The Australian Funnel Web Spider Australian funnel-web spiders are very venomous spiders of the family Hexathelidae . Female Sydney funnel-web spider in warning posture
Funnel-webs make their burrows in damp, cool, sheltered places, e.g. under rocks, in and under rotting logs and some in trees. They are usually found in suburban rocky gardens and bushes but rarely in lawns or other open areas.
Funnel-web burrows have a number of irregular silk 'trip-lines' radiating out from the entrance. The spider hunts for food mostly at night by sitting just inside the entrance with its front legs on the trip-lines.
The funnel web spider likes to eat beetles, cockroaches, or small skinks. When its prey walks across the lines, the spider senses the vibrations and races out to grab its meal. The prey is quickly injected with venom from the spider's large fangs.
The Australian funnel-web spider is found on the east coast of Australia - New South Wales , South Australia , Victoria , and Queensland . Some spiders have been found in other islands in the south Pacific.
The Australian funnel-web spider is medium-to-large in size and measures from 1 cm to 5 cm long. They are black to brown in colour, with a glossy shell covering the front part of the body. They have large and powerful fangs which point straight down their body and can bite through fingernails and soft shoes.
The Deadly Funnel Web
Funnel-webs are one of the three most dangerous spiders in the world.
A bite from a funnel web spider is very painful and if not treated, can be deadly. There have been 26 recorded deaths in Australia in the last 100 years from spider bites although since the antevenom was introduced in 1981 there have been no deaths recorded.