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The Spider Myths Site
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General Fallacies

Spider fangs and jaws from beneath
Fangs of typical spider from below, at tips of chelicerae (jaws) with teeth. Note that fangs are seldom visible from above.
   From a photo by Bob Thomson
Click image to enlarge

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 groups like 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!

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

Text © 2003-2008, Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture,
University of Washington, Box 353010, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Phone: 206-543-5590
Photos © as credited
Queries to Spider Myths author, Rod Crawford

This page last updated 2 September, 2010

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