The White tail spider

                                                                    Above: The White tail spider (Lampona cylindrata)

                                         The White tailed spider nightmare

I would like to share with you my experience with this Spider and the never ending agony it caused me that dragged on for near 18 months when I was bitten by this species.

Firstly a run down on the the species that I suspect had bitten me and the reason I suspect it was this actual species (Lampona cylindrata) that was responsible although the distribution don't line up? the initial "bite site" at first was itchy and located right in the arch of my left foot. As time went on after a few days there was a slight discoloration followed by small pimple like lesions that i would later find out would turn into what is known as "satellite sores" i think they call them, distribution?

I have never been one to wear shoes and never will unless it is absolutely necessary i feel very uncomfortable in shoes and to me wearing shoes is a mild form you might say "Chinese foot binding"my feet overheat badly.

It all started at the worse time possible when my parents had come up from s/e Queensland to visit me in Cairns and stay in a motel room and catch up on old times whom i had not seen for a few years, this bite could not of come at a worse time as i was pretty much incapacitated upon their arrival and was dreading having to pick them up from the airport as this meant i had to move my foot and use the clutch and that was the last thing i wanted to do.

In a nutshell the whole visit was pretty much a flop and not much fun as i did not want to leave the hotel but i insisted it should not deter my parents from seeing the sights of Cairns, the whole thing had me stumped the few species here in Australia the two main ones Lampona can't remember the other one everything fits? maybe im wrong? also could of been one of the Wolf species as well?

The Doctors: I have always been one to avoid Doctors like the Plague, what never ceases to amaze me is they swear the Hippocratic oath and one part of that states "first do no harm" i am by no means stereotyping all Doctors as mindless bloodsuckers but .... there are some real wombats out there that have Dr as part of their curriculum vita which gives me a great laugh as in my Doctor for eg, I have nothing to do with only to get scripts for my blood pressure once said to me "old people should be rendered down and put to good use"? I found that comment very unprofessional and i think most people hold to much faith in doctors.

Diagnosis I was eventually talked into seeing a Doctor by my Father and rightfully so the Doctor could not determine if my condition was due to some sort of bacterial infection, viral, he had no idea so he done the right thing and histo swab and sent it off, he also tested for Anthrax believe it or not, he was very thorough everything come back negative.

I was subsequently put on a course of broad spectrum antibiotics (quick fix, where would docs be without this drug) these of course had no effect what so ever, also i was on no pain killers and to rate the pain from 1- 10 on the " the Faces Pain Scale" was an easy 8/ 9 an a half the worse pain i have ever endured and will never forget trust me you don't want to get bitten by this spider, all sorts of things were runnin through my head by then, could it be one of the Wolf spider species as their bites have been known to cause necrosis? of course the antibiotics done nothing at all as they are for "Bacterial" infections they were about as useful as if being used on a "Viral" infection.

I will now start to cut this down a bit (dragging on) and get to the facts of this spider, unfortunately I really didn't feel the bite so i could not positively identify as being (Lampona cylindrata) I am pretty sure where it may have occurred and that was the track that lead through the bush a good 3 km to the main dirt track used by me as a short cut to the "main road" walkin though the scrub with no shoes all sorts of debris pokes at the foot whose to know one of them little pricks may of been the White Tailed Spider as i paused for a rest along the track i think? once again was it one of the Wolf spider species? after all back then they were the main as you would say "suspect" pretty much im sure still to this day no one knows?

The White Tailed Spider has been linked and documented to numerous suicides as a permanent pain management regime, its very effective apparently ????? these are the facts! I pity anyone bitten by this species and I can see to a certain degree why someone would pull the pin to end the pain, unless you have experienced it you have no idea what pain is, I see myself as having a very high threshold to pain, this bite soon fixed that, do not get the wrong end of the stick its very unlikely you will be bitten by this spider and from what I have read The toxin has a different effect depending on the individual, I have no doubt a bite from this spider if left untreated in time would be the "indirect" cause of death to a child or the elderly, before I forget although this is old news, the Wolf Spider genus which runs far and wide were linked to Necrotising arachnodisim, this as far as i know is still debatable as the Wolf genus is a massive mob of spiders, who really knows? unless there is proper research it will remain a mystery.

Outcome: Eventually this bite evolved into a lesion over an inch deep in the arch of my foot one major (looked exactly like a tray of raw mince meat) the other minor half " it was "hypersensitive" too pretty much everything, just the slightest change in the breeze/ temp was enough to set off excruciating pain I can't stress enough you really don't wanna endure this.

These spiders seek warm breezes if you live in a relatively cool climate put a "draft sausage" across the bottom of the door keep it intact as this spider seeks out the warmth down south and loves living in the warmth of a house, when the temperatures drops, they will seek and find a source of heat and make it their new home, obviously they come into contact quite regularly within the home, in the warmer months they prefer the outdoors usually in the dry leaf litter.

The Medical terminology for this sort of condition is Necrotising arachnodisim, that just blew the "spell checker" up type it into Google as that is my spelling! it is pretty much unheard of, it is combination of 2 words necro as in "eat the flesh" arach (spiders of course) as there is simply not enough cases to warrant any sort of funding by the government its not important enough as to the frequency of the cases of this happening (directly proportional)

Funding for this sort of research would make a great thesis its perfect for those doing a degree in Entomology surely its been done? or we might have to wait till a well known politicians son/ daughter gets bitten then we will see the funds roll in, bit like Michael J Fox has sunk a stack of money into Parkinson's.

Your on your own I will end it here by saying I was pretty much on my own and desperate for pain killers unfortunately i didn't drink back then or I would of had a swag of "liquid pain management" at hand but that can only last for so long and in the long run lead to something more desperate.

The outcome I was left with this festering hole in my foot and completely confused as the "experts" had no answer, to cut a long story short i suffered for pretty much 18 months and was completely incapacitated so i resorted to desperation "backyard medicine" this over a period of time worked out to be successful in the long run but massive pain where i would routinely sit cross legged putting the arch of my foot level and horizontally and pour "neat metho" straight into the wound, this went on for 1- 2 months and i was very careful to do this in a germ free environment, after a few weeks a scab began to form and it was then on in a road to recovery which i thought i would never see.

End result The Lesion slowly over a lengthy period day by day started to form a scab/ slight membranous film more like it, this went on for months and months of pain every time the ritual of emptying a cap of metho into an open wound (purely desperation) and over time it worked and formed a fully grown scab and eventually the light at the end of the tunnel NO PAIN! I think i may have wrote the same above in a different wording? tired.

Today Still today 16-03-10 from time to time a bit of pain 17 years later but very rare, the initial "bite site" still remains completely numb and most nerve endings are destroyed, that has not changed, discoloration through the arch of the foot, still to this day it forms a very small dry scab after all this time the nerves directed to that part of the foot seem devoid it's the end of a great battle in a way but lays dormant waiting to pop up again and start the process all over again I have heard of this happenin dunno how accurate that info is? that sits in the back of my head and is quite frightening, there is more to the envenomation of this spider than meets the eye, I can assure you of that.

Just be very very careful.


Above: A poor image of the arch of my foot, you can see the reddish discoloration and a small purple dot that is the bite site 17 years later.    Above: Another image of the same victim

                                                                                                 Above: Some other poor souls White tail bite

                                                                             Above: Another image of the same victim

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