Red backed black widow spiders

Found in Bowsher this week (June 2014)

Every year or so, people say that they have found the poisonous black widow spider here in Oman, and every year, the Government come out and say absolutely not, there are no black widow spiders here in Oman. I've always avoided the whole issue, but this time I'm not going to.

A good friend of mine killed a red backed black widow spider in his yard this week - he wasn't sure what kind of spider it was, so he asked a specialist to look at it, who confirmed that it is indeed a redback spider, which is a member of the widow spider family and indigenous to Australia.

The big black and red spiders are actually the females, who are the ones who tend to bite the most - their bodies are around 1cm in length, then the legs are much longer than that. They spin untidy webs in sheltered areas (a way to check if you might have any) and they are largely nocturnal.

Their bites are not nice, it more than likely won't kill you, but it's not a fun time for 24-36 hours, so better to kill any you find near your home.

The purpose of this post is not to worry you or create panic, just merely to suggest you are careful - forewarned is a good thing, right? Some circles within the city suggest that there's a fairly high number of these things found in the al hail/khoud area, but who knows. Anyway - just look out for em.

le fin.
Red backed black widow spiders Red backed black widow spiders Reviewed by Sythe on Thursday, June 05, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. I found one last year in our back yard...
    Location Qurm

  2. Ewww, I generally like spiders but have a hate-against black widows. I used to kill them in our woodshed back in Canada as a kid. Saw someone go through the pain of being bitten by one---she said it was as bad as childbirth soooooo..... Best to kill on site.

  3. PANIC PANIC PANIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Thanks for alert; everyone needs to be aware of this dangerous pest. Apart from the pain, there' s a real danger of death especially if the victim is a child.

    in Australia, no deaths have been reported as directly attributable to redback spider bites, but that's because antivenin is stocked everywhere and used whenever necessary. Knowing at which clinics / hospitals or emergency centres in Oman this antivenin is available would be very helpful - and would help save lives. I'm trying to find out, but without much success. If the authorities insist there are no redback or other venomous spiders here, there may not be any antivenin at all! A troubling thought...

    Cheers - Desert Leopard

  5. We have them in our yard. We have killed at least five. Seeb area.

  6. We always had them at our house in Bousher, I have loads of photos of them.

  7. Just wait for the mass hysteria...

  8. I live in Al Hail and my dawg got bitten by something unknown, and was really ill for a few days. maybe this was the culprit!!

  9. I lived in Oman as a child from 1982 until 1986 in the PDO compound at Ras al Hamra. I spotted many black widow spiders at the time. Hell, we even kept them in jelly jars in our classroom as projects. I was told that the spiders entered the country as cast aways in shipments from Australia.

  10. You are right!! We caught 2 black widow spiders in our house in Seeb and the authorities still deny their existence. On top of it, I called all the hospitals and the MoH about anti-venom specific to black widow spiders, they don't have a single vile stocked anywhere, so if you or any of your family get bitten by it, you are on your own! Instead of denying, acceptance, more awareness and training EMS and medical personnel on dealing with such cases and making the treatment available will be more appreciated by everyone!

  11. I've just found one at home in Al Hail. (Dead)


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