Muscat: The Royal Court Affairs have denied that its affiliate Directorate-General of Veterinary Services has confirmed the existence of a venomous spider dubbed the black widow in Oman.

In its statement to government-owned Oman Arabic daily, the Royal Court Affairs described as unfounded the rumours circulated in the social media.

For the last few days there has been panic in Oman, with some people claiming to have seen the deadly black widow spider in the country.

The Ministry of Interior also denied the rumours circulated in the social media, alleging that the ministry’s undersecretary has issued a circular warning against spreading rumours of poisonous spiders in Oman.

The ministry said that there are certain government authorities concerned with the issuance of warnings in the event of emergencies.

Black widow spiders are identified by the coloured, hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens. They are found in temperate regions around the world.

This spider’s bite is feared because its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s.

In humans, bites produce muscle ache, nausea and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult. Contrary to popular belief, however, most people who are bitten suffer no serious damage — let alone death.

But bites can be fatal — usually to small children, the elderly, or the infirm.

These spiders spin large webs in which females suspend a cocoon with hundreds of eggs.