Fears over venomous violin spider in Spain after first victim is recorded in the Basque Country

THE venomous violin spider has bitten its first recorded victim in Spain – and not once, but a total of three times.

A 42-year-old resident of the northern Pais Vasco region was the unlucky recipient, being bitten at least three times between May and September in his own home. 

The man was later diagnosed with a cutaneous necrotizing condition, prompting doctors to drain the wound and put him on a course of antibiotics. 

The health authorities said that it was important to recognise this kind of bite so that it can be properly treated in this way. 

A man in the Basque Country was bitten three times by the spider.

The violin spider is one of the 1,400 documented species that inhabit the Iberian Peninsula, but just three of them are venomous – including the violin spider. 

The spiders measure between one and three centimetres, have six eyes in the shape of a half moon, are a reddish brown colour, and have very thin legs.

“Its popular name derives from the violin-shaped pattern it has on the front of its body called prosoma,” biologist Claudia Isabel Navarro Rodriguez told the magazine Unam Global

“Beyond its physical characteristics, it can be said that the violinist is shy, so it avoids contact with humans and, if necessary, can self-injure to escape human presence,” she added. 

Meanwhile, zoologist Aitor Albaina told news agency Europa Press that people shouldn’t be alarmed about this first case of a violin spider bite. 

“Most bites have only mild consequences,” he said, adding that there was no need for ‘social alarm’. 

“The venom of this spider is quite toxic, it generates allergic reactions,” he said. “Normally they are mild, but it’s possible, as in this case, given that it was a third bite and continuous exposure, that the body reacts in a more exaggerated way and in the end it creates this necrosis.”

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