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Brazilian Wandering Spider Spotted in Tesco’s Bananas: What Are the Effects of the Bite of the World’s Most Venomous on Humans?

Adam Shepherd, a Tesco shopper, was horrified after finding a spider’s leg coming out of a cocoon in a banana sold at the supermarket’s Lottbridge branch in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Dubbed as the Brazilian wandering spider, this arachnid’s venom can cause intense pain and possible medical conditions, particularly in neuromuscular systems.

Brazilian wandering spider

Brazilian Wandering spider. Phoneutria nigriventer en . WARNING: This and other species of the genus Phoneutria are extremely venomous and should generally not be handled by humans. (PHOTO: João P. Burini /Wikimedia Commons)

World’s Most Venomous Spider Cocooning in Tesco’s Banana

Shepherd discovered the world’s most venomous spider cocooning in a bunch of bananas when one of its legs came out from its cocoon, reported. He took a photo of it and handed the contaminated bunch of bananas to the staff.

He also shared the photo to his Facebook account where some users identified it as the Brazilian wandering spider or sometimes called the banana spider. Some commenters have also expressed their concern regarding the venomous arachnid but Shepherd said that he was not shocked to see it as he used to work in the produce section of the company and has seen it a few times, although he had no idea what it was.

This was not the first time that a Brazilian wandering spider was also found in bananas. A somerset chef in 2005 was bitten by it and experienced shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and palpitations.

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Effects of Brazilian Wandering Spider Bite in Humans

According to Germany’s Natural History Museum, the venom in Brazilian wandering spiders is a complex cocktail of toxins, proteins, and peptides that affects ion channels and chemical receptors in neuromuscular systems.

When a human is bitten by this spider, Live Science reported that it could cause severe burning pain at the site of the bite, excessive sweating, goosebumps, low or high blood pressure, fast or slow heartbeat, abdominal cramping, nausea, hypothermia, blurred vision, vertigo, and convulsions. They should immediately seek help from a medical professional for treatment.

Moreover, it can cause a long, painful erection in men as it boosts nitric oxide that increases blood flow. Some studies are considering incorporating this venom in treating people with erectile dysfunction.

On the other hand, a Brazilian study showed that bites from these spiders are rare and envenomations are usually mild and can be treated with antivenin.

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