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Phoneutria nigriventer
General Details, Taxonomy and Biology, Venom, Clinical Effects, Treatment, First Aid , Antivenoms
Phoneutria nigriventer (  )  [ Original photo copyright © Dr Wolfgang Wuster ]
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Ctenidae
Genus: Phoneutria
Species: nigriventer
South America
Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay
Taxonomy and Biology
No information available for Taxonomy and Biology
General: Venom Neurotoxins
Excitatory neurotoxins
General: Venom Myotoxins
Not present
General: Venom Procoagulants
Not present
General: Venom Anticoagulants
Not present
General: Venom Haemorrhagins
Not present
General: Venom Nephrotoxins
Not present
General: Venom Cardiotoxins
Secondary cardiotoxicity only
General: Venom Necrotoxins
Not present
General: Venom Other
Not present or not significant
Clinical Effects
General: Dangerousness
Severe envenoming possible, potentially lethal
General: Rate of Envenoming: >80%
General: Untreated Lethality Rate: <1%
General: Local Effects
Local pain & swelling
General: Local Necrosis
Does not occur, based on current clinical evidence
General: General Systemic Effects
Priapism possible
General: Myotoxicity
Does not occur, based on current clinical evidence
General: Coagulopathy & Haemorrhages
Does not occur, based on current clinical evidence
General: Renal Damage
Does not occur, based on current clinical evidence
General: Cardiotoxicity
Insufficient clinical reports to know
General: Other
Insufficient clinical reports to know
First Aid
Description: First aid for Banana Spider Bites (South America)
1. After ensuring the patient and onlookers are no longer at risk of further bites by the spider, the bitten person should be reassured and persuaded to lie down and remain still. Some will be terrified, fearing sudden death and, in this mood, they may behave irrationally or even hysterically. The basis for reassurance is the fact that many bites do not result in envenoming, death is a rare outcome, and the effectiveness of modern medical treatment.
2. The bite wound should not be tampered with in any way.
3. Some victims find the application of a local cold pack may relieve local pain.
4. Do not apply a local bandage, tourniquet, or cut or suck or incise the wound or apply electric shock. Application of local heat has not proved beneficial.
5. If there is any impairment of vital functions, such as problems with respiration, airway, circulation, heart function, these must be supported as a priority. In particular, both airway and respiration may be impaired, requiring urgent and prolonged treatment, which may include the mouth to mask (mouth to mouth) technique of expired air transfer. Seek urgent medical attention.
6. If the offending spider has been killed or caught it should be brought with the patient for identification.
7. Avoid peroral intake, other than clear fluids, in the first 6 hours, absolutely no alcohol. No sedatives outside hospital. If there will be considerable delay before reaching medical aid, measured in several hours to days, then give clear fluids by mouth to prevent dehydration.
8. Most traditional, and many of the more recently fashionable, first aid measures are useless and potentially dangerous. These include local cauterization, incision, excision, amputation, suction by mouth, vacuum pump or syringe, combined incision and suction ("venom-ex" apparatus), injection or instillation of compounds such as potassium permanganate, phenol (carbolic soap) and trypsin, application of electric shocks or ice (cryotherapy), use of traditional herbal, folk and other remedies including the ingestion of emetic plant products and parts of the snake, multiple incisions, tattooing and so on.
Treatment Summary
Bites by banana spiders other than P. nigriventer, mostly minor, may not require admission. Even most P. nigriventer bites will develop only mild envenoming, with local pain, treated with a local anaesthetic block (subcutaneous 2% lidocaine or similar). Only moderate or severe envenoming requires antivenom therapy (for definitions see clinical section for this species) and in practice in Brazil, antivenom is generally used only in children <7yrs and in the elderly. 2-5 vials should be given IV.
Key Diagnostic Features
Bite usually painful, local swelling, erythema, sweating, generalised pain, nausea, altered BP & pulse, priapism in male children.
General Approach to Management
It is possible that most cases will be minor, but some cases may be more severe, requiring admission and treatment, so assess carefully before discharge.
Antivenom Therapy
Only antivenoms available are for related species, but should be used for significant envenoming
1. Antivenom Code: IAmIBB01
Antivenom Name: Soro antiarachnidico
Manufacturer: Instituto Butantan
Phone: +55-11-3726-7222
Address: Av. Vital Brasil, 1500 Butanta
Sao Paulo - SP
Country: Brazil
Phoneutria nigriventer ( ) [ Original photo copyright © Dr Wolfgang Wuster ]
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Phoneutria nigriventer ( ) [ Original photo copyright © Joao_P_Burini-2007-CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
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Phoneutria nigriventer ( ) [ Original photo copyright © Techuser-2007-CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
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