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  Spider Identification Chart

>> FIRST AID Procedures <<


Sydney Funnel Web Spider

FEMALE
FUNNEL-WEB

MALE
FUNNEL-WEB

RED-BACK
SPIDER

WHITE-TAIL
SPIDER

FEMALE
MOUSE SPIDER
MALE
MOUSE SPIDER
BLACK
HOUSE SPIDER
WOLF
SPIDER

FEMALE
TRAP-DOOR
GARDEN
ORB-WEAVING
St Andrews Spider
SAINT ANDREW'S
CROSS
Huntsman Spider
HUNTSMAN
SPIDER

 

Funnel-Web Spiders... deadly and aggressive

 
Sydney Funnel Web Spider Female

FEMALE

 


Sydney Funnel-Web Spider - MALE
MALE

Venom toxicity - the Sydney Funnel-Web Spider is one of the world's most deadly spiders. Both the male and female carry atraxotoxin, one of the world's most dangerous toxins. The Blue Mountains Funnel-Web and Northern Tree Funnel-Web Spiders are also highly venomous.

Danger time - the mature male funnel-web spider will wander around during hot humid nights, looking for a mate, and is known to enter homes, footwear, clothing, washing and swimming pools where they can survive several days under water. It is highly aggressive when disturbed or cornered and is able to inflict multiple bites, with its "flick-knife" hardened fangs.

People also find funnel-web spiders wandering around the garden or in the home after heavy rain or nearby earthworks. An anti-venom is available in most major hospitals and ambulance vehicles in "funnel-web country". First aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought as soon as possible, if bitten.

Spider Identification - an adult male 25 mm - female 30 mm in body length - shiny black in colour with a dark purplish brown abdomen- reddish hairs. Unique attributes include it's long spinnerets, that is , the 2 appendages on the end of the abdomen and the male has a spur on 2 of it's legs - refer to illustration on left.

Area of distribution - the Sydney Funnel-Web Spider is a ground dweller in moist soil areas along much of the eastern coastal area of New South Wales and Victoria.

The Blue Mountains Funnel-Web Spider is found mainly in the Blue Mountains area, as far west as the Bathurst - Orange region and occasionally in the Sydney basin.

The Northern Tree Funnel-Web Spider is found in south-eastern Queensland and northern New South Wales as far south as the Hunter Valley region.

 

Red-Back Spiders... highly venomous - can be deadly


Venom toxicity - the Red-Back Spider can inflict a painful bite which can be fatal, especially to the young and elderly. An effective anti-venom was developed in 1956. About 250 people receive the anti-venom each year.

Only a small amount of venom can cause serious illness, as the poison attacks the nervous system. Systemic envenomisation usually results in headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, pyrexia, hypertension and in severe cases, paralysis.

The pain around the bite area can be excruciating. First aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought as soon as possible, if bitten.

Area of distribution - Australia-wide.

Spider Identification - size varies greatly - the male can be tiny, with the abdomen of the female growing to the size of a large pea. Red-Back Spiders do NOT always have a "red" marking.

Habitat - prefers dry habitats - often found in out-houses, letter boxes, undersides of seats, in rubbish, such as empty cans, in the sub floor and other dark areas. Electric lights attract their prey - moths, flies, mosquitoes and other insects.

 

White-tail Spiders... venomous - dangerous


Venom toxicity - the bite of a white-tail spider may cause nausea and burning pain followed by swelling and itchiness around the site of the bite.

In some rare but dramatic cases, a severe allergic reaction, blistering or ulceration of the skin, similar to gangrene, has been reported in the media and linked to the bite of a white-tail spider.

However, this cause/effect relationship has not been proven conclusively to the satisfaction of some scientific researchers. Bacterial infection of the wound caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans carried on the fangs of the white-tail spider, may be a contributory factor.

In any case, first aid and medical attention should be sought, if bitten, as and when any adverse health effects are observed.

Area of distribution - Australia-wide.

Spider Identification - adult size varies 12 to 20 mm in body length - grey to black in colour with a white section on the end of it's tail - as illustrated.

Habitat - prefers cool moist location - commonly found in garden mulch areas. In summer, it often wanders into buildings, particularly bathrooms, to escape the heat.

 

Mouse Spiders... venomous - painful bite


FEMALE
 


MALE

Venom toxicity - known to cause severe illness, especially to young children - similar to Red-Back Spider. Although normally not aggressive, the male mouse spider will bite if provoked, and should be considered dangerous to humans. It has large hard fangs which can cause a deep painful bite. First aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought as soon as possible.

Area of distribution - Australia-wide.

Spider Identification - a medium to large spider of up to 35 mm in body length. The male Mouse Spider often has a bright red head and elongated fangs.

The Mouse Spider is often mistaken for the Funnel-Web Spider. The main differences being the Funnel-Web has much longer spinnerets (the 2 appendages on the end of the abdomen) and the male funnel-web has a spur on it's second leg - as illustrated above.

Habitat - Mouse spiders are ground dwellers with burrows of more than 1 metre deep. The male often wanders about during the day on open ground, especially after rain, in search of females.

 

Black House Spiders... venomous - nausea


Venom toxicity - the bite of the Black House Spider is poisonous but not lethal. Certain people bitten experience severe pain around the bite site, heavy sweating, muscular pains, vomiting, headaches and giddiness. First aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought as soon as possible.

Area of distribution - Australia-wide.

Spider Identification - adults are about 15 mm in body length and of a dark brown to black velvet textured appearance.

Habitat - this spider spins a lacy, messy web and is prefers dry habitats in secluded locations. It is commonly found in window framing, under eaves, gutters, in brickwork, sheds, toilets and among rocks and bark. Electric lights attract their prey - moths, flies, mosquitoes and other insects.

 

Wolf Spiders... venomous - non-aggressive


Venom toxicity - the bite of the Wolf Spider is poisonous but not lethal. Although non-aggressive, they bite freely if provoked and should be considered dangerous to humans. The bite may be very painful. First aid and medical attention should be sought as soon as possible, particularly as to children or the elderly.

Area of distribution - Australia-wide.

Spider Identification - an adult is 15 mm to 30 mm in body length - mottled grey to brown in colour, with a distinct Union Jack impression on it's back. The female carries it's young on it's back.

Habitat - this spider is a ground dweller, with a burrow retreat. It has a roving nocturnal lifestyle to hunt their prey and can move very rapidly when disturbed. Commonly found around the home, in garden areas with a silk lined burrow, sometimes with a lid or covered by leaf litter or grass woven with silk as a little fence around the rim of the burrow.

 

Trap-Door Spiders... low risk - non-aggressive


FEMALE

Venom toxicity - the bite of the Trap-Door Spider is of low risk (non toxic) to humans. It is a non-aggressive spider - usually timid but may stand up and present it's fangs if harassed. Rarely bites - but if so it can be painful.

Area of distribution - Australia-wide.

Spider Identification - an adult is about 35 mm in body length - brown to dark brown in colour - heavily covered with fine hairs. The male has distinct boxing glove-shaped palps, that is, the two "sensory feelers" at front of it's head.

Habitat - this spider is a ground dweller, with a burrow retreat lined with silk of up to 250 mm in depth and around 25 mm in width - prefers nesting in drier exposed locations - often has a wafer-like lid on the burrow entrance. Trap-Door Spiders are commonly found in the drier open ground areas around the home.

 

Orb-Weaving Spiders... low risk - non-aggressive


Venom toxicity - the bite of Orb-Weaving Spiders is of low risk (not toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders. Seldom bite. Be careful not to walk into their webs at night - the fright of this spider crawling over one's face can be terrifying and may cause a heart attack, particularly to the susceptible over 40 year olds.

Area of distribution - Australia-wide, particularly common in bushland along the eastern coastal areas.

Spider Identification - an adult is about 20 mm to 30 mm in body length - has a bulbous abdomen - often colorful - dark to light brown pattern. The common Golden Orb-Weaver Spider has a purplish bulbous abdomen with fine hairs.

Habitat - often found in summer in garden areas around the home - they spin a large circular web of 2 metres or more, often between buildings and shrubs, to snare flying insects, such as, flies and mosquitoes.

 

St Andrews Cross Spiders... low risk - non-aggressive

St Andrews Spider

Venom toxicity - the bite of the St Andrews Cross is of low risk (non-toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders.

Area of distribution - Australia-wide.

Spider Identification - adult 5 to 15 mm in body length - abdomen striped yellow and brown - as illustrated. The St Andrews Cross Spider usually sits, upside down, in the middle of it's web forming a cross - as illustrated.

Habitat - this spider is a web-weaver usually found in summer in garden areas around the home. It is considered beneficial as it spins a large web to snare flying insects, such as flies and mosquitoes.

 

Huntsman Spiders... low risk - non-aggressive

Huntsman Spider

Venom toxicity - the bite of Huntsman Spiders is of low risk (non toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders. However, a large individual can give a painful bite. Beware in summer when the female Huntsman Spider is guarding her egg sacs or young.

Area of distribution - Australia-wide.

Spider Identification - an adult varies greatly around 15 mm in body length - has long legs - the diameter of an adult including legs may reach 45 mm - the first 2 pairs of legs are longer than rear two - it is hairy - buff to beige brown in colour, with dark patches on the body.

Habitat - a hunter that prefers to live under the flaking bark of trees, under flat rocks and under eaves or within roof spaces of buildings. The Huntsman Spider often wanders into homes and is found perched on a wall. It is a shy, timid spider that can move sideways at lighting-fast speed when disturbed.