DANGEROUS ANIMALS OF CROATIA – BLACK WIDOW

Dangerous animals of Croatia black widow or more common Mediterranean black widow (lat. Latrodectus tredecimguttatus) or sometimes called the Steppe spider is commonly found throughout the Mediterranean region from Portugal to southwest and central Asia. It is considered one of the most venomous spiders.

dangerous animals of Croatia black widowThe spider is black in colour, similar to most other widow species, but this one is specifically identified by thirteen spots that are found on the dorsal side of its abdomen. Spots are usually red in colour, but can also be yellow or orange. This specie of widow spider primarily lives in steppes and other grasslands and can be a significant problem where grain is harvested. The females of the species has a body length of about 7-15 milimeters (0.28-0.59 in), whereas the male is smaller and is about 4-7 milimeters (0.16-0.28 in) long. They built their nests in dark places near the ground, usually in the sheltered sides of the buildings, abandoned rodent holes or openings in stone outcroppings. Sometimes, they even nest in outbuildings such as woodlands or outdoor toilets. Their web has a specific tangled appearance and a series of vertical trap threads extending to the ground. The prey, consisting of different types of insects, gets stuck on the sticky threads and are lifted into the web where the Widow spider wraps them in a layer of silk, injects them with venom and sucks them dry.

In Croatia, the Mediterranean Widow spider can be found in the area of Istra, Hrvatsko Primorje, Dalmacija, and the Adriatic islands.

Like all the species of widow spider, dangerous animals of Croatia black widow also has a very painful bite. Though it is not aggressive and it will not seek to bite, it provoked it will retaliate. Usually to avoid getting bitten it is best to avoid dark, hidden spots such as piles of rocks, leaves or wood. If you are working near such an area it is advisable to wear gloves for protection.

If bitten by dangerous animals of Croatia black widow, seek medical help immediately. Even though the venom is rarely fatal to a healthy human it can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. The venom can cause muscle convulsions, lowering in body temperature, difficulty breathing, nausea, increase in blood pressure and fever. The only ones in danger are usually the young and the elderly or those with a heart condition.


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Reference: Landeka N, Plenković J. BLACK WIDOW – OUR EXPERIENCE, Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2003;54:11-18