Oh my god Handsome eekk wouldnt describe his as that!!!
Big spiders are big spiders to me, but I am sure the ones we saw were more of a browny colour I feel ill after seeing that picture!!!
It's sting is quite painful, but not life threatening. They are terrestrial and nocturnal, so finding one on your bedroom wall would be a very rae occurance! They are normaly found hidden under stones.
But we thought the scariest animal we encountered was a guard dog outside a disused building, and so tried to avoid it.
I lead some walking holidays in Greece, and have researched this somewhat.
- there are vipers (& I HAVE seen them several times); and on the islands off the Turkish coast there is the "Vipera lebetina" which is rather more venomous than the "north European" viper so, if bitten by one of these, you would need to get to hospital asap. (Treatment - none of the Wild West stuff of cutting, sucking etc & no tourniquets;
- bandage the limb as you would for a sprain
- keep the "victim" still & calm
- keep the bitten area low down
all of which stops poison spreading through the lymph system)
There is also (particularly on Cyprus) the brown Montpelier snake which is poisonous but the mouth is small & the fangs at the back, so - unless you shove a finger in its mouth - it cannot bite you. Other snakes would bite if disturbed or trodden on but are generally not poisonous (they could still carry infections etc). Don't wander through grass & shrubs where you cannot see the ground, without stout footwear, if you want to minimise the risk. Don't sit on logs or stone walls without "warning" - any snake would prefer to get away from you!
The big black millipedes have a nasty bite, and there are some scorpions.
But the really dangerous things on greek islands are the cars...!
The spider in rpbristol's post for instance,i don't think i've seen that exact species but i have seen the extremely rare european funnel web,very much like in that photo but jet black all over,i've got a video of it's reaction when my friend tried to get it onto the b ristles of a broom to get rid of it,it was rearing up and throwing hairs all over the place,i was actually kacking myself. there's also the olive tree spiders which are slightly smaller and a lightish brown colour,also terrifying to the arachnophobe. Scorpions are common if you look for them,i do know of people that have found them in their houses and they really hurt if they get you,but unless you're of a weak heart you'll live, as for the millipedes,a bite from one of them is said to be excrutiating and stings for weeks,if not months in some cases. there's also humungous wasps and the hornets,some of which can be 3 inches long. there's a lot of crop spiders in cyprus and rhodes this time of year,they're horrible things but again,they're more out in the countryside and in outbuildings,under rocks etc
Snakes are also common all over the place,i've had one cross my balcony and in 2006 a young lad was bitten by a viper while crossing a field drunk taking a short cut,he passed out and had to be resusitated(snake bite+fishbowls,not good) and spent some time on crutches after his leg swelled up to a massive size,but most of the snakes you'll see are harmless,although can carry infections if you touch them or get a bite.
Sharks are common further out to sea,notably the blue shark,but it's rare to ever see one near the shore,one was washed up on ixia beach 2 years ago and caused a lot of crowds and panic despite being dead! Great whites do live in Greek waters but are said only to really be found very far south,mostly south of crete,or in the waters around the small uninhabited islands near to kastellorizo and cyprus,and never get spotted near land,you do get some nasty things in the water near the shore though,things like weaverfish and large sea urchins.
All in all i've seen various terrifying insects and spiders,a few snakes including a viper and a medium sized shark way out to sea,i've never seen any of these things in and around tourist resorts though,apart from one big spider years ago,a couple of small snakes on verges and the usual cockroaches,cicadas and giant moths!
That photo of that spider has made me paranoid now and i keep feeling things tickle me or moving out of the corner of my eye
If you think about it there's snakes,big spiders and allsorts even in the UK and nothern europe,so come 1500-2000 miles further south to very hot climates and go into rural areas and there's always going to be nasty creepy crawlies!
As said though you're far more at risk from greek motorists or self-induced alcohol poisoning!
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