Friday, 28 October 2011

Arrow-shaped Micrathena

Image: cotinis via Flick
This is Micrathena sagittata, what has got to be one of the most startlingly diabolical spiders in the world. I'm scared!

She can be found in the eastern United States and all over Central America, quietly adorning her web as she awaits prey.

Her behaviour may well be quiet but her colouration is a kinda loud.

Her abdomen is yellow with black spots and embellished with 6, vicious, red spikes. The 2 big ones on the end are thoroughly blood-curdling! They look like spearheads! They look like bullets! It looks like Satan in a ski-mask!

Thankfully, she's only about 1 cm long. The male of the species is about half her size and appears much more humble.


These spiders are totally harmless to humans. Still, it looks like she could have your eye out so perhaps it's best not to get too close.

6 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

she's beautiful.

Comment1 said...

Oh, yeh! I forgot to mention that!

Nerd Out With Me said...

I was searching online - trying in vein to identify an amazing little spider my son pointed out on the front porch yesterday. Found this post - figured it out. Very cool.

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

Glad I could be of service! It would be terrible to see something so remarkable and never find out anything about it.

37a0fed0-dac5-11e3-ac91-000bcdcb2996 said...

My son was stung by one of these spiders today. I immediately applied Histergan Ointment and gave him some Piraton and began searching the web for information on this spider that I had never seen before. Thankfully I found this and I am no longer worried. I was terrified that it was poisonous.

Joseph Jameson-Gould said...

I'm glad I could give you some peace of mind! They definitely look dramatic enough to make anyone think they must be especially dangerous, but they're not.

To be clear, all spiders are venomous since that's how they subdue their prey. A lot of them are too small to get through human skin and very few are potent enough to cause any real trouble to something as big as a human.

There's a little more about this species here: http://bugguide.net/node/view/73736/bgimage, where their bite is described as little more than a mosquito bite, so there's nothing to be worried about!

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