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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Red Spider in Central Coast California


Red Spider, huge fangs
Red Spider, huge fangs  
What type of spider is this? On humans the bite is quarter sized welt that is itchy and burns.. Hurts like hell.


I never received e-mail notification that your question was pending, so apologies for the delayed response....

Unfortunately, your image does not provide nearly enough detail for me to give you an accurate identification.  The eye arrangement, configuration of the spinnerets, and external genitalia are all important characters that are not visible in the image.

Also, unless you actually *saw* the spider biting you (or family member or whoever), there is the strong possibility the injury occurred in some other way.  Spiders are wrongly blamed for all manner of wounds.

Please consider taking the spider to a local arachnologist (spider expert) at a natural history museum, university (UC Davis, UC Berkeley both have excellent entomology departments), or even the public health department (vector control will have at least one staff entomologist).  He or she can then put the specimen under a microscope and render a proper verdict.

Best wishes to whoever is injured for a speedy and permanent recovery!


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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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