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Several species of spiders found in Virginia have fearsome reputations for giving painful bites resulting in life-threating complications. All spiders use venom to kill their prey, but many spiders are not nearly as aggressive or dangerous as they are presented in urban legends and the media. Spider identification requires specialized knowledge and sufficient magnification. Many harmless species are mistakenly identified as being dangerous due to a lack of a lack of training or a good microscope.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
August 8, 2014