immune?

compnerd7

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Apr 6, 2007
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I have a real quick question about widows >> first off I have to say that I know NOTHING about them. what I was wondering is i got bit by one in my yard for the 2nd or 3rd time in my life, and nothing happens. there is no swelling, iching, burning, or any simptoms, so i was wondering if there are widows that arn't very toxic, cause all i've ever heard is that they are very venomous. I wish I had a picture, but i don't. any enlightenment on this issue would be warmly welcomed !!
 

JLDomestics

Arachnoknight
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Apr 24, 2007
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Mustn't have been a black widow. If it was a black widow you'd definately know it! Most (if not all) spiders have venom, but the range in toxicity extends from nill to very poisonous. You were probably bitten by something like a boreal cobweb spider (Steatoda borealis) which does look like a black widow to the inexperienced eye.
 

buthus

Arachnoprince
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How do you know for sure that you were bitten by a spider? If you know for sure, how did you manage to get bit? On what part of your body were you bitten?

Mustn't have been a black widow.
If you live in SoCal and have half a brain, you know what a black widow looks like ...they are everywhere.
If it was a black widow you'd definately know it!
Personally I wouldnt jump to that conclusion.
You were probably bitten by something like a boreal cobweb spider (Steatoda borealis) which does look like a black widow to the inexperienced eye.
Like I said, L.hesperus are everywhere out here..but you would have to try hard to be bitten by one or sit down in a very unlucky place. The closest thing to a widow out this way is S.grossa and the odds of being bitten by one are slightly above nil. The odds of being bitten by S.borealis in SoCal is about the same as getting hit by a flying pig. They are very small spiders and they are not native to this area. ;)
 

compnerd7

Arachnobaron
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i know for sure it was a widow, it bit me on my hand when i was cleaning out my shed, and i wasn't paying attention till i felt something on my hand, then as soon as i looked it bit me. it was black, and had a widow-like body and a red bow on it's underside.

the other time i got bit i was cleaning up the yard, and there was one under a log i had moved, so i picked it up to move it (i had a glove on) and i was watching it, but it had inched its way up the glove, then ran back down under my glove and bit me on the top of my hand.

bolth times im sure it got bit by the 2 tiny pin marks on my hand. bolth times it was the same kind of spider, almost 100% sure it was a widow
 

spydrhunter1

Arachnolord
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One of our medical textbooks at the state health department mentions immunity from widow bite symptoms following the first bite. It is possible not to have affects from subsequent bites..
 

compnerd7

Arachnobaron
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Buthus...one of our medical textbooks at the state health department mentions immunity from widow bite symptoms following the first bite.
hmm then maybe it's possable that i was bit a first time, maybe i didn't relize it and got sick.. what would be the symptoms?
 

buthus

Arachnoprince
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hmm then maybe it's possable that i was bit a first time, maybe i didn't relize it and got sick.. what would be the symptoms?
Localized pain, swelling, discoloration, swollen/painful lymph nodes, muscle spasms/cramps/pain, nausea and stomach cramps and possible head ache, fatigue, trouble breathing and slurred speech. Any of these symptoms in minor amounts could easily be ignored. Hell, thats me most of the time. :D
 

Venom

Arachnoprince
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I think a dry bite would be a more likely explanation than immunity. Immune response to a Latro venom is MUCH more likely to be of the anaphylactic rather than the immunization variety.
 

buthus

Arachnoprince
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I think a dry bite would be a more likely explanation than immunity. Immune response to a Latro venom is MUCH more likely to be of the anaphylactic rather than the immunization variety.
maybe...but I have yet to read any study proving widows can control venom amount. You're more in tune with this sort of thing... if you have such info, I'd love to take a gander at it.
I frequent a acrylic/plastics shop run by a couple of brothers ...cool guys because they are into inverts. Last time I was there one of the guys showed me a nasty swollen "bite" mark on his arm. He claims that it was a latro bite and that he has been bitten many times. Supposably he has some mean ones in his attic (which is suspect as it is) and now and then when up there cleaning his guns he gets bit. I think the next time I go there, if the situation seems right, I'm going to ask him if maybe I could take a look. Sounds like a strange environment for latros to be in, let alone the fact that they seem to be overly "agressive" to visitors.
BTW.. he claims that everytime he is bitten, the symptoms become less extreme. Now he doesnt feel any cramping or muscle pain...just a little nausea. ...not bad enough to even stop going up there to play with his guns I guess. :? :D
 

Venom

Arachnoprince
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maybe...but I have yet to read any study proving widows can control venom amount. You're more in tune with this sort of thing... if you have such info, I'd love to take a gander at it.

How's this?

"The black widow can control the amount of venom ejected from her venom glands"

From: http://www.entomology.ucr.edu/ebeling/ebel9-1.html#bite of black widow


Just click the link on the outline titled "The bite of the black widow," and that quote is the beginning of the second paragraph.

According to this source, the widow can control the amount of venom, but generally goes for full deployment for defensive bites. Other factors: toughness of skin, duration of bite, number of fangs employed, time since last use of venom, etc. may also affect the amount of venom deployed against a human. Spiders in general can control the amount of venom they inject at any time, it's just a matter of what they can give, what they elect to give, and what circumstances allow them to give.

That's weird about your friend. I would hold reservations about the ID of the spider biting him though, if he hasn't seen it or ID'd it definitively. The frequency of bites you describe sounds a bit suspect, like you said. Does he induce the spiders to bite him? Latros don't generally go out of their way to get you... On second thought, I did see a documentary in which the SpiderPharm guy was bitten by a latro and didn't seem all that worried. Perhaps he has the purported multi-bite immunization effect going on. Perhaps we should inquire of him as to the immune effects of multiple bites. Food for thought here for sure.
 

buthus

Arachnoprince
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Messages
1,380
How's this?

"The black widow can control the amount of venom ejected from her venom glands"

From: http://www.entomology.ucr.edu/ebeling/ebel9-1.html#bite of black widow


Just click the link on the outline titled "The bite of the black widow," and that quote is the beginning of the second paragraph.

According to this source, the widow can control the amount of venom, but generally goes for full deployment for defensive bites. Other factors: toughness of skin, duration of bite, number of fangs employed, time since last use of venom, etc. may also affect the amount of venom deployed against a human. Spiders in general can control the amount of venom they inject at any time, it's just a matter of what they can give, what they elect to give, and what circumstances allow them to give.

That's weird about your friend. I would hold reservations about the ID of the spider biting him though, if he hasn't seen it or ID'd it definitively. The frequency of bites you describe sounds a bit suspect, like you said. Does he induce the spiders to bite him? Latros don't generally go out of their way to get you... On second thought, I did see a documentary in which the SpiderPharm guy was bitten by a latro and didn't seem all that worried. Perhaps he has the purported multi-bite immunization effect going on. Perhaps we should inquire of him as to the immune effects of multiple bites. Food for thought here for sure.
Sorry... I guess I've read much regarding true spiders when it comes to the "allow" and "can" part ...was thinking about the "elect" part too much. That one would be next to impossible to prove...:D Skin on the hand is fairly tough which could cause the widow to not get a good "connection" and path for the venom to run. For all you know, she could have released a whapping amount and it just run down the surface of the skin.

As for the guy I mentioned ...I suspect he knows very well how to ID a widow. Native of the area and an invert collector himself. The "bite" I saw wasnt too far off from descriptions I have read regarding the immediate area of the bite.
We shouldnt forget that evolution is a constant trial and error. Behavior is affected as much as physical characteristics. I have hesps that defend their sacs and webbing in general and others that just sit there even if I grab their abdomen or push 'em around a bit. I small inbred group that started with an "aggressive" ice queen ...eh? Has to have happened at least once. ;)
 
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