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"False Widow" horrifies researchers: Invasive poisonous spider eats larger victim again


The Noble Ball Spider, known as the "False Widow", is extremely invasive - and should soon cause such shock reports in Germany.

The Noble Ball Spider, known as the "False Widow", is extremely invasive - and should soon cause such shock reports in Germany.

It adapts excellently to climatic conditions and has already conquered the British Isles from its native Madeira.

And it is now appearing more and more in Germany.

Dubbed the “False Widow,” experts say the Nosferatu spider will be the next eight-legged neozoan to live with.

Except that the Steatoda nobilis introduced by importing certain plant species is of a different caliber.

With quite fatal bite sequences, as


The noble orb spiders, known as "false widows", are by no means aggressive - but like "real widows" they seek proximity to human dwellings.

To hide in storage rooms and garages.

However, they also love untidy apartments, drawers and wardrobes.

And then there is an unwanted encounter between humans and poisonous spiders.

Usually to bites, which can lead to amputation of affected limbs and even death.


Noble orb spider (Steatoda nobilis)



First proof in Germany

2017 in Cologne


Arthropods, but also small mammals

bite hazard for humans

Infection that can lead to amputation and death

"False widows" are conquering the world: Bacteria on teething tools make orb spiders so dangerous

In contrast to spiders of the genus Loxosceles, the venomous bite of the noble ball spider, known as the "false widow", does not necessarily result in decomposition of the skin.

Because she is one of the fat spiders.

However, a team of experts from the National University of Ireland in Galway, led by Dr.

Michel Dugon discovered that the mandibles "carry 22 types of bacteria, 12 of which are potentially pathogenic to humans".

Some of them are also multi-resistant.

Even antibiotic treatment therefore does not work if a person is bitten by a "false widow".

This threatens consequences that experts describe as follows:

  • itching at the bite site

  • swelling

  • Possible necrosis (skin decomposition)

  • Amputation of the affected limb

  • Deaths among allergy sufferers, children and the elderly

One of the more extreme cases of a false widow bite occurred in Stockport, England.

The "Mirror" reports on 50-year-old Tracey Carse.

The woman has shared her bed with a noble orb spider - and when she threatens to crush the animal in its sleep, it defends itself.

Though Carse promptly seeks medical attention and is given an antibiotic, "a rather large dead piece of scabby abomination" forms on her.

Similar bites from a Loxosceles species that has the US in suspense

"False widows" are spreading immensely - and disrupting existing ecosystems

However, the immigration of increasingly aggressive poisonous spiders caused by climate change and globalization also has extreme consequences for the ecosystem that prevails in Germany.

Because “false widows” eat native mammal species.

And even those that are significantly larger than themselves. In Shrophie, England, biologist Ben Waddams discovered “a shriveled juvenile” of the protected common pipistrelle in a web of Steatoda nobilis, a little later an adult animal.

But now the Noble Ball Spider, known as the "False Widow", is once again shocking researchers.

Because according to "", a female Steatoda nobilis in the southern English city of Chichester has now been observed "eating a pygmy shrew in front of a bedroom window".

Zoologist Dawn Sturgess of the University of Galway captured a video of it - and writes: "The remains of the shrew were nothing but fur, bones and skin."

The venom of the Noble Orb Spider called the False Widow

The main ingredient in the noble orb spider's venom mix is ​​the potent, crippling neurotoxin alpha-latrotoxin.

With it, Steatoda nobilis kills its prey by interfering with the movements and functions of its prey's body.

The spider then uses its silk to wrap and suck out the immobilized animal.

Alpha-latrotoxin can also be dangerous for humans.

List of rubrics: © Rainer Breitling

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2023-03-27

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