MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Do all Posionous spiders have thick legs?

Date: Thu May 6 09:47:42 1999
Posted By: David Richman, Staff, Entomology, New Mexico State University
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 925947832.Zo

The spider you saw probably was a jumping spider (family Salticidae).   
These are not generally considered to be dangerous, although there have 
been some reports of a mild reaction to their bites.  They are not 
aggressive and you would have to try and grab one or get it crushed between 
clothing and skin to get bitten.   They build resting or molting sacs in 
which they molt their "skin" or in which females may lay eggs.   They do 
not build capture webs.   Actually, most of the spiders considered to be 
dangerous that are found in this country have thin legs.   The black widow 
and the brown recluse and the related violin spiders are rather spindly- 
legged spiders. Most "short-legged" spiders are not dangerous, but as we 
know little about some spider's venoms it is wise to avoid handling them.

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