Possible Scorpion Spider Bite from South Africa

Subject: Scorpion Spider Bite
Location: Pineslopes, Fourways, Gauteng, South Africa
April 12, 2017 1:55 am
Hi Bugman,
My son was bitten by a spider the other day on his elbow. We checked his room and we couldn’t find anything but were quite alarmed because we have allot of black widow and brown widow spiders in our garden.
The symptoms were not severe included fever, stomach ache, swollen bite site and headache, as well as muscle ache.
We then while cleaning found a little critter which we know to be a scorpion spider which I think gave him a nip.
I have attached pictures of bite so people can see and also spider that we caught. The site initially looked like 4 tiny mosquito bites but pain he experience was something else.
Hope this helps others.
We live in Pineslopes, Fourways, Gauteng.
Signature: Tenielle

Scorpion Spider

Dear Tenielle,
Thanks for your submission.  We have had many requests for information about the Scorpion Spider, and we have not had any luck locating any information online regarding the effects of such a bite.  While we appreciate your submission, we have to say that your evidence that the bite actually came from a Scorpion Spider is circumstantial.  We would hate to think that if the police were summoned to a robbery, that the first person they found near the sight of the robbery would be assumed to be guilty.  We are not implying that the Scorpion Spider did not bite your son, but rather that we cannot be certain if the Scorpion Spider bit your son.  The reaction you describe, including the fever and aches, sounds like the description of a Black Widow bite.  According to Web MD, though we should qualify that this is the North American Black Widow and not members of the genus from Africa:

“In most cases of a black widow spider bite, symptoms consist only of:

  • Minimal to sharp pain followed by swelling and redness at the site of the bite.
  • One or two small fang marks like tiny red spots.

In some cases, severe symptoms appear within 30 to 60 minutes. These include:

  • Muscle cramps and spasms that start near the bite and then spread and increase in severity for 6 to 12 hours.
  • Chills, fever, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Sweating.
  • Severe belly, back, or chest pain.
  • Headache.
  • Stupor, restlessness, or shock.
  • Severe high blood pressure.”
Bite, possibly from a Scorpion Spider

We are not in the habit of giving parenting advice, but you might want to seek medical attention.

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