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V1.2.0 (T12376)
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Poisonous animals
Cnidarians (Jellyfish, Corals and Anemones)
Venomous fish
Hymenopterans (Bees, Wasps and Ants)
Sea snakes
Terrestrial snakes
Miscellaneous animals



Various mygalomorph spiders (Bird spider-like species)

Case reports

Cooke et al. 1973: Theraphosidae urticating hair contact.

Chang et al. 1991: Theraphosidae urticating hair contact.
Hered et al. 1988: Theraphosidae urticating hair contact. Identification: Brachypelma smithi.
Ratcliffe 1977: Theraphosidae urticating hair contact.
Schmidt 1989: 7 bites. Identification: Poecilotheria fasciata 3/7, Pterinochilus sp. 1/7, Euathlus vagans 1/7, Rhechosticta saltator 1/7, Psalmopoeus cambridgei 1/7.
Stulting et al. 1983: Theraphosidae urticating hair contact.

Ahmed, Pinkham and Warrell 2009:  3 bites. Identification: Lampropelma nigerrimum, Pterinochilus murinus, Poecilotheria regalis.

Isbister et al. 2003: 9 Theraphosidae bites (Phlogielus sp. 6/9, Selenocosmia sp. 3/9); 7 bites in dogs. Identification: morphological.

Signs & symptoms

Local effects

Urticating hair contact:

Dermatitis (urticaria, papular dermatitis); itching of the skin can persist for several months (Cooke et al. 1973, Radcliffe 1977).

Keratitis, conjunctivitis, iritis, chorioretinal scarring (Chang et al. 1991, Hered et al. 1988, Stulting et al. 1983).


Poecilotheria fasciata: local pain 2/3 (Schmidt 1989).
Euathlus vagans: no symptoms 0/1 (Schmidt 1989).
Rhechosticta saltator: mild local pain 1/1 (Schmidt 1989).
Psalmopoeus cambridgei: local pain 1/1 (Schmidt 1989).

Lampropelma nigerrimum: swelling starting 30 seconds after the bite. Intense local burning throbbing pain spreading up the forearm reache max intensity after 2-3 minutes and declied over 2-3 h, free of pain after 5-6 h. (Ahmed, Pinkham and Warrell 2009).

Pterinochilus murinus: intense local pain, swelling (Ahmed, Pinkham and Warrell 2009).

Theraphosidae bites (Phlogielus sp. 6/9, Selenocosmia sp. 3/9): pain at the bite site moderate to severe (Isbister et al. 2003).

Laboratory and physical investigations

Lampropelma nigerrimum: agnoizing, generalised visible muscle cramps developed over 48 h, increasing intensity, involving all muscle groups, each spasm lasting 30 s to 3-5 min., and persisted to day 4 after the bite and decreaed thereafter to disappear by day 7 (Ahmed, Pinkham and Warrell 2009).

Pterinochilus murinus: agnoizing, generalised muscle cramps which devevloped 24 h after the bite (Ahmed, Pinkham and Warrell 2009).

Poecilotheria regalis: persistent local cramps in the affected hand (Ahmed, Pinkham and Warrell 2009).

Case reports of bites by other genera of Old World tarantulas, including Eumenophorus, Selenocosmia and Stromatopelma, mentioned similar muscle cramps (Ahmed, Pinkham and Warrell 2009).

Other systemic effects

Theraphosidae bites (Phlogielus sp. 6/9, Selenocosmia sp. 3/9): 1/9 malaise (Isbister et al. 2003).

Case fatality rate

Dogs: In seven Theraphosidae bites all dogs died (Isbister et al. 2003).

Laboratory and physical investigations

Laboratory results

Lampropelma nigerrimum: Serum Creatine kinase: 10x upper normal value (Ahmed, Pinkham and Warrell 2009).

Slit lamp

If it is suspected that Theraphosidae urticating hairs may have entered the eye, the affected eye must be carefully examined using a slit lamp (Chang et al. 1991).

Treatment (symptomatic)

Eye: topical corticosteroids, initially 10 times a day, then slow dose reduction over 3 months. Improvement of the inflammatory reaction within 48 h; resorption of the urticating hairs within 10 months (Chang et al. 1991).


Lampropelma nigerrimum: Oral diazepam and calcium gluconate injections without convincing effects on the spasms (Ahmed, Pinkham and Warrell 2009).