2 Sep 2012 - Article No: 1602

New Poisonous Spider Found in US? - Internet/Facebook Rumour

Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

Other Keywords: Two-Striped Telamonia





NEW POISONOUS SPIDER IN THE UNITED STATES

A spider bite...please read............ And you thought the brown recluse was bad!


Three women in North Florida, turned up at hospitals over a 5-day period, all with the same symptoms. Fever, chills, and vomiting, followed by muscular collapse, paralysis, and finally, death. There were no outward signs of trauma.

Autopsy results showed toxicity in the blood. These women did not know each other, and seemed to have nothing in common. It was discovered, however, that they had all visited the same Restaurant (Olive Garden) within days of their deaths.
The health department descended on the restaurant, shutting it down. The food, water, and air conditioning were all inspected and tested, to no avail.

The big break came when a waitress at the restaurant was rushed to the hospital with similar symptoms. She told doctors that she had been on vacation, and had only went to the restaurant to pick up her check. She did not eat or drink while she was there, but had used the restroom.

That is when one toxicologist, remembering an article he had read, drove out to the restaurant, went into the restroom, and lifted the toilet seat.
Under the seat, out of normal view, was a small spider.

The spider was captured and brought back to the lab, where it was determined to be the Two-Striped Telamonia (Telamonia dimidiata), so named because of its reddened flesh color. This spider`s venom is extremely toxic, but can take several days to take effect. They live in cold, dark, damp climates, and toilet rims provide just the right atmosphere.
Several days later a lawyer from Jacksonville showed up at a hospital emergency room. Before his death, he told the doctor, that he had been away on business, had taken a flight from Indonesia, changing planes in Singapore, before returning home.
He did not visit (Olive Garden), while there. He did, as did all of the other victims, have what was determined to be a puncture wound, on his right buttock.
Investigators discovered that the flight he was on had originated in India.
The Civilian Aeronautics Board (CAB) ordered an immediate inspection of the toilets of all flights from India, and discovered the Two-Striped Telamonia (Telamonia dimidiata) spider`s nests on 4 different planes!
It is now believed that these spiders can be anywhere in the country. So please, before you use a public toilet, lift the seat to check for spiders. It can save your life!
And please pass this on to everyone you care about.


This message is circulating Facebook that warns readers of a "new" type of spider to be discovered in the United States. The message claims the spiders were discovered under the toilet seat of a restaurant and claimed the lives of three customers over a 5 day period.

The message is untrue and the above text is the latest version of a long running hoax that has been circulating via the Internet and email for well over a decade now.

The spider mentioned in the message, the Two-Striped Telamonia, is a real spider found in Asia, but there have been no cases of the spider on the loose in the USA and they are actually non-venomous anyway. Previous versions of the text claimed the spider was the South American Blush Spider, or Butt Spider.

Previous versions also claimed the women that died as a result of the spider bites were from Chicago, not North Florida and that the spiders were in an airport Restaurant, not an Olive Garden.

According to Snopes.com another version circulated claiming the women hailed from Pennsylvania and the spiders were found in a Hart`s Family Restaurant.

There have been no cases of people dying as a result of spider bites in this manner and no spiders have been found nesting in airline toilet seats (airline toilets would not be a hospitable environment for spiders) nor have their been any cases of deadly spiders found "hanging" around in restaraunt toilet seats either. This is just an urban legend that has been given new lease on life due to the viral nature of social networking.

The claims made in the message are entirely false and this should not be circulated.





The Internet, and social networking sites like Facebook, are perfect platforms for spreading untruths, misinformation, rumor and propaganda. Thousands of inaccurate, exaggerated, deceptive or just plain false messages are circulated every single day.

For the anti-scam community to successfully tackle this plethora of false rumours, it is important that anyone who uses the Internet be able to identify false rumours and fully understands the possible consequences of spreading false information.

We have a two part blog post that helps provide this information. Part 1 deals with how to spot and debunk Internet rumours and Part 2 deals with the reasons why you should never circulate false information.

Additionally if you have fallen for this rumour or have Facebook friends that have, you can join our growing Facebook page here.

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