Myth: Small-fanged spiders can't bite

October 23, 2015
Rod Crawford

Myth: Most spiders could not bite humans because their fangs are too small.

Fact: That may actually be true of a few of the smallest spiders, and of certain crab spiders that have small fangs. However, there are well-documented human bite cases from spiders as small as 3 millimeters long. (The bites caused no ill effects, of course!)

It's not that spiders can't bite, but that they don't bite except very rarely. And on those rare occasions, the bite almost always has only trivial effects on the human, who after all weighs from a million to several million times as much as the spider!

Spider fangs from below

Fangs of typical spider from below, at tips of chelicerae (jaws) with teeth. Note that fangs are seldom visible from above.
Photo: Bob Thomson


Click here for an example of a respected hospital putting out ridiculous misinformation on this subject—page unchanged since first spotted in July 2007.

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