The Brazilian wandering spider is also known as the “armed spider” or banana spider. This spider has a habit of finding new resting places every day in the tropical areas of Central and South America. It wanders through the jungle floor at night and usually checks out any available dark and sheltered area to hide during the day including cars, clothing, closets and shoes, thus making it prone to live near human habitat. But even though this spider is known to be the most venomous in the world and highly aggressive, it cannot easily bite humans since its fangs are not formed to attack large preys.
Brazilian Wandering Spider Appearance
It is important to be able to identify the type of spider that bit you because different species of spiders have different venoms, which require different antivenoms.
The Brazilian wandering spider is colored brown and can be recognized through the presence of a dark linear stripe on the front palps as well as a thin black line along its dorsal carapace.
A strong ventral marking with overall reddish color can also be seen on the underside of their legs. The leg span of the spider can grow up to 15 centimeters in length while their body length can reach up to 48 mm or 1.9 inches.
The Brazilian wandering spider also has dense brush of fine hairs in their tibiae and tarsi on both male and female.
Brazilian Wandering Spider Bite Symptoms
A Brazilian wandering spider bite could trigger a variety of systemic effects in the human body.
PhTx3 Kills the Muscles
The Brazilian wandering spider bite can cause an extremely painful feeling. This is caused by a powerful stimulating effect created by the neurotoxin PhTx3 on the serotonin receptor sites on the nerves located throughout our body. PHTx3 is considered the most toxic component of the Brazilian wander spider venom. The stimulation of the receptor sites can also cause, aside from intense pain, local inflammation by allowing the cells to discharge all the stored inflammatory chemical histamine.
The immediate surrounding skin area of the Brazilian wandering spider bite usually manifests redness, swelling, heat and immobility. The inflammation caused by the venom kills the muscle, skin and bone cells in the tissue surrounding the bite which can form a rotten flesh.
PhTxer in the venom also functions as a broad spectrum calcium channel blocker which suppresses the release of glutamate while preventing glutamate absorption by nerve cells causing problems with the portion of the nervous system responsible for muscle contraction. This phenomenon can be considered muscle paralysis or the loss of muscle control.
A lethal dose of the venom is followed by paralysis of the diaphragm which results in death by asphyxiation. Higher doses of the venom can also cause paralysis of the heart and only the quick administration of an antidote can save the life of the bitten individual.
Tx2-6 Causes Painful Male Erection
Tx2-6 is another component of the venom of the Brazilian wandering spider bite. The neurotoxin causes a painful erection in men, which could last for four hours. Bitten persons can also experience drooling and heavy perspiration.