The Poisonous Spiders of Oklahoma

There are three species of poisonous spider indigenous to Oklahoma: the Brown Recluse, the Black Widow, and the Tarantula. The good news is, only two of them are fatal to humans.

Brown Recluse Brown Recluse

The Brown Recluse is also known as the “Fiddleback” for the violin-shaped mark on its back. This spider hunts only at night; during the day it hides in secluded places, such as your clothes and shoes. A bite from a Brown Recluse will cause a painful, swollen, red blister, as well as fever and insomnia. The skin and other tissues surrounding the bite are killed by the powerful venom. Some victims require skin grafts to heal, and some victims die, especially if the bite is near a vital organ.

Black Widow Black Widow

The Black Widow, the most toxic North American spider, has a shiny black abdomen and legs, with a distinctive “hourglass” marking on the belly of the female. She spins her webs in dark places such as garages and attics, and congregates near trash cans. She will bite anyone who is threatening its eggs. The neurotoxin from its bite causes extreme pain, chills, sweating, vomiting, and shortness of breath. Death may quite possibly follow, especially if the victim is very young or elderly.

Tarantula Tarantula

The Tarantula hides during the day, underneath rocks or in holes in the earth, but emerges at dusk to hunt for insects. It is frequently seen in Oklahoma crossing roads at night. It grows to about three inches long. The Tarantula has huge fangs, and will bite if threatened, but its venom is only as poisonous as a wasp’s sting. Only persons who are particularly sensitive or allergic will die as a result.

Information gathered from OSU Fact Sheets