Thursday, October 23, 2014

Creature Feature #369: Katipo

The Katipo is endemic to New Zealand. She is the only poisonous spider to occur here naturally. Her closest relatives are the Australian redback and the American black widow spiders. She spins her rather haphazard web near the sea shore, among the sand dunes. Her venom induces severe pain, hypertension, seizure and even coma. An antivenom exists and there have been no recorded deaths from Katipo bite since the 19th century. The male is considerably smaller - about 1/5th her size - with a white abdomen and brown carapace.

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