Incy Wincy Spider: Warning!!! Not for the faint-hearted.

Saturday 22th: 1130hrs.

The Brown Button Spider is probably one of only  two or possibly three medically significant spiders found in South Africa.

When I say medically significant I mean potentially dangerous. But while a great many people never think twice about climbing into a car without considering the brakes, or their seatbelt, the mention of a venomous spider sends many people into a panic.

And I say venomous rather than poisonous because when we refer to something as poisonous we usually mean will it adversely affect us if we ingest it?  Never having eaten a spider,  I could not tell you what the effect would be, but I don’t reckon spiders are poisonous.

However, as far as I am aware all spiders have fangs and all are venomous. They use venom to paralyze their insect victims long enough to devour them.

But the number of spiders that have enough potent venom to be harmful to humans is minuscule. Most spiders fangs are just too small to even puncture our skin. You are probably more likely to have a Damascan Encounter than die from a spider bite.

Therefore, with so few potentially dangerous spiders about it is always nice to come across one that is of medical significance … such as this gorgeous Brown Button.


I featured a black Brown Button the other day – one we found in our municipal electrical box.


The difference between a Black Button and Brown Button is the red hour glass marking that all Brown Buttons have on their underside, irrespective of their colour, which ranges from a tan to black. Black Buttons, which are dark brown to black in colour feature red markings on dorsal (upper) abdomen. No ventral (underside) markings.

I have yet to encounter a Black Button and I believe they are more dangerous than their Brown cousins – only if they bite of course!

This beauty, which is more tan/brown, I found under the plug socket on the borehole box at the back of the garden. She was inside her nest hiding behind two egg sacs. I could just make out one of her legs.

Gently I prodded the web – which is incredibly tough by the way –  with the stem of a piece of grass to coax her out for a photo shoot. At first she was not interested, then she  dropped from behind her egg sacs onto her web, curled up in a ball, playing dead – as is their wont.

But I wasn’t falling for that old trick, so I gently blew on her and,  as shy as she was, she obliged. Although from her stance you can be assured she was letting me know she was none too happy about it!

Just so cool!


Ah …. football is on at four. Time for a spot of late lunch.

Enjoy your lunch … wherever you are. Mwahahahaha!




26 thoughts on “Incy Wincy Spider: Warning!!! Not for the faint-hearted.

  1. Hello Ark, I think it is time we examine your spider belly fetish. 🙂 But seriously, I am impressed by the detail oriented eye sight you that you can see the small leg of a small spider. Most of us would have missed her and stuck our hand in there. Ouch.

    Your post got me thinking. Why is there such a stomach wrenching involuntary reaction to even the sight of a spider, more so if we know in advance it is a slightly dangerous one? Really I am thinking of the physiological body response to a picture of a spider. I knew it was a picture and couldn’t move, I knew in advance it was only dangerous not “Instantly fatal if it touches you”. Yet still my stomach clenched, I got chills and goosebumps. I have never been threatened by a spider, and if I was bitten by one it ever had a serious consequences as I don’t remember it. Yet the body reacted all on its own. That is very interesting to me. Be well, great photos, even if I think your choice of model was leggy. 🙂 Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Now that is interesting, as the most feared American spider is the black widow – also has the red hourglass marking. No brown ones, however. I wonder if they are the same, or just related? I never get those shudders.

    But the first time I walked out on lake ice and it cracked, I had an instinctual reaction. Never heard that sound in my life, but OH yeah my body went straight to flight mode.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s the way of the world.
          But their >/em> black widow is more dangerous than out buttons.

          Apparently, the Black Button is not normally found around homes, preferring a more rural environment, and when it does ”come to town,” as it were, it never moves inside a home.

          And the Black Widow does not always eat her mate, either, for the record. In fact, some have been observed residing alongside the female in the nest.

          I am going to keep an eye on this particular nest and see if we can’t get some shots when the spiderlings begin to disperse.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I found one once, in Florida. It was right beside our front steps into the house. Yes, I saw from your link the US version is worse for people. We also had the brown recluse which apparently are a LOT worse.

            I’ll be looking forward to baby pictures!


  3. Ark has your brother introduced you to the Sydney Funnel Web Spider? Now it is a scary spider, apparently the world’s deadliest.


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