"Spiders are the 8-legged creepy crawlies we all love to hate."

They are small in size but big in scare factor. These creepy crawlies have several species in Australia that are dangerous and poisonous, however, the chance of experiencing a dangerous encounter with one is highly unlikely.

The Sydney Funnel Web is the most toxic and deadliest in Australia. This species inhabits the forest and urban regions of New South Wales. Not commonly coming into contact with humans, when threatened, this species can be very aggressive, cause severe pain and damage to the nervous system, however thanks to the antivenom no fatalities have been recorded for decades.

Sydney Funnel Web

Attribution: Provaprova at Wikimedia Commons

Funnel Webs in general add up to about 40 different species, predominantly inhabiting areas throughout southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. 30-40 victims are bitten annually, however, antivenom has proven effective.

Funnel Web

Attribution: Doug Beckers at Wikimedia Commons

Redbacks inhabit our continent Australia-wide, hiding out in dry places, including urban areas, such as sheds and letterboxes. Up to 2000 bites are reported annually and about 250 victims receive antivenom. The female (recognized by its red striped back) inflicts the worst bite, causing severe pain, lasting many hours and up to days, depending on the individual’s reaction. Nausea, malaise and lethargy are common symptoms.

Red Back

Attribution: Doug Beckers at Wikimedia Commons

The Mouse Spider is generally found in burrows, close to rivers and waterways, and sometimes suburban areas. They are rather quiet in character and rarely aggressive. Their venom is similar to that of the Funnel Web and bites are treated similarly. No fatalities have been reported from this species.

Mouse Spider

Attribution: Bruiser15 at Wikimedia Commons

Trap Doors are named after their ability to construct their burrow with the entrance cleverly camouflaged, so their prey fall in and become trapped. They are found in both bushland and urban areas, inflicting only minor effects on humans when bitten. Symptoms include nausea, malaise and lethargy.

Trap Door

Attribution: LA Dawson at Wikimedia Commons

The White-tailed Spider is characterized by the white tip at the end of its body. It is found in both bushland and urban areas throughout southern Australia, from southern Queensland towards and including Tasmania and all the way across from the east to west coast of the Australian mainland. Bites are not fatal and are limited to localized pain in the bite region.


Attribution: TTaylor at Wikimedia Commons

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