Poisonous Spiders In Florida Poisonous Spiders In Florida

Toxic Threats: 3 Poisonous Spiders in Florida

Undoubtedly, there are many intriguing marvels of nature, but they can be just as harmful. Explore the most poisonous spiders in Florida below for just a gist of it.

Spiders are eight-legged arthropods that make webs with their extruding silk and scare the living hell out of many people.

While all of them can bite you at any given moment, only some of them can be deadly enough. Below are different types of poisonous spiders in Florida for you to explore.

The most poisonous spiders in Florida are of two types: Widow spider species and Recluse spider species. You can find only these two types of spiders in Florida that contain enough poison to kill people.

You can reduce the spider’s chances of biting you by knowing the places where you can find these spiders easily—taking suitable precautions, like wearing gloves when you’re going to the areas whether the spiders are hiding or not.

You can also find both types of spiders in your residence in the old clothing you have just stored and haven’t worn for a long time.

spider tree
Source: Freepik

1. Widow Spiders

The most poisonous spiders in Florida are all the Widow spiders except the Northern Black Widow, which breeds year-round.

Widow spider is of four kinds:

  1. The Southern black widow spiders
  2. The Northern black widow
  3. The Red widow
  4. The Brown widow

A female widow has a shiny, jet-black body and a bright red colour design just under their gut, shaped like an hourglass.

The male spider is grey or brown, and these are much smaller than the female spiders; the female widows are about 3.5 centimetres, and the males are only an area of the size of the female spiders.

The female widow is the most poisonous spider in Florida among the two genders, as it has a big venom sac.

Widow spiders are solitary and build irregular webs tangled with three-dimensional webs, and these spiders rest during the daytime in the web.

Widow spiders will often hang themselves upside down near the centre of the web until and unless they detect an insect getting caught then they will run over and just bite the insect by covering it in silk.

Widow spiders are generally scared and always try to escape from human beings if they feel frightened. These spiders often only bite, typically when a female widow spider protects eggs or mostly when they get squeezed.

Other types of widow spiders are:

1.1 The Southern Black Widow Spider

These are the largest species of poisonous spiders in Florida, with shiny black bodies that have an hourglass shape design under their gut.

The southern black widows are commonly found outdoors in protected places, like under rocks and boards, and in or around old buildings.

The bite of the Southern Black Widow and other widow spiders usually feels just easy, like a pinprick. The initial pain disappears quickly by leaving a local swelling and two small red marks on the body.

People will have muscular cramps in the shoulder, thigh, and back, usually beginning just within 15 minutes to three hours.

In very severe cases, the pain spreads to our gut by raising blood pressure, and there is also nausea, sweating, and breathing difficulty.

Death may occur in the victim’s physical condition, age, and where the spider has bitten.

1.2. The Northern Black Widow

The Northern Black Widows have the same common appearance as the Southern Black Widows, but they have two red triangles that resemble an hourglass and have a row of red spots on top of the gut.

You can find the northern species of spiders in the west of Tallahassee, especially in the forests; they have webs of around three to 20 feet just above the ground.

ceratogyrus darlingi tarantula closeup ceratogyrus darlingi tarantula front view insect closup
Source: Freepik

1.3.  The Red Widow

These are the species that have a black abdomen and reddish-orange head, with thorax and legs. The upper part of the abdomen generally has a row of red spots with yellow borders.

These spiders lack a complete hourglass below their abdomen, and it has one or two small red marks.

The red widow builds up its web in palmettos, and you can find it in sand-pine scrub in central and southeast Florida.

2. The Brown Widow Spiders

These widow spiders differ from very light grey to light brown to even black; their abdomen has markings of black, white, red, and yellow hue.

The brown widow poisonous spiders found in Florida are often found south of Daytona Beach along the coastline. They usually make their web on buildings in very well-lighted places.

mexican red knee tarantula
Source: Freepik

Symptoms of a Widow Spider Bite

These symptoms ordinarily begin between one and three hours after the spider has a bit.

  • The outcome can include severe pain, muscle cramps, nausea, sweating, and even puking.
  • The spider’s venom will initially affect the place of the bite but will spread by the lymphatic system and stop the bloodstream all around the body.
  • The symptoms can be there for 3 to 5 days, but their bite is fatal if treated.

3. The Recluse Spiders

Recluse spiders are also identified as violin spiders, brown spiders, fiddle-back spiders, or reapers. You can find these spiders in hotter and tropical climates.

They are usually between 6–12mm in size and are brownish, often with a darker, violin-shaped marking on their back.

The mark gives the spider its “violin” and “fiddle-back” names, but there are other spider types with similar-looking markings.

The safest way to tell if a spider is a recluse is by its eyes, as the Recluse has six eyes set in pairs.

Recluse spiders are not indigenous to Florida, but you can find individual spiders from three different species of Recluse.

The outcomes of a bite can vary greatly in intensity, from virtually no development up to death.

You can receive a Recluse bite when you put on an item of clothing that hasn’t been worn for a long time with a spider inside or reach into a place where a spider is hiding.

macro shot spider its web
Source: Freepik

3.1. The Brown Recluse Spider

The brown recluse spider is the size of an American penny. A Brown Recluse Spider bite gives a pack of venomous bites, making you reach a hospital.

But, this poisonous spider is not native to Florida and is only occasionally found in the state.

You can recognize them by a distinctive dark violin-shaped mark located on the head and thorax. A Brown Recluse Spider of medium size is about 1/4 inches – 1/2 inches long. They have a light tan to deep reddish-brown colour.

You can find these spiders in the sheds, garages, and areas of our homes that are not used and contain a supply of insects to serve them as food.

They mostly hide in places that include the arms and legs of a left-hanging garment hanging for a long time or under beds.

The Brown Recluse Spider bites will generally not sense much pain for two to three hours. A blister pops out at the bite area after a few hours, and even the tissue dies by leaving an open sore.

3.2 Symptoms of a Recluse Spider Bite

Early symptoms of a recluse bite usually begin between two and six hours after the bite and include blistering, intense pain, and swelling.

In serious cases, the blistering can develop into an open sore, known as a “necrotic skin lesion,” or have systemic effects on vital organs.

Note that, unlike most spiders, the Recluse has three pairs of eyes. The spider has several nicknames, including the fiddle-back spider, the brown fiddler, and the violin spider.

Small in size, the spider is highly venomous.

You can find more information about other different types of Florida spiders here.

tarantula isolated white background
Source: Freepik

Closing Thought

Above mentioned were the five most poisonous spiders in Florida. Some of them look very captivated and have amazing features on their body, yet they are quite fatal in many cases.

So, if you are going to explore them, remember to stay safe.

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Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by ayeshayusuf


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