Internet Hoax
9:53 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Deadly Spider Hoax Circulating In Jacksonville Social Media

The Two-Striped Telamonia is a jumping spider found in various Asian tropical rain forests in foliage in wooded environments. A current hoax says the spider has been found in North Florida.
Credit Schristia/Flickr

An image of a white spider accompanied by a story of strange deaths in Jacksonville is making the rounds on Facebook.  

The spider pictured is real— but not deadly, nor in Florida.  

The Two-Striped Telamonia exists, but it lives in South American rainforests and poses no threat to humans.

The story says three women experienced strange symptoms and died after visiting a local restaurant.

It then details how a toxicologist supposedly rushed to the restaurant to find a deadly spider unknown to Florida called the Two-Striped Telamonia lurking under a toilet seat.

The hoax says the spiders arrived in Jacksonville on planes from India, and warns that they could be lurking and breeding in Jacksonville.

Numerous debunking websites, including Snopes.com and about.com, say the story is false and has been circulating in different forms since 1999.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also confirmed they have received no such reports of deadly, toilet lurking spiders.

The current image circulating Facebook has been shared by 359,122 users and has 47,268 likes.