Poisonous Spiders Spotted in Abu Dhabi

"Very dangerous" Australian redbacks have spread across the UAE
ByAhlan! Live ReporterMonday , 08 September 2014
Poisonous Spiders Spotted in Abu Dhabi
The redback spider's bite can kill

Abu Dhabi residents have been warned that venomous spiders has been spotted within a gated community.

The sightings come just weeks after the potentially lethal redback species was found in Dubai.

Al Raha Gardens’ community management team posted notices warning the breed was “very dangerous” and told residents to seek immediate hospital treatment if bitten. It added that it’s increased the frequency of inspections and pest-control treatment of the compound’s communal areas. A warning on a community noticeboard read: “It has been brought to our attention that a redback spider was spotted on one of the residential communities.”

Redback spiders are indigenous to Australia. The management said the species was very dangerous, making immediate medical attention a necessity.

“Our aim is to ensure the safety and comfort of all our residents within the community,” management said.

In July, several residents of Dubai’s Emirates Hills and Al Furjan neighbourhoods, and Al Ghadeer in Abu Dhabi, spotted the creatures in their gardens, although fortunately none was bitten.

The species isn’t indigenous to the UAE and it’s thought to have arrived here in packing containers from Australia. It’s since spread all over the country, but no one has died from a bite here to date, and antidotes are available at most major hospitals.

A close relative of the US’ notorious black widow spider, the species isn’t indigenous to the UAE and it’s thought to have arrived here in packing containers from Australia. It’s since spread all over the country, but no one has died from a bite here to date, and antidotes are available at most major hospitals.

Females are about 1cm in length and black or occasionally brownish, with a distinctive orange or red stripe on the upper abdomen, plus smaller spot lower down. They’re about the size of a large pea. Male redbacks are smaller at 3mm-4mm in length, and are light brown in colour, with pale hourglass-shaped markings on their undersides.

They’ll live almost anywhere as long as they have access to warmth, shelter and sufficient food, and they’re particularly common in urban areas. They’re seen less commonly in winter.

A close relative of the US’ notorious black widow spider, redbacks aren’t indigenous to the UAE and are thought to have arrived here in packing containers from Australia. They’ve since spread all over the country, but no one has died from a bite here to date, and antidotes are available at most major hospitals.

Sydney’s Australian Museum advises anyone bitten by a spider they suspect may be a redback to apply an ice pack to the affected area and to avoid using pressure bandages, which can worsen any pain and increase the spread of venom. If possible, take the dead spider with you to help medical staff identify it.

Females are about 1cm in length and black or occasionally brownish, with a distinctive orange or red stripe on the upper abdomen, plus smaller spot lower down. They’re about the size of a large pea. Male redbacks are smaller at 3mm-4mm in length, and are light brown in colour, with pale hourglass-shaped markings on their undersides. Only the female’s bite is poisonous.

Redbacks will live almost anywhere as long as they have access to warmth, shelter and sufficient food, and they’re particularly common in urban areas. They’re seen less commonly in winter.

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