Most people aren’t very fond of spiders, but a good portion of them are actually pretty harmless and serve an important role in our ecosystem. Some, however, do pose a serious danger to human beings who run afoul of them, like the newly discovered Loxosceles Tenochtitlan.
Una nueva especie de araña violinista fue descubierta por alumnos de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Se trata de la primera considerada originaria de la región del Valle de México, la cual fue llamada por los científicos Loxosceles tenochtitlan. pic.twitter.com/sOBjF0BVuO
— TCS Noticias (@tcsnoticias) December 3, 2019
- The spider was discovered in Mexico. Researchers not only discovered the Loxosceles Tenochtitlan was an actual species, they also realized that its venom is so powerful, that one bite can cause serious damage to humans.
- Its bite can rot your flesh. This arachnid isn’t the only one with poisonous venom, but Loxosceles Tenochtitlan’s venom has a flesh-destroying property that can cause necrosis lesions on human skin that are up to 15 inches in width. Yikes!
- It won’t kill you, but it could disfigure you. Bites from the spider, also sometimes known as the recluse spider, can leave lesions that take literally months to heal and could leave victims permanently scarred or disfigured because of it. Children are especially vulnerable to the bites because their immune systems aren’t as robust as adults and the venom could enter their bloodstream and destroy red blood cells.
- The spiders lurk in plain sight. Recluse spiders tend to hide out in household furniture, so you could have a run-in with one by doing something totally innocent like sitting down on the couch or at the dinner table. If you live in or are visiting Mexico, that is.
- That being said, this is a pretty amazing discovery. Loxosceles Tenochtitlan was discovered and named by National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) biologist Alejandro Valdez-Mondragon and his students Claudia Navarro, Karen Solis, Mayra Cortez, and Alma Juarez. As Valdez-Mondragon told local news, “As it is very similar to the Loxosceles misteca, we thought that it had been introduced to this region by the shipping of ornamental plants, but when doing molecular biology studies of both species, we realized that they are completely different.” What a cool discovery!
- Don’t worry, they only bite if provoked. Valdez-Mondragon insists that while the spiders will come after you if they think you’re trying to harm them, they’re generally pretty chill and like to do their own thing. “We provide them with the temperature, humidity, and food to establish themselves in our homes, which puts us at risk of having an accident with them, although they also perform an important ecological function when feeding on insects,” he explained.