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Pokie Bites!

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Mojo Jojo, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. Mojo Jojo

    Mojo Jojo Arachnoking Old Timer

    I just found this at Phongs. It is kind of disturbing, as I know many of you own Pokies. Please take a look at it.


    Big Dragonfly

    PS. I have heard that Psalmopoeuses are closely related to Pokies. Can anyone verify this? Would their bite be similar?
  2. conipto

    conipto ArachnoPrincess Old Timer

    I have read similar stories about pokie bites before (One that had put someone in a coma). It's almost impossible to prove/disprove these tales, especially when you factor in the possibility of hypersensitive reactions, or even psychosematic ones (Yes, I know that may be a little jackassish to say...) However, not being one to take chances like this, I designed the enclosure I showed in the thread "Ugly but effective" for just this genus of T. I think the number of reports make the risk worth taking the extra effort involved in making a setup that decreases chances of being bitten. Of especially credible note, is the fact that of the 7-8 spider bite reports listed in the T keepers guide by the schultzes, The writer explains the symptoms of this particular genus as being worse than the others by far.

    At any rate, perhaps this is why nature put the big blatant yellow and black caution sign around the immediate biting area of most pokes. Still though, I think like anything else, if you understand the potential for harm, and treat it accordingly, this T is far from a bad idea to keep.

    Even with my general lack of experience, I beleive that common sense and careful practices make me and others like me capable of raising these without incident.

    Just my 2 cents,

  3. conipto

    conipto ArachnoPrincess Old Timer

    Missed this part the first time. I have not heard this, and aside from both being fast, arboreal, and mean, they don't seem to have much in common that I can see with the non-biology oriented mind. Although if you look at the projected maps of what pangea would have looked like, you have a nice little strip where india, southern africa, and south america interconnect. So I suppose it's possible. All in all, I'd like to hear the hard science on the actual physical relationship between the two, rather than my 12:00am bored researching ability ;)

  4. Alonso99

    Alonso99 Arachnobaron Old Timer

    That bite seems to have been very very painful, that story should make us aware of the certain precautions one must take with pokies
  5. minax

    minax Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Quote: Sam Marshall

    "one of the facinating things about the genus psalmopoeus is that it is most closely related to the genus poecilotheria of the old world. In fact ,when the trinidad chevron was first described, it was assumed to have come from the east indies and not the west indies as claimed by the collection label"
    Tarantulas and other Arachnids
    Is'nt that great? , my p. cambridgei is one of my favourites; beautiful and badass!! I love arachnid research, It's so interesting, don't you agree?
  6. I....think I'll stick to avics.
    Sure, as someone above said, if you treat it woth respect and etc etc etc etc...still, there's always the possibility of a bite since these animals won't exactly develop any kind of fuzzy feeling for you.
  7. Code Monkey

    Code Monkey Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Yep, from what I've read in books and heard on these boards from reputable people, the Psalmopoeus genus is *very* closely related to Poecilotheria (right down to being only one of two new world genera without urticating hair of any kind). Your comfort level with said beasties would come down to whether that strong venom was a character of their common ancestral line, or whether it's a more recent development for the pokies.

    I can't recall ever seeing a Psalmopoeus bite report, but I've seen severe short term effects and lasting muscle tics described from pokies from multiple sources.
  8. Vayu Son

    Vayu Son Avatar of Anansi Old Timer


    aye, dont get bit.

  9. Chris

    Chris Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I too have to wonder how many of these symptoms were from the bite and how many were in his head.

    The only real way to prove something like this is to try a placebo... someone stab him with a couple of needles when he is around a pokie and let him think the spider did it... I would be curious to see what happens after lol
  10. Code Monkey

    Code Monkey Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    I've got to wonder at the flippant attitude from T keepers who just don't want to believe there might be something slightly dangerous about OW species. If the bite of tiny widow can leave a grown man sweating with muscle cramps and pain for a day or two, why is it so hard to believe that an 8" spider can do the same? No one feels the need to be skeptical if someone says they got bit by a subspinipes and "it was the worst pain I ever felt, I would have practically cut my own arm off it hurt so bad", but let someone make a similar claim about a tarantula and out come the apologists.
    I have NEVER heard of a placebo effect on the scale that I have heard for many old world species bites. Placebo effects are things like nausea and headaches, not shooting, burning pain throughout a limb for 24 hours, not muscle tics that last days to months.
  11. Vayu Son

    Vayu Son Avatar of Anansi Old Timer


    I am a firm believer that if you get bit on the neck or any other severe soft tissue areas then you will die without treatment. Exothermae vol.1 has accounts of stromatoplema bites that include cardiovascular abnormalities and SEVERE swelling. Poecilotheriinae may be more significant than stromatopelmiinae. We just dont know at this point. DONT GET BIT.

  12. Chris

    Chris Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I am not saying he didnt experience any of the symptoms as a result of the bite... I am approaching this scientifically. Any true experiement has to have a control of some sort... and a placebo test is a good one.

    And this isn't only about tarantulas. I wonder the same about any bite in fact... when something people are afraid of bites, you automatically blame any irregularities on that. Muscle spasms and tightening can occurr for lots of reasons... lack of sleep and stress are 2 definite causes (I speak from experience) And worrying over a bite can cause both of those. I think pain is a very relative term too because we all have a different pain thresshold.

    I can't speak from experience on any of these bites though because I haven't been bitten by anything but non venomous reptiles. I just find some of these symptoms described to be a bit far fetched is all... when you clear up and are fine how do you all of a sudden get violently ill again later? Maybe there are lingering effects but it just strikes me as wierd that he recovered then relapsed. This sounds more like an allergic reaction to me rather than venom effects.
  13. ArachnoJoost

    ArachnoJoost Arachnobaron Old Timer

    After reading this, I'll be very careful not to get bit by any Poke. However, I'd never try to cover a jar with a potentially dangerous species with my hand if they tried to escape. First, I do the maintenance in the bath, so if it tried to escape, I'd let it go and recapture it. If this guy wasn't aware of the potent venom of the Poke, he does now and will never do that again. If he was aware, he was being stupid (and he'll never do that again...).

    Another thing I don't quite understand: I do not know how I would react to being bitten, but I think I'd not let it bite for 15-20 secs before flinging it back into its jar.
  14. Lasiodora

    Lasiodora Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Don't get bit and you won't have to worry about the effects of their venom.
    Tupac Shakur
  15. Tranz

    Tranz Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I guess I'll stick to my little G. Pulchra, which is terrifying enough for me. Heck, I get squeamish just mainlining angel dust.
  16. Phillip

    Phillip Arachnoprince Old Timer

    The problem I have with these reports..

    The biggest problem I see with most of the bite reports would be the descriptions of nausea and shortness of breath. Not saying that it can't happen from the bite but it can just as easily be brought on by someone experiencing a panic attack brought on by having taken a bite from a huge spider. With the exception of the muscle cramps and even to an extent that can be greatly overexaggerated just about all the syptoms you hear of come real close to the syptoms of a panic attack. Now am I saying that a poke bite is harmless? Not by any means but what I am saying is that there are keepers around who have taken bites from the supposedly hot species and been just fine. These keepers have also not been overly afraid of what they were handling when they got bitten so it makes you think. And for the record no I am not saying that the report is false or made up but I am saying that I've seen grown men cry like a little girl when getting a shot at the doctor as well. It's all about individual tolerance same as some can handle the tatoo needle and some cant. Hell I've seen guys cry for weeks over a broken arm. I just believe that a lot of overstatement of the effects takes place on some of these reports.
  17. AlbinoDragon829

    AlbinoDragon829 Arachnobaron Old Timer

    The effects of that bite sound very sidistic. But, guys, come on... Any better advice than "don't get bit"? lol
  18. MrDeranged

    MrDeranged He Who Rules Staff Member

    Most pokes will run and hide before going into "Defensive" mode. Make sure that they know you're there and alot bigger than they are by knocking on their enclosure a couple of times before opening it. In general, they'll run to their hide and stay there till your done.

  19. Code Monkey

    Code Monkey Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    I agree that these extreme reports may just be unusual reactions or even exaggerated somewhat. Or it may just be that they are the result of a much more extreme envenomation. Short of getting a bunch of people together as medical volunteers to have fixed quanities of tarantula venom administed along with placebo controls we will never know with certainty unless we're on the personal end of a Ts fangs.

    Still, what I do tend to pay attention to are trends. And while it just might be a statistical skewing because people get bit more often by old worlders than new world species, there certainly are a lot more severe reports about old worlders than new world Ts.
  20. conipto

    conipto ArachnoPrincess Old Timer

    On the relationship of the two species, I just noticed this, posted by Code_monkey in the "Haplopelma albostriatum?" thread started by scott.

    The list below was contributed by Luc Ross, Rick West, and Volker von Wirth. The genera listed don’t have tibial apophyses, also called tibial spurs or hooks. The two species listed don’t have tibial apophyses, but others in those genera do.
    Augacephalus (not yet listed in Platnick), Chilobrachys, Citharischius, Coremiocnemis, Heteroscodra, Hysterocrates, Metriopelma, Nhandu carapoensis, Orphnaecus, Phlogiellus, Phormingochilus, Phoneyusa, Poecilotheria, Selenocosmia, Sericopelma, Stromatopelma,
    Theraphosa blondi.

    I noticed that Poecilotheria is on there, but not Psalmopeous. Now what that has to do with venom is anyones guess, but I'm still struggling with how closely related they are. I don't see many visually apparent similiarities between the two, what are some of the more (or less) obvious ones that make them so closely related?