Tarantula spider bite


  • Abdominal hairs may be flicked a short distance when threatened
    • Rarely penetrate human skin but can embed deeply into conjunctiva and cornea
  • Family: Theraphosidae

Clinical Features

  • Local pain and irritation
  • Bites can be painful but systemic symptoms other than fever are unusual

Differential Diagnosis

Envenomations, bites and stings


  • Usually clinical
  • Red eye and pain after handling a tarantula necessitates an ocular exam
    • Hairs may be difficult to detect on slit lamp


  • If suspicion for hairs embedded in cornea/conjunctiva, obtain ophtho consult as treatment may require surgical removal
  • Embedded cutaneous hairs that are barbed may be removed with duct tape or cellophane tape followed by irrigation with sodium chloride.
  • Urticarial reactions can be treated with oral antihistamines and/or topical/systemic corticosteroids.


  • Generally discharge

See Also

External Links