Saturday, September 21, 2013

Black Widows: Fact or Fiction?

So.... anyone on social media will have seen the nation-wide panic these past couple of days concerning the possible sighting of the deadly black widow spiders in Oman.
Knowing how things work in Oman, it may be a complete rumor. However, the spider in the bottle looks a lot like a black widow, particularly the red marking on the back. I've been doing some Google-ing to find out more about black widows. Fortunately, I haven't had to think about them at  all since I'm not south American.
My Jebbali friends here in Dhofar tell me these aren't black widows and that they are seen regularly in our mountains after the monsoon. Every online forum has been discussing them these past 48 hours and the photos have been going around on people's phones.
So, my two cents (literally)... the government should issue a statement ASAP about the exact type of spider that has been located and how locals should handle it.
As for me, I'm terrified of all types of spiders so you won't find me anywhere near them.. red-backed or not.
Your thoughts?


  1. Just check out this link

  2. Alhamdulillah, I live in South America and I had never seen a black spider too.

    May Allah protect us always.

  3. As a kid I've seen a few small, black spiders in Oman, some 20 years ago. I don't know exactly what species of Latrodectus these were (if at all). Never the less, I think there are more dangerous animals (snakes, scorpions) and especially motorists in Oman.

    1. Motorists? it is really, funny.

  4. This is the Australian Redback, a variety of black widow (or Latrodectus). Their bite will have effects like being stung by a scorpion and so you should survive. Luckily they hide during the day and will run away if given a chance. We have them in our (Muscat) garden all the time, just look out for the webs - these are chaotic tangles of webbing near walls or pots or any vertical surface.

  5. I've lived in Texas for 38 years (ground zero for black widows and brown recluse) and I've seen exactly one black widow in that time. They are not aggressive and if you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone. They stick to the shadows in places like garages and storage buildings. I wouldn't worry too much about it. They're not deadly for the average person unless you don't get treatment for the bite.

  6. I've seen black widows in Canada. That doesn't look exactly like a black widow. I used to get black widows in my laundry room all the time so I know;)

  7. I've heard a story of one Expat who's colleague was bitten by black recluce was a bit harsh leaving a huge scarf on his back.It took him 6 months to fully recover,not to mention the local doctors didn't know how to treat him.The ''bite'' left very nasty mark on his body and all tissue was damaged.He had to get a plastic surgeon to get into normal shape as I looked horrible.
    It's not known but indeed,nasty spiders are here in Oman.The above story happened in Muscat,to be exact.