The Wolf Spider (or Tarantula)

According to Wikipedia, "the bite of a locally common type of wolf spider, named 'tarantula' after the region, was popularly believed to be highly venomous and to lead to a hysterical condition known as tarantism. This became known as the Tarantella."

Elsewhere, Wikipedia explains that "Lycosa tarantula is the species originally known as the tarantula, a name that nowadays in English commonly refers to spiders in another family entirely, the Theraphosidae. It now may be better called the tarantula wolf spider, being in the wolf spider family, the Lycosidae. L. tarantula is a large species found in southern Europe, especially in the Apulia region of Italy and near the city of Taranto, from which it gets its name."

The Theraphosidae (a family of over 1,000 species) are widely distributed throughout southern Europe, South Asia, Africa, Australasia, and the Americas except for Canada.

© Haydn Thompson 2022