Currently viewing the category: "Scorpion Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  what is this scary looking spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Johannesburg South Africa
Date: 10/05/2017
Time: 04:25 AM EDT
Hi there i have found three of these spiders in my house and they look pretty darn scary. Are the poisonous? Thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Charl Du Toit

Scorpion Spider

Dear Charl Du Toit,
This distinctive spider is a Scorpion Spider.  Almost all Spiders have venom, but the bite of very few species is more than just a localized reaction with tenderness and some swelling.  We have never been able to locate any online information about the bite of a Scorpion Spider, which leads us to believe it is not a serious matter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.
Regards
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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scorpion Spider
Location: Muden, Near Greytown, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
April 19, 2016 10:13 pm
Good Morning
I am attaching a photo of a Scorpion Bug which I took the other day. I found it on my Bed. I do not need any identification. Just thought you might need the information about where it was found for your data base.
Kind regards
Laura Savage
Signature: Laura

Scorpion Spider

Scorpion Spider

Dear Laura,
Thanks for sending us your excellent images of a Scorpion Spider, a species that is harmless, to the best of our knowledge.

Scorpion Spider

Scorpion Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: “Scorpion Spider ?”
Location: Northcliff / Cresta / Fairland
October 27, 2014 8:32 am
Found it in upstairs bedroom in Fairland close to the N1 & 14th Ave
Signature: Tommy Steyn

Scorpion Spider

Scorpion Spider

Dear Tommy,
Thanks for sending your wonderful images of a Scorpion Spider in the genus Platyoides.  Our first posting on a Scorpion Spider in 2010 resulted in a robust comment exchange, but alas, there is not much information online regarding the bite of a Scorpion Spider, which leads us to speculate that the bites are not dangerous.

Scorpion Spider

Scorpion Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: scorpion spider
Location: brenthurst brakpan 1451
August 18, 2014 10:59 am
Have you perhaps managed to distinguish whether this spider is poisonous? (Platyoides)
Signature: kind regards binx

Scorpion Spider

Scorpion Spider

Dear binx,
We have located numerous online images of Scorpion Spiders, genus
Platyoides, and most sites repeat the same information.  TrekNature has one of the best images, and the standard information regarding Scorpion Spiders is:  “‘Platyoides‘ scorpion spiders is a genus of spiders belonging to the family Trochanteriidae and found in sub-Saharan Africa and its islands, Madagascar, Réunion, Aldabra and the Canary Islands.   The genus is nocturnal in habit and has developed extreme flattening of the body adapted to living in narrow cracks.”  We believe if they were truly dangerous, that would be stated somewhere.  With that said, nearly all spiders have venom which is used to subdue prey, however very few spiders are dangerous to humans.  Spiders that are not dangerous might still bite if carelessly handled or threatened, but the bites generally produce nothing more than local swelling and tenderness that lasts a short time.

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unknown spider
February 10, 2010
found this spider in our bathroom twice. We have never seen this type of spider before and would love to know what type it is.
Annest
South Africa

Scorpion Spider from South Africa

Hi Annest,
We will attempt to identify your spider.  How large is it?

The spider was about 1-2 cm long. We have been told that it is from the gnaphosid family, but we would like a specific name….
Thanks.

The members of the family Gnapnosidae are commonly called Ground Spiders.  BugGuide has a nice representation of North American species.  Spiders are often very difficult to identify to the species level even for experts, which we are not.  An expert would rarely make a conclusive identification from a photograph without actually examining the specimen.  Your photo resembles a photo of Gnaposa bicolor from Czech Republic, but that spider has a range that is listed as Europe to Ukraine, Georgia.  Wikipedia has a list of species and locations as of July 5, 2009, and you may try to web search individual names that are listed in South Africa to see if there are images posted online that match your specimen if your level of investment includes having an exact species name.  If your request to have an exact species name is a question of whether the spider is harmless versus dangerous, the Colorado State University Spiders in the Home website indicates:  “Ground spiders, as their common name implies, are most often found under rocks or logs where they build silken retreats and emerge only to hunt. Some species wander indoors when the weather turns cold. Ground spiders are harmless to humans.

Update: January 26, 2011
T.M. just sent us a comment identifying this unusual spider as a Scorpion Spider in the genus
Platyoides and we found a photo on Snakes.co.za that supports the identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination