside of homes. Although brown recluse spider habitats are only found within the south and south-central regions of the US, these spiders are great hitchhikers. This is due to their ability to survive long periods without sustenance, allowing them to survive within boxes and other items that are shipped to faraway regions. These spiders usually only bite when they feel threatened, and 90 percent of brown recluse bite wounds heal without scarring or medical intervention.
Have you ever sustained a bite from a tarantula, a brown recluse or a black widow?