- General News
Venomous Spider Found in All but Two of Japan’s Prefectures
13:47 JST, April 22, 2023
An invasive species of poisonous arachnid called the redback spider, which was first discovered in Japan 28 years ago in Osaka Prefecture, has now spread across nearly the entire country, according to the National Institute for Environmental Studies and other sources.
The redback spider is found in regions such as Australia and Southeast Asia. Males are 4 to 5 millimeters long, and females are 7 to 10 millimeters long. The female is venomous, and its bite can cause severe pain and, in some cases, sweating, palpitations and other symptoms.
The redback spider was first found in Takaishi, Osaka Prefecture, in September 1995. The poisonous arachnid is believed to have attached itself to containers shipped from overseas. According to the Osaka prefectural government and others, there have been more than 100 reports of injury in the prefecture so far.
The spider was initially found mainly in western Japan, according to NIES, but it was discovered in Tokyo in 2014, Hokkaido in 2015 and Nagano in 2019. It has now been confirmed in 45 of 47 prefectures, with only Aomori and Akita prefectures having no reported sightings. No deaths have been confirmed in Japan, according to experts.
The spiders were able to expand their range in part because they are small and often hide in roadside ditches and at the bottom of planters. They are believed to have made their way across Japan by attaching themselves to building materials and other objects.
“It is highly likely that the species has already invaded all prefectures, including ones that have no reports of its discovery,” said Koichi Goka, head of the Ecological Risk Assessment and Control Section at NIES. “Japan is probably a pleasant place for the spiders to live because there are few competing species or natural enemies.”
“Now that they have spread so far, it will be difficult to eradicate them,” said Takahide Kamura, a professor emeritus at Otemon Gakuin University and an expert of arachnid taxonomy. “Keeping in mind that they can be found anywhere, one should take thorough basic measures, such as killing them with insecticide whenever one finds them.”
"Society" POPULAR ARTICLE
M4.8 Earthquake Hits Central Tokyo; No Tsunami Expected
JCG Captain Mistook ‘No. 1’ Position for Permission to Take off Prior to Haneda Accident; Voice Recorders Being Analyzed
Possibility of Warning-Level Snowfall in Tokyo’s 23 Wards; Heavy Snow Expected in Japan’s Kanto-Koshin Region (UPDATE 5)
Hepburn-Style Romaji Likely to Become Standardized
Over 10 Killer Whales Trapped Amid Drift Ice Off Coast of Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula
JN ACCESS RANKING
- Japan Business Delegation, Chinese Premier Li Meet; Both Sides Tout Importance of Bilateral Economic Ties
- Japan Eyes 45 B. Yen in Aid for Optical Semiconductors
- Japan’s Job Availability Ratio Rises for 2nd Straight Year
- North Korean Workers in China Riot over Unpaid Wages; 2,000 Occupy Factory, Kill Plant Manager
- Business, Labor Leaders Reaffirm Vow to Raise Wages in Shunto Talks