Six-eyed Sand Spider


The Six-eyed Sand Spider (Sicarius hahni) is a species of arachnid found in southern Africa. It is found mostly in deserts and other sandy areas. The genus name, sicarius, is Latin for “murderer” or “assassin”. This species is named after arachnologist Carl Wilhelm Hahn. The binomial name is interpreted as “Hahn’s assassin”.

Due to the flattened stance and position of the legs, this species is also sometimes known as the Six-eyed Crab Spider. Studies of the venom of this spider have led to some to recognize this spider’s bite as the most dangerous in the world. There is, however, some question to the actual danger posed by this species. It is a shy spider and is unlikely to bite humans, and there are very few recorded human attacks. Toxicology studies have shown that the venom is quite potent though, and it has a powerful effect, causing blood vessels to leak and destruction of tissues. Venom injected into lab animals have yielded devastating results. No antivenin currently exists for this species, and it is suspected that a bite from this spider is likely to produce a fatality.

This spider buries itself in the sand and strikes out at prey that wanders too closely. Particles of sand adhere to the abdomen and acts as natural camouflage when the spider is uncovered. If threatened, it will run a short distance and then bury itself again.