Funnel Web Spiders
Atrax and Hadronyche
Article written by Bruce Gow
The Funnel-Web is found in Eastern Australia as well as Tasmania, within the coastal and highland forested regions, and as far west as the Gulf Ranges within South Australia. There are in total Thirty Six species of which three are tree dwelling species. The Sydney Funnel-Web (Atrax Robustus)occurs from the Newcastle area down to Nowra and spanning West all the way to Lithgow.
Identification and Habits:
The Funnel-Web is a large spider species and ranges from 1.5-4.5CM in body length. They have a dark brown appearance that often looks glossy while their carapace is black. The eyes are grouped closely together and the abdomen is a dark plum to black color which has no pattern upon it. The male is often identified by a ventral spur or swelling (arrowed) located midway up their second leg, this feature is pointed in Atrax and blunt or completely absent in the Hadronyche.
Spinnerets are usually quite obvious, located at the rear or the spider, the end segment is also longer than it is wide. The spider is known to construct their burrow within sheltered habitats – such as beneath rocks, within logs that have become rotten, inside tree holes and so on, mostly found within bush and garden areas. You will often find irregular silk trip lines which spread out from the burrows’s entrance (Gulf ranges species are excepted to this habit). The males tend to leave the burrow and wander around searching for a female, this happens most commonly during summer and autumn season. This is also the period during which their bites are found to be most prominent.
Their bite is dangerous. The Funnel-Web’s bite can cause serious illness and in some cases death. The male venom is on occasion more toxic than the female. Initial symptoms of a bite are identified as pain within the area of the bite, numbness in the mouth, vomiting, abdominal pain, sweating and salivation. There is an anti-venom available and no deaths have occurred since it’s discovery and introduction.
First Aid Protocol:
Due to the fact that the majority of bites are found on a limb the first action to be taken would be to apply a “pressure bandage” to the wound and immobilize a bitten limb through use of a splint. Also take caution to restrict the mobility/movement of a victim. If possible capture the spider to properly identify it, seek medical attention ASAP.
A1 Pest Control has dealt with many spider infestations before and we’ve gotten into the habit of getting them gone! Ring us up on 0417 251 911 or alternatively you can contact us via our “contact us” page using our webpage messenger, this way we’ll get back to you with a quote asap!
“Funnel-webs are found within the Sydney region and we wouldn’t advise anyone to take them lightly as they are known to be aggressive. My team at A1 Pest has developed tried and true methods and treatments to get rid of your pest problems!” -Bruce Gow