Spider Quiz #10

Medical professionals can easily identify spider bites by twin punctures and from the symptoms described by their patient: FALSE

It is not unusual to hear people talking about spider bites. They might even show you their bite, telling you their doctor said it was from a spider.

spider--6I am not a doctor or a spider expert but I have done a lot of reading on this subject. And not just any reading, but reading from information provided by SPIDER EXPERTS, (check out my references below) some of whom have been studying spiders for many, many years!(Rod Crawford has been studying spiders for 44 years!!)  Learning about spiders is a dicey subject because much of what’s out there is not accurate, but simply more myths! These myths have become so common that they are now taken as fact by people from all walks of life, including those in fields–teachers, doctors, etc,  that share the (mis)information with others.

What I have learned is that some medical professionals diagnose a mystery bite as being that of a brown recluse even when they live in areas where brown recluses don’t live! You can’t get a brown recluse bite if you live somewhere that doesn’t even have these spiders!

Contrary to popular belief, brown recluses don’t live everywhere in the United States. See a map of their territory HERE.

And as I said in an earlier answer, identifying spiders is difficult and usually requires a microscope! Doctors, medical professionals, and even exterminators don’t usually have much, if any, training that would allow them to accurately identify spiders. Or mystery bites.

spider-054Spiders do have two fangs but except for the big tarantulas, the fangs are so close together and so sharp that there is no obvious separation. Seeing two bites close together does not mean it is from a spider!

The bottom line is there is a lot of misinformation out there about spiders and many people in the medical field contribute to this.

Click HERE to read about other possible causes of “spider bites” from someone who has expertise in this area.

So how did you do on the SPIDER QUIZ? Did you get them all right? Did you learn anything? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment in the box below!


Rod Crawford at the Burke Museum in Washington. Please DO check out this link–and MANY more myths about spiders, written by someone who has been studying them for 44 years!

Nina Sandlin’s Brown Recluse Page on American Medical News. This features a great article about how a doctor in NY diagnosed a “mystery bite” on a child as that from a brown recluse…. and what it REALLY was.

Rick Vetter at the University of California, Riverside, specifically, his page about the brown recluse If there is anything you want to know about brown recluses or other spiders, this is the place to go!