Are scientists doing this with Tarantulas yet?


Old Timer
Sep 22, 2008
As most of us know there is not a 100% reliable way to rate the potency of tarantula venom in humans. The LD50 scale is not accurate do to specialized venoms..ect.

I was watching a show on animal planet with Jamie seymore(one of Steve Irwin's friends) called "Worlds worst venom". He was using lab grown human heart cells to test the potency of different venom's which then would determine pretty accurately the affects on humans.

This show was made in 07, so I am sure by now there have been numerous species tested. but does anyone know if there are scientists studying this regularly? maybe some charts of various species they have tested.

now I know the shows are hyped towards entertainment, but they said on there that the Sydney funnel web was among the top 3(from the show) of deadliest animals in terms of IF you are bitten.

I am curious to see exactly how some of the species we keep in the hobby affect humans. Aside from bite reports which 99% of are far from scientific.

If anyone has any info on these types of studies I would be very interested in the papers, if any are or have been released.


Old Timer
Nov 16, 2007
I believe the Chinese are doing lots of work on Chilobrachy's, and Ive found papers which identify the make up of Chilobrachy venom to a degree it became hard to understand.

I also have a number of papers that report tarantula bites but very little is what I'd call scientific. Possibly one of the best was the study of Australian species and the affects on dogs, cats and humans, but again, its not a scientific report.

Over the years Ive tried to obtain good sources of information on the affects of venom but it seems there's little available that explain the negative side affects of venom, but more based around the positive compounds within venom, eg. Psalmopeous for erectile dysfunction and heat issues.


Old Timer
Nov 18, 2004
Cody, you won't likely find people studying the affect of tarantula venom on people because we know that it doesn't pose a significant health risk. What you would likely find if you did a search would be case reports from envenomations.

However, there are a number of people working with spider venom from a pharmatoxicological standpoint. I was at a seminar recently in which a researcher with close affiliations to my university was discussing the results of his labs work on venom from funnel webs and the viability of finding new pesticides from the various components of their venom. In doing that if I remember correctly they actually found a number of amazing things, including a powerful painkiller.

Because of the complexity of spider venoms and the fact that they have been evolving and being perfected for their specific jobs, the different components have very specific properties. Give google scholar a try and see what you can find. I trust you shouldn't have much of a problem in that regard.
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