The Philippines is an archipelago rich in wildlife. Aside from its beautiful beaches, the country also has lots of mountains and rainforests. As you venture into the most secluded and no secluded mountains, you can see varieties of spiders. Some are harmless, but some are dangerous. You can see a lot of spiders throughout the country, whether in foresty places or residential areas.
There are many dangerous spiders in the Philippines; this spider includes black widow, Argiope Appensa, Portia Labiata, Argiope Aemula, the Brown Recluse Spider, Philippine Banana Spider, Zosis Geniculata, and many more. Most of them are venomous but are not so lethal. However, their bite may cause swelling, pain, and allergic reaction, making them dangerous to contact with.
You may be wondering more about the stated dangerous spiders in the country. I will share some with you to be aware of the different varieties of dangerous spiders on the counter. The next time you encounter one, you will be mindful of other pieces of information; continue reading below.
- Black Widow
Black widows can be found in many places in the world, including the Philippines. Black widows are commonly seen in fence posts, abandoned animal burrows, sheds, hollow logs. You can easily spot Black widow due to its distinctive features. It has an hourglass-shaped abdomen, which is shiny and has red spots.
The Black widow can live up to 3 years. One scary thing about black widow is that after it mates with the male, it will devour it afterward. Most victims of Black widows are insects. It will bite the insect and will suck the liquids inside it. Black widows are non-aggressive to humans; however, they will bite if they can feel a threat. Black widow usually creates webs in the dark to easily trap its victim.
- Argiope Appensa
Argiope Appensa is a common species of spider in the Philippines. This species can be found in many places in the Western Pacific ocean and is commonly called Hawaiian garden spiders.” Argiope Appensa is primarily seen on the coast and in upland forests and usually resides there. However, during hot seasons like summer, these spiders can be seen in roadsides and cultivated areas.
Typically a female Argiope Appensa grows bigger compared to its male species. The female Argiope Appensa has a black and yellow color reaching approximately 5.1–6.4 cm long, while the male has a brown color, and its length maybe 1.9 cm long. These spiders are venomous but not harmful to humans. These spiders will not harm you if you don’t bother them, but once they feel threatened, they will bite eventually.
- Portia Labiata
Portia Labiata is one of the scariest species of spider with excellent eyesight compared to a cat. Surprisingly, this cat has eight eyes. Spooky as it might sound, but its eight eyes are used as surveillance. Its eyes are used to detect movements and threats in the environment.
The vision of this spider is much acute than a cat, and it becomes more sensitive at night. The front part of its body has a brown orangey color while its back has a brown color. Typically female Portia Labiata are better hunters compared to males. These spiders are not only venomous to humans but are also powerful towards other spiders.
- Argiope Aemula
Argiope aemula is native to Southeast Asia from India and Sri Lanka to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vanuatu. Argiope aemula is commonly known as oval St Andrew’s cross spider. Argiope aemula is from the genus of Argiope that is frequently observed in tropical and subtropical grasslands. Female Argiope aemula are larger than male Argiope aemula. They are commonly seen inhabiting near human settlements, typically in woodlands in sunny areas where flowers, shrubs, and plants give them protection.
During mating season, female Argiope aemula would devour the male when he inserts its palpal bulb. After the first insertion, the male will jump away from the female to escape; however, there are some instances that they are eaten before they can escape. Argiope aemula has venom but is not harmful to humans.
- Argiope Catenulata
Argiope catenulata is commonly known as grass cross spider, a species of orb-weaver spiders that can be seen from India to the Philippines and Papua New Guinea and found in Australia in 2019. Argiope catenulata has a yellow with black eye margined cephalothorax. This spider has an oblong-shaped abdomen with a black and silvery-whitish yellow dorsal pattern. Its legs had black and white rings and had Brown patches of irregular shapes in its stomach.
Argiope catenulata are web builders with a circular zigzag formation. They are usually seen to be in rice fields. Over its lifespan of 2-3 months, it can lay 600 and 800 eggs. Argiope genus is venomous; however, they won’t bite unless threatened. Their venom is not harmful to humans.
Latrodectus hasselti is commonly known as the Redback Spider or the Australian black widow. Redback Spider is believed to have originated in South Australia or adjacent Western Australian deserts, Australia, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand, with colonies elsewhere outside Australia now it can also be found.
- Latrodectus Hasselti
The Redback Spider is highly venomous. This spider is nocturnal and mostly lives near human residences. The female Redback spider lives in an untidy web in warm residential shelters. The female Redback spider will remain concealed on its web during the day and spin her web during the daytime. The Redback spiders usually prey on insects, but they can capture larger animals when trapped in their web. It includes trapdoor spiders, small lizards, and, even on rare occasions, snakes.
- The Brown Recluse Spider
The species of Brown Recluse Spider is not native to the Philippines, but its numbers and active status are not yet confirmed. However, this spider, originally native to the South and the Central United States, can melt your skin if its bite is not threatened. This spider is commonly known as the violin spider since it has distinct violin-like markings on its cephalothorax.
The bite of this spider is lethal in that it can destroy the tissues in your skin one left untreated. It can also affect the immune system of the patient. If bitten it is best to seek abrupt medical attention.
- Orphnaecus Philippinus
The common name for Orphnaecus Philippinus is Philippine Tangerine. This spider is a giant orange old-world tarantula, a very slender, sleek, and velvety-looking bird spider. The Philippine Tangerine can defend itself against threats but usually bolts for covers as its first line of defense. There are reports the few bites of this spider’s venom are considered medically significant and are very painful.
- Huntsman Spider
Huntsman spider got its name due to its capacity and speed for hunting. It is a member of the family Sparassidae, formerly Heteropodidae. These spiders are commonly seen in warm temperate and tropical places, including Australasia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and the Americas. Most Huntsman Spider’s venom immobilized prey and can inflict severe defensive bites on humans.
- Philippine Banana Spider
The Philippine Banana Spider typically stays in a banana tree. It may grow 8 inches in diameter. The webs of these spiders are firm, large, and hard to miss, especially if you pass through them at night. It usually doesn’t attack humans; however, it would give a bite for defense if it feels a threat. The venom of this spider may cause pain but is not so harmful to humans. You would rarely see this spider in cities or populated areas in the country.
Tetragnathidae is also called Long-jawed Orb-weavers. Some species of Long-jawed Orb-weavers are venomous, but some species are not as venomous as others. However, their bite is still dangerous since it may cause an allergic reaction. Long-jawed Orb-weavers can be seen in many countries, including the Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Bahamas, Canada, China, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, France, United States.
- Nephila Pilipes
The other term for Nephila pilipes is northern golden orb weaver or giant golden orb weaver. They are typically seen in most countries of East and Southeast Asia as well as Oceania. This species of spider displays female gigantism and male dwarfism. Nephila pilipes usually like to stay in moist areas with no direct sunlight.
It can be found in many places, including the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, and Australia. When this spider bites you, you can feel muscle pain, the feeling of tightness, and reflexes exaggeration. However, antiserum treatment can relieve and speed up recovery.
- Nephila Antipodiana
Nephila antipodiana is typically known as a batik golden web spider. It came from the species of golden orb-web spider. These spiders are often seen in Australia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. This species has a very high sexual dimorphism; wherein females are larger than males. Their bite is mildly poisonous to humans since it can cause swellings.
- Asian Spinybacked Spider
The Asian Spinybacked Spider also has a common name of Double-spotted Spiny Spider. It can be seen in various countries, including the Philippines. It has a large and nearly vertical orb-web decorated with white tufts of fine silk. This spider frequently bites humans whom it may contact. It has a venom that may cause localized swelling and allergic reactions.
- Zosis Geniculata
Zosis geniculata has a common name called grey house spider. They typically used to stay and create their web in hiding places like cracks or tiny openings. Their color ranges from gray, black, brown, or dark brown. Their habitats are typically near wetlands and forests. Grey house spiders are venomous, but their bite is not so harmful. Its bite has a painless sting, but it may cause swelling and pain in the bitten area after a few hours.
The Philippines has numerous varieties of a spider. Mostly these spiders are venomous but not so harmful to humans. Typically it may cause swelling, pain, and allergic reactions that make it dangerous. Once bitten, it is best to seek medical attention. Though most Philippine spiders are not so lethal, it is best to know their variety and distinction, so when you encounter one, you can be prepared.