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Red spider

Posted by
Susan Colorado
( on
Sun, Aug 7, 05 at 2:22

Not 30 minutes ago I nearly stepped on one barefooted coming out of my closet. It was hideous, and I came to the computer to search it down. (After my husband killed it!)
I followed your link, and mine too looks like the woodlouse spider. What I didn't find was any information about whether it's poisonous. Does anyone know? Do they bite?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Red spider

Proper identification is important. I don't believe that there is any other spider that comes close in appearance to the woodlouse spider, so you should feel quite confidant in the ID.

All spiders bite and all spiders are capable of injecting venom, but like most of them, the woodlouse spider is not toxic. It is, apparently, a painful bite but not one to worry about.

More spiders

Attached is a link with some of the common spiders of Colorado. Your friendly woodlouse spider is among them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spiders

RE: Red spider

Rhizo, I much appreciate the Colorado spider link. The photo of the Wood Louse Hunter is exactly what we have found in the back yard of our new home in Amarillo. I had thought they might be very small vinegroons, since it is not uncommon to see large ones here. The fangs are not nearly as large as shown in other pictures that have been posted of Wood Louse Spiders. Is there more than one distinct species?

RE: Red spider

Don't ask me!!! Our Jean001 is the original one to ID this thing for another person very recently. We need to consider her the official woodlouse spider person! I just hope you all keep those things away from me!

(who thought she was almost cured of her arachniphobia until Jean001 posted the woodlouse spider picture)

RE: Red spider

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 8, 05 at 18:39


Get a grip! Spiders are truly interesting. Really. And remember this: Spiders are beneficial, even though non-discriminating as to which insect they have for lunch.


Yes, you have the woodlouse spider. And, no, it's not poisonous.

RE: Red spider

Are you referring to poisonous as in, "it creates a welt" poisonous? Or "it kills small children" poisonous? Or "it often causes the amputation of a limb" poisonous?

Poisonous is relative. There are various levels of poison.

I have been stung by wasps, and for the first 5 minutes it hurts like the dickens. After that, I never notice the red welt that forms. It's less trouble then a mosquito bite. I hear scorpion stings are the same way.

RE: Red spider

All of the spiders in North America that are known to be highly venomous can pretty much be counted on one hand. I think everyone should know and be able to recognize those that are most likely to be found in their parts of the country. For example, in the SE US, I would only expect to come across the brown recluse and the black widow. All others, no matter how big, hairy, or scary are non-poisonous.

The thousands of others are considered 'non-poisonous'. Humans react to spider bites in different ways. I can always tell when I've been bitten by a spider because I'll have a large, hard welt that persists for several days, even though it doesn't hurt or itch. I have actually had the pleasure of being bitten by a brown recluse, and other than a very small local reaction, had very little trouble whatsoever after a couple of days.

I would assume that people who are highly sensitive to insect venom might also have some problems with spider venom, but don't know that to be true.

RE: Red spider

are they poisonious or not .OMG!!!You people fight like 2 year olds!!!

RE: Red spider

I guess, as another 2 year old, you cannot read! As was stated in the second post, these spiders are not considered toxic. ;-)

RE: Red spider

Toxic or not....I currently have an itchy welt with a necrosing center about 3/8th of an inch in diameter, which has been bothering me for about 6 days,... on my arm...
I hate those things!!!
Linda C

RE: Red spider

Linda! Do you know what kind of spider it was? Is the lesion getting worse or better?

Most people are affected to SOME extent by the venom of spiders. I can alway tell if I've had a spider bite because the bump is harder and lasts longer than a mosquito bite. I have also been bitten by a brown recluse (on my thigh), and had a very minor reaction, thankfully. I was symptom free after a couple of weeks, as I recall, without any kind of treatment other than compresses.

If I was in the same general vicinity of one of those woodlouse spiders, it would be my heart that I would worry about, not whether or not it was going to bite me! ;-)

RE: Red spider

Hey, I have a story for the arachnophobes in the group.

When I was in the Marines I got sent to Okinawa on a deployment. There they have a spider whose real name escapes me, but we refered to it as the 'face sitting spider'.

The larger ones were massive with a leg span capable of straddling a person's face. They had a habit of building their webs spanning over any kind of trail in the vegetation. The spider would sit dead center on the web which was invariably 5-6' off the ground, head level.

Now imagine this common scenario. The Marine unit is assigned to a night time training patrol. The Mission is to move through the area to locate, close with, and destroy the 'enemy' another Marine squad. This is thick vegetation and there are no lights. It is pitch black. All our gear is duct taped down to make no noise.

The Patrol moves swiftly, silently through the jungle. Well trained, highly disciplined warriors on a serious mission.

Suddenly, out of the silent darkness comes a shrill "ARHGHHHH, OMG, get it off!!! AHHHHH, MOOOMMMY!" accompanied by the sound of a body thrashing about violently in the vegetation.

What would happen is the point man, not being able to see more than a few feet in front of his face, would walk right into the web, the spider would straddle his face, the web also wrapped around his head and occasionally the spider would bite - hard.

Absolutely hilarious! Of course there were frequent arguments as to who was pulling point man duty on those night patrols!

The spiders had a painful bite, but not particularly venomous.

RE: Red spider

Sounds more like a bite from a yellow sac spider.. I got bit by one of those. X-P I had a pus filled welt for 3 weeks. You should post up pics for future reference.


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