A MAN has been hospitalised for 10 days after being bitten by a venomous spider ‘15 times more toxic than a cobra’ on the Costa Blanca.

Manuel Gil Pardo, 45, was walking his two dogs with his wife last month in Elda when a tiny violin spider crawled up his left trouser leg.

The venomous spider (Loxosceles laeta) originates from Chile but was first spotted in Spain in 2017.

FOREIGN: The violin spider, also known as the Chilean recluse spider, was first spotted in Spain in 2017

Gil said he felt a ‘pinch’ inside his left knee, but thought nothing of it at the time.

Late on Saturday May 18 his leg ballooned and Gil was hit by a sudden 40-degree fever.

After arriving at the Hospital General Unversitario in Elda at 5:30 on Sunday, he needed urgent surgery to remove necrotic tissue and expulse the venom.

It comes after another woman living in Sax, near Elda, has been in and out of hospital for a month and a half following a violin spider bite on her right leg.

The spider bit both Miranda Navarro Pla, 25, and her partner at their home.

They are three of four known bites on the Costa Blanca this year – the Spanish public health body has refuted the idea of a ‘plague’, however.

GRUESOME: Navarro has been in and out of hospital for a month and a half

A bite from a violin spider, which measures between 10-30mm, can be fatal to humans.

Its venom is reportedly 15 times more toxic than a cobra, and 10 times more potent than sulphuric acid.

The arachnid hides in dark corners, hence its Spanish name ‘the corner spider’, and is one of the deadliest in Spain.

Other deadly Iberian spiders include the European black widow, the wolf spider and other species of recluse spiders, of which the violin spider is one.

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