Wandering Spider (Phoneutria nigriventer)

Wandering Spider (Phoneutria nigriventer)

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Brazilian wandering Spider (Phoneutria nigriventer) on a leaf. Phoneutria spiders include some of the relatively few species of spiders that are a threat to humans. These spiders are notorious due to their toxic venom and because they are not reluctant to attack people. The spider's neurotoxin can cause prolonged erections (priapism) in men. Scientists believe that combining a version of the spider's venom with an existing drug such as Viagra could help treat erectile dysfunction. Photographed in the Amazon rainforest at the Tiputini Biodiversity Research Station, Ecuador.

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