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Venomous spiders in Germany: Which are the most common species and are their bites dangerous?

Actually, every spider is venomous because every spider bite is associated with a venomous bite. A bite from a spider that is classified as venomous causes either no reaction or short-term discomfort in humans – there may be skin swelling or pain. None of the living spider species are so venomous that a bite would cause serious illness or even be life threatening. There are some species that are classified as poisonous spiders in Germany – slightly poisonous or venomous. The animals only bite when they feel threatened and have no way out.

Poisonous spiders in Germany: thorn finger spider

The thorn-fingered spider can be considered the most poisonous spider species in Germany

The thorn-fingered spider (Eutichuridae) can be considered the most venomous spider species in Germany. The creepy crawlies have an elongated, oval body shape and grow up to 15 mm in size. A bite is initially painful, burning and stinging. In some cases, the bite site swells and turns blue-red. Especially in allergic persons and people with a weakened immune system, a bite of the thorn finger leads to nausea, headache, vomiting and possibly an increased body temperature. Under cooling, however, the symptoms subside after at least three days. If this is not the case, a doctor should be consulted. Children who have been bitten should also seek medical treatment for observation. However, you do not have to be afraid of the thorn finger spider: Really dangerous or even life-threatening is not the bite of this native spider species.

The European Black Widow

The spider bite itself is often barely noticeable, but symptoms such as headache and fever may occur

The European black widow (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus) is black in color, similar to most other widow species, and can be identified by the thirteen spots found on its abdomen (the species name is Latin for “with thirteen spots”). These spots are usually red, but can also be yellow or orange. Otherwise, it resembles the other species of the genus Latrodectus. The spider lives primarily in grasslands and can be a major problem in areas where grain is harvested by hand. The female of the species has a body length of about 7-15 mm, while the male is smaller, reaching 4-7 mm at best. Only the bite of the female spider is dangerous (to humans or livestock), as the male cannot penetrate the relatively thick epidermis. Like all Latrodectus species, L. tredecimguttatus has a painful bite that is fatal in rare cases. The spider bite itself is often barely noticeable, but symptoms such as limb pain, headache, skin rashes, stomach cramps, and fever may occur.

Curly hunting spider originate from the Mediterranean Sea

The curly hunting spiders are also called false wolf spiders

The curly hunting spiders (Zoropsidae), also called false wolf spiders because of their similarity to wolf spiders, are distinguished from wolf spiders by their two rows of eyes, which are the same size as those of the Lycosidae. The spiders of this genus are quite large and nocturnal. They hunt mainly large spiders and behave quite aggressively. During the day they keep hidden under the bark of a tree or under stones. In spring, the female lays her clutch covered with bluish crib wool and guards it until the spiderlings hatch. The spider is pale brown with a grayish tinge. In the center of the abdomen is a row of two or three black spots that look like poorly painted diamond shapes. The legs are also speckled with black. It has eight eyes arranged in four groups of two (one above the other). This creepy crawly is originally from the Mediterranean region and is accustomed to milder climates, which is why it prefers to stay indoors. Curly hunting spiders actively hunt their prey by taking them down. Like most spiders, they have enough venom to cause a temporarily painful bite, but not enough to cause serious damage. Short-term redness of the skin around the bite site and swelling may occur.

Venomous spiders in Germany: the cross spider

These creepy crawlies can be recognized by the typical white cross on the front of the abdomen


These creepy crawlies are recognizable by the typical white cross on the front of the abdomen. The larger females grow up to 18 mm in size. The cross spider (Araneus) is slightly poisonous. The bite of a spider can be painful and is comparable to a bee sting. However, the bite can only penetrate the thinnest layers of human skin. Therefore, a reaction is only noticeable if the bite is in a sensitive area, such as the crook of the elbow. Swelling associated with a burning sensation may occur. Cooling with ice is sufficient to treat the pain and swelling. After about half an hour, the symptoms should be gone.

The weakly poisonous water spider

It is unlikely that you will get to see a water spider

Male water spiders (Argyroneta aquatica), unlike the brown, smaller females, are more beige-yellow in color. The former grow up to 15 mm in size. These spiders also have a weak venom. However, it is unlikely that you will even see a water spider. The animals spend their whole life in the water, preferably in swampy and boggy waters. If you do get bitten by a representative of this species, it is enough to cool the bite site for treatment as well.