Canberra Spiders: Funnel Web Spider


Canberra funnel web SpiderAtrax and Hadronyche species
Family: Hexathelidae

Funnelwebs are large, shiny black spiders that dig burrows in the ground or in rotting wood, usually in undisturbed bushland. The burrow, which does not resemble a funnel, is lined with silk and often has several flattened web tubes at the entrance. Funnelwebs are common in eastern and southern Australia and the 30 or more species are all thought to be dangerous. When disturbed Funnelwebs raise the front part of their body off the ground and strike repeatedly with their long, downward pointing fangs. Males leave their burrows on summer nights and wander in search of females. All fatal bites have been from males, which have the most toxic venom. The bite treatment is the same as for snake bite, and medical attention should be sought immediately. Funnelwebs are native to the ACT and are sometimes brought into houses in firewood. Although not yet common in the suburbs, the number of Funnelwebs found near houses in Canberra seems to be increasing.

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