?The venom of the P. nigriventer spider is a very rich
mixture of several molecules,? says Dr. Kenia Nunes, a physiologist at the
Medical College of Georgia who is currently studying the odd side effect.
?These molecules are called toxins, and then we have various toxins in this
venom with different activity. Because of this, when a human is bitten by
this spider, we can observe many different symptoms including priapism, a
condition in which the penis is continually erect.?
In addition to the hours-long painful erection, the wandering spider?s bite
can cause loss of muscle control, severe pain, difficulty breathing and, if
not treated, death, due to oxygen deprivation (with anti-venom, the victim
usually recovers within a week.)