Primary Menu

Jeff Zito

Afternoons 2pm-7pm

SANDS OF SAMAR, ISRAEL - JANUARY 12: This recent handout photo provided by the University of Haifa on January 12, 2010, shows a new and previously unknown species of spider in the dune of the Sands of Samar in the southern Arava desert region of Israel. A member of the Cerbalus genus, the spider has been named Cerbalus Aravensis. It has a leg-span that can reach up to 14 cm which makes it the largest spider of its type in the Middle East. (Photo by Yael Olek/University of Haifa via Getty Images)

As if the hurricanes, alligators and “Florida men” aren’t enough, now the Panhandle State is being invaded by a new species of venomous, “tarantula-like” spiders, experts say.

Officially known as the Pine Rockland Trapdoor Spider, the forest arachnid can live in a single burrow for decades, says Frank Ridgely manager of Zoo Miami Conservation & Veterinary Services. “The fact that a new species like this could be found in a fragment of endangered forest in the middle of the city underscores the importance of preserving these ecosystems before we lose not only what we know, but also what is still to be discovered,” Ridgely says.

However, despite their menacing appearance, Floridians needn’t be too concerned about the Pine Rockland Trapdoor Spider invasion; experts say their bite is no worse than a bee sting.