Description Funnel Webs are large black spiders with a shiny head/thorax. The body may range from 1.5cm up to more than 5cm long depending on the species. Female Funnel Web spiders are stockier than males with shorter legs and a bigger abdomen, which may be brown or bluish. The eyes are small and closely grouped, the fang bases extend horizontally from the front of the head and the long fangs lie parallel underneath.
Location All species of funnel web spiders are found in Queensland, New South Wales, The Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. They mainly occur along the coast and mountain regions. Isolated species occur in the mount lofty ranges and Eyre Peninsula of South Australia and in the mountains of North Queensland. The Sydney Funnel Web Spider is found within about 100 km of the city in the tropics and subtropics. They favour rainforests and higher altitudes , but in southern states they also live in drier eucalypt forests and woodlands, as well as snow country.
Food Funnel Web spiders eat snails, frogs, insects, other spiders, lizards and bugs. They can kill humans and large animals.
Where they live Funnel Web spiders live in burrows in sheltered positions in the ground or in stumps, tree trunks or ferns above the ground. Their burrows are lined with a sock of opaque white silk and several strong strands of silk radiating the entrance.
Venom The venom of the Funnel Web spider is highly toxic and all species should be considered potentially dangerous.
The Web Funnel Web spiders are a species of spiders that make funnel shaped webs, which they use to trap insects. Most Funnel Web spiders are retiring and rarely stray from their webs. The funnel shaped web is composed entirely of dry silk without sticky threads. It has one or more horizontal sheets of finely meshed webbing in front called the sheet web, from which a tangle of lines may extend upward, attached to the surrounding vegetation. At the back of the web is a small funnel shaped opening that forms a retreat in which the spider typically rests.
Life Cycle A female mates with a male spider and then lays from 80-200 yellow-green eggs which is wrapped in a silk egg sac. She keeps the sac inside her burrows and guards it until the young spiders called spiderlings hatch about 3 weeks later. The spiderlings share their mother’s burrow for a few weeks before wandering off to find a place of their own to live. Males die a few months after mating but females can live and breed for several years.
Interesting Facts The Funnel Web spider is the most deadliest spider in the world. It can kill a small child within 2 hours of its bite. Western Australia is the only state in Australia where there is no known species.
Information Funnel Web Spider Fact Sheet – www.csiro.au Wikipedia – Australian Funnel Web Spider