Jan 9, 2010

Urticating Hairs and Pink Eye

Do you have a nasty case of what the doctor thinks is conjunctivitis (pink eye) that you just can't seem to shake? Are you a tarantula owner? If so, then you might have some of their urticating hairs embedded in your eyeball.

Such was the case in Leeds, England, when a 29-year-old man, upon closer examination, was found to have many tiny hairs embedded in his cornea. When asked about them, he immediately recalled a few days earlier when he had inadvertently provoked the wrath of his pet spider, and it had "“released ‘a mist of hairs’ which hit his eyes and face.”

I don't know how the guy forgot that incident, or didn't consider any sort of causal relationship. But let this be today's public safety alert. If you've been the victim of a mist of spider hairs, don't burden our health system by thinking you might have pink eye. Come straight out to the doctor with your tarantula encounter.

Thanks for the story, Judy.

As for these tarantula pictures, they are but some of the beloved pets of one of our resident spider experts, Jade. Thanks, Jade.


Sabina E. said...

WTF!!! I'm not really sure why people would keep these exotic spiders as pets... they're cool to look at but I wouldn't want one.

Jaden Walker said...

Hey! I know those bugs :)

Sorry I haven't been on the blog much, lately. I've been studying extra hard. I'm getting my masters in entomology right now. My focus is on spiders and myriopods (centipedes, millipedes, etc). So soon I'll officially be an expert.

DIMA- We keep them as pets because we love them. No different from keeping a dog, bird, fish tank, or anything else. It's just our prefered type of pet.

Denise aka BugLady said...

I'm digging the spider love :)

Raging Wombat said...

Jaden, you've always been an expert here, official or not. Good luck with the studies.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big spider person, but that last one, the orange and black one, is absolutely gorgeous! Also, they all make me want to pet them. So fuzzy.

DanaKara said...

Oh! What beautiful spiders! I love tarantulas. These are truly beautiful darlings!

Jen said...

I get goosebumps just by looking at these. I would probably even go as far as saying I hate spiders. And then there's that last picture... Absolutely amazing, so beautiful!
I still wouldn't get near it though... :)