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Dangerous Creatures of Spain

Updated on September 19, 2015

Things to look out for in the Spanish countryside, rural towns and the beaches

Apart from bears, wild boars, packs of wolves, sharks and some crazy drivers. Spain has other dangerous and small nasty creatures on offer. Here are a few people should be aware of and their children and pets in particular should be protected from.

The Procession Caterpillar, Mediterranean Scorpion, 13 Snake Spices, Spiders, Weaver Fish, Fire Salamanders and Scorpion Fish to name a few.

pine moth
pine moth

The Procession Caterpillar

(Thaumetopoea Pityocampa)

Processionary live and feed on pine trees they move on to other pine trees and travel in a line, hence the name. They are noticeable from January to April.

Don't go near them! They are covered with histamine tipped needles. And are extremely dangerous to animals. Dogs in particular fall foul of them usually from sniffing and licking their trail. If you can see them you are too close.

The Sea Nettle Jellyfish (Pelagia Noctiluca)

Common in Spain difficult to see but you will know when you come into contact with them they sting and can leave you with scars. Medical attention will be required.

Scorpion
Scorpion

Mediterranean Scorpion

(Buthus Occitanus - Escorpion Amarillo)

Like the black Scorpion this yellow scorpion will not kill you but the pain is intense and the area affected can go black and remain painful for some time, best to always check your foot-ware they have a habit of hiding in shoes.

The European Black Scorpion (Euscorpius Flavicaudis)

Mainly in the northern part of Spain. The sting is very painful but not deadly to humans.

There are thirteen snake spices in Spain - Only five are venomous:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Asp Viper (Vipere aspis)Rare, has a painful bite that is deadly.Seoane's Viper (Vipere Seoanei)Thought to be the most dangerous snake in spain can be found all over.False smooth snake Venomous snake  found in open, sandy deciduous and evergreen woodland, scrub-land, sandy areas, meadows, plantations, cultivated land and in stone ruins.Snub-nosed or Lataste's viper Can be seen day or night usually hidden under rocks and in dry scrub-land, has a toxic venom.Montpellier Snake (Culebra bastarda)Lifts and flattens it's head when threatened and emits a loud and persistent hiss. The venom can create symptoms including numbness, stiffness, swelling and possibly fever usually passing after a few hours.
Asp Viper (Vipere aspis)Rare, has a painful bite that is deadly.
Asp Viper (Vipere aspis) Rare, has a painful bite that is deadly.
Seoane's Viper (Vipere Seoanei)Thought to be the most dangerous snake in spain can be found all over.
Seoane's Viper (Vipere Seoanei) Thought to be the most dangerous snake in spain can be found all over.
False smooth snake Venomous snake  found in open, sandy deciduous and evergreen woodland, scrub-land, sandy areas, meadows, plantations, cultivated land and in stone ruins.
False smooth snake Venomous snake found in open, sandy deciduous and evergreen woodland, scrub-land, sandy areas, meadows, plantations, cultivated land and in stone ruins.
Snub-nosed or Lataste's viper Can be seen day or night usually hidden under rocks and in dry scrub-land, has a toxic venom.
Snub-nosed or Lataste's viper Can be seen day or night usually hidden under rocks and in dry scrub-land, has a toxic venom.
Montpellier Snake (Culebra bastarda)Lifts and flattens it's head when threatened and emits a loud and persistent hiss. The venom can create symptoms including numbness, stiffness, swelling and possibly fever usually passing after a few hours.
Montpellier Snake (Culebra bastarda) Lifts and flattens it's head when threatened and emits a loud and persistent hiss. The venom can create symptoms including numbness, stiffness, swelling and possibly fever usually passing after a few hours.
Jumping Spider
Jumping Spider

Spiders 1,700 species in Spain

Jumping Spiders

Zebra Jumping Spider is common in most homes and although it is not in its nature to bite, it can do so with a result no more excessive than a bee sting.

Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)

They can be found in the Valencian Region and give a nasty Venamous bite but none fatal. Medical attention will be required.

Mediterranean recluse spider ( Loxosceles rufescens ), less toxic than its African recluse cousins, can give a painful nip.

Funnel Web (Hexathelidae)

Do exist in Spain but are said to be of the type less Venamous as those in Australia.

Tarantulas

They too are in Spain they look a lot scary than the potensey of their bite.

weaver
weaver

Weaver Fish (Echiichthys Vipere)

They bury themselves in the sand and wait for there pray. Humans stand on them, they have a poisonous dorsal fin and have been known to kill very painful sting.

Vomiting, tremors, abdominal cramps, light headedness, aching joints and numbness are a few of the symptoms caused by the weaver fish sting.

Fire Salamanders

(Salamandra salamandra)

Very distinctive don't get to close to this creature, it can discharge poison.

mozy
mozy

The Mosquito (Culicidae)

The Mosquito (Culicidae)

Encephalitis, Yellow fever, Malaria can be passed on via painful bites and now in Spain the bites can be even more painful thanks to the arrival of the Tiger Mosquito. The Tiger Mosquito is said to be aggressive, attacks in the daytime and resides in gardens. It can transmit a list of major diseases, Including Nile fever and Dengue.

Sand Flies (Leishmaniasis)

Normally found in gardens or wooded areas not as the name suggest exclusive to beach areas.

They are most active from dusk till down 2am to 4am August is the worst month. Painful bite and are dangerous to pets. Dogs can get Kala-Azule past on from dog-to-dog via its bite. A collar called 'Scalibor' can be worn to protect your dog and give over 90% protection from sand fly bites. The world health authority is researching into the possibility that the disease can be passed on to humans.

Cockroaches

Carry several types of human pathogens, 33 types of bacteria and six kinds parasitic worms. They can also course asthma.

Summary

After living in Spain for over twelve years, the most common problem, and it seems to be getting worse, is the mosquito. Since the arrival of the tiger mosquito which attacks all day long and in several places of the body at once. I find myself wearing socks and long sleeves in the summer.

Jumping spiders seem to be in abundance around the house and garage. They are very defensive and will attack if they think they are being threatened, which basically is when you go near them. So if you kneel down place a hand on the floor and pick something up near them expect to be bitten and it comes with the same pain as a mosquito bite, but you can tell the difference there are two puncture holes and applying heat to the area doesn't work. If it’s a mosquito bite heat a spoon and press it on the area enough so as not to burn yourself, but enough that you can take the heat and this will stop the itching sensation.

Procession Caterpillar - keep your pets well away. I have seen the after effect of dogs licking their slimy trails their tongues go black and drop off. To avoid, check the back garden first before letting the hounds out, as for plagues of fleas carried in by feral cats and an abundance of ticks - that' a different hub.

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Have you ever been bitten by a dangerous creature?

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    • evawrites1 profile image

      evawrites1 3 years ago

      I've met the procession caterpillar many many times! You should not touch it and then you'll be all right. Otherwise your hands can itch a lot, but nothing terrible :)

    • alfonsogomea profile image

      alfonsogomea 3 years ago

      hi i live in spain and its very difficult to find those animals ... but some time ago i was sting by one Mediterranean Scorpion and it was horrible ¡¡¡

    • jericho911 lm profile image

      jericho911 lm 4 years ago

      Brown recluse spider about 20 years ago. Painful and left minor scarring on my chest for life.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      This is a very interesting lens. I enjoy learning both about geography and animals, so animals of Spain is definitely something I am glad to learn about.

    • Mark Shearman profile image
      Author

      Mark Shearman 4 years ago from Alicante Spain

      @anonymous: Hi Sindre Altea is my neighbouring town I am in La Nucia

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am going to Spain 7.july this year and i can't wait to do some herping. I wisit pages like this to find out what animals i can find. And to know what animals you should be carefull with when you pick them up or studdy them. I am going to Altea in Spain.

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      The fire salamander looks tough!

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      Wouldn't like to upset that scorpion...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i had never thought that Spain had so many dangerous critters and the only one that I have been bitten by is the mosquito, which is a very dangerous vector these days. So, when in Spain, if you can see it then your too close and if walking in the water wear swim shoes. I've always lived in the north land where there aren't any poisonous creatures but every once in a while I hear of someone being bitten by a brown recluse spider that came along with the bananas or other such thing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Had no idea you had those types of critters in Spain. Still a beautiful country that I'd like to visit one day. Great lens!

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I had no idea there were this many dangerous creepy crawlies in Spain - thanks for the article

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Bees, jellyfish, nothing more... Thanks for presenting the dangers of Spain!

    • Carpenter76 profile image

      Carpenter76 4 years ago

      Thanks, no I don't dare to go to Spain anymore :) Didn't know it was so dangerous :O

    • profile image

      pinoyrecipe 4 years ago

      not yet, i'm not wishing for one :-)

    • Max Globe profile image

      Max Globe 4 years ago

      Cool and informative!

    • cgbroome profile image

      cgbroome 4 years ago

      Creepy creatures - yuk.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Luckily not... These critters look deadly!

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Yuk! My Mom was stung by a jelly fish and had a terrible scar from it.

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      No but I was bitten by a snake several times.

    • RedShoesGirl profile image

      RedShoesGirl 5 years ago

      I felt the "kiss " of the Tiger Mosquito and I confess that the bite of the common mosquito is nothing.

    • floppypoppygift1 profile image

      floppypoppygift1 5 years ago

      Gak! Icky! I still want to see Spain, though. I will just have to be careful if I go!!!! Cheers~cb

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Creepy, but cool.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I ran across a 'King Cobra' in the jungles of Vietnam while serving in the military many years ago. No contest though, just tossed a hand grenade at it. Well done lens. I would love to visit Spain.

    • BobZau profile image

      Bob Zau 5 years ago

      Those are some creepy crawlies!

    • FallenAngel 483 profile image

      FallenAngel 483 5 years ago

      I have been bitten by a few venemous creatures (scorpions and spiders mainly) but not ones that are dangerous to humans. I have a real interest in venomous animals. I have to disagree with you on the Fire Salamander it can't spit poison but it can secrete it onto its skin. It isn't potent enough to do more than upset your tummy though.

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 5 years ago

      Nope.