We have already identified this spider as dangerous in one of our previous posts. However there is a large myth surrounding this particular spider that we feel needs to be cleared up.
For years the White Tail Spider has been subject to blame for any and all strange skin abnormalities that turn up in hospitals around Australia.
There has long been a myth around this white tipped little hunter that they cause a condition known as “Necrotic Arachnidism.” This condition causes ulcering and apparent “rotting” of the flesh around the bite area.
Although the White Tail Spider does have a very painful bite and can cause soreness and redness around the bite area, it is easily treated with an ice pack and does not require emergency medical attention
The true cause of zombie like symptoms of rotting flesh appearing on bite victims has been the subject of study by many academics.
Dr Geoff Isbister of Newcastle’s Mater Hospital conducted a study on victims who had been bitten by a white tail spider and had captured the spider as proof.
The spiders were then identified by Dr Michael Gray, an arachnologist from the Australian Museum.
Dr Isbister found that out of 130 White Tail spider bites, not a single one of the patients suffered symptoms anything like Necrotic Arachnidism.
He did find however that the symptoms of Necrotic Arachnidism did trace back to something else which had nothing to do with the spider…
He found a range of causes from golden staph infections, right through to infected ulcers and skin cancer, all of which had been misidentified by doctors as white tail spider bites.
So there you have it.
The white tail spider will not cause your flesh to rot.
However caution must still be excersiced as the spider does deliver a painful bite that can cause an itchy rash for a week or so.
Check out this post for instructions on what to do if you do get bitten by a white tail spider.