Poisonous spider that lurks in clothes and furniture with toxic venom that ROTS human flesh is discovered in Mexico
- Loxosceles tenochtitlan was found in central Mexico by scientists
- Its venom is not thought to be lethal but can cause vast lesions of dead flesh
- Only attacks humans if it feels threatened and prefers to hide in isolated spots
Scientists have discovered a species of venomous spider with venom so potent that it rots human flesh with a single bite.
Lesions of dead flesh up to 14 inches (40cm) wide can be caused by an attack, but the animal is not thought to be lethal.
It has been found living in household furniture and fabrics in central Mexico, and has been given the proper name Loxosceles tenochtitlan by its discoverers.
The arachnid was found in central Mexico by researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in the city of Tlaxcala.
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Scientists have discovered a species of venomous spider (Loxosceles tenochtitlan, pictured) with venom so potent that it rots human flesh in a single bite. Lesions of dead flesh up to 14 inches (40cm) wide can be caused – but the animal is not thought to be lethal
WHAT ARE LOXOCELES SPIDERS?
Loxoceles spiders have a potent tissue-destroying venom that causes necrosis lesions in the skin up to 14-inches (40 cm) wide.
These often take several months to heal and leave a permanent scar but are not lethal, experts reveal.
In the case of children, the bite can even be more dangerous as it can end up being carried by the bloodstream resulting in red cells destruction, although these cases are very rare.
Males look for females at night during wet weather, often getting waylaid and ending up in cloth, bed sheets or shoes.
The females are thought to be twice as toxic as the males.
The new species was discovered by biologist and university professor Alejandro Valdez-Mondragon together with his students Claudia Navarro, Karen Solis, Mayra Cortez and Alma Juarez, according to the UNAM.
Analysis of the creature revealed it is native to the Valley of Mexico region.
The academics initially mistook the beast for another related species which lives in the Mexican states of Guerrero and Morelos- Loxosceles misteca.
Professor Valdez-Mondragon told local media: ‘As it is very similar to the Loxosceles misteca we thought that it had been introduced to this region by the shipping of ornamental plants, but when doing molecular biology studies of both species, we realised that they are completely different.’
Professor Valdez-Mondragon also warned that the species lashes out at humans with its vicious bite if it feels threatened.
Academics initially mistook the beast (pictured) for another related species which lives in the Mexican states of Guerrero and Morelos. But analysis found it to be a new species entirely that favours hiding spots in furniture and cloth
Known as a recluse spider, the eight-legged critter is most comfortable hiding in holes, between objects, furniture or in walls.
‘We provide them with the temperature, humidity and food to establish themselves in our homes, which puts us at risk of having an accident with them, although they also perform an important ecological function when feeding on insects,’ Professor Valdez-Mondragon adds.
Experts say the spiders can be avoided by keeping a neat and tidy house, removing any potential hiding spots.
Mexico is the country with the highest diversity of the genus Loxosceles as 40 out of the 140 species that exist in the world are native to the country.