After a nude romp in the waves at Northland Beach in New Zealand, a tourist got more then he bargained for when a Katipo spider bit him on the penis as he sunbathed au naturel at a popular spot for locals and vacationers.
The 22-year-old Canadian left his clothes in the sand dunes while he went for his nude swim and then returned to his blankets and fell asleep, according to a report on the case in this weeks online NZ Medical Journal.
The case was covered today in the New Zealand Medical Journal after the man recorded the first known case of myocarditis, or heart inflammation, caused by a spider bite.
Nigel Harrison wrote in the journal that the man had been bitten by a venomous katipo spider, which live in New Zealand sand dunes and attack only in self-defense.
"He woke to find his penis swollen and painful with a red mark on the shaft suggestive of a bite," Dr Harrison said in his report.
"He rapidly developed generalised muscle pains, fever, headache, photophobia [light sensitivity] and vomiting."
By the time the man reached Dargaville Hospital, his penis was severely swollen, his blood pressure was up and his heart racing, NZPA said."
A prompt diagnosis and the use of anti-venom resulted in a good outcome for the tourist after a 16 day hospital stay, said Harrison.
"It was a rather nasty, ill-placed bite," Dr Harrison told the New Zealand Herald yesterday in their report "Agony after spider bites trouser snake."
The katipo spider makes their home primarily in the dunes along the coastal areas of New Zealand.
Katipo spiders are known to live in sand dunes and rarely bite except in self-defense. The Katipo, is an endangered species of spider native to New Zealand. A member of the genus Latrodectus, it is related to the Australian redback spider, and the North American black widow spiders. The species is venomous to humans, capable of delivering a comparatively dangerous spider bite.
Katipo is a Māori name and means "night-stinger" but this spider bite happened to show itself in the middle of the day much to the dismay of the unfortunate victim.
The Canadian tourist who's only desire was to return home without tan lines instead boarded the flight back to Canada with picture poster cards showing his severely swollen member and a story to go with them that he won't be sharing with his pals at work.
The female Katipo spiders have a distinctive black body with a white bordered red stripe on its back. North of 39°15'S females do not have a red stripe and are all black.
The male is much smaller than the female and quite different in appearance, being white with black stripes and red diamond shaped markings. Unlike many spiders the female Katipo does not kill its mate after breeding.