Identify - Venomous - Dangerous spiders in Australia
  Australian Spider Identification Chart  

Spider Identification Chart with FIRST AID spider bite procedures - a ready reference guide in full colour of dangerous and venomous spiders that commonly occur in Australia.


Featured in the Spider Identifcation Chart are the male and female Sydney funnel web spider, red-back spider, white-tail spider, black house spider, wolf spider, mouse spider, trap-door spider, huntsman spider, orb-weaver spider and other spiders with notes to aid in spider identification.
Click here to view the Spider Identification Chart
Some Australian spiders are venomous and dangerous
CONTENTS: Find out which commonly found Australian spiders are venomous and dangerous to you and your family. Apply online for and receive a laminated full colour Spider Identification Chart, with notes and tips as to indentification. Learn about their usual habitat areas, the recommended safe and effective methods of pest control for spiders, and the FIRST AID procedures for spider bite victims.
Sydney Funnel Web Spider
FEMALE
FUNNEL-WEB
MALE
FUNNEL-WEB
RED-BACK
SPIDER
WHITE-TAIL
SPIDER

FEMALE
MOUSE SPIDER
MALE
MOUSE SPIDER
BLACK
HOUSE SPIDER
WOLF
SPIDER

FEMALE
TRAP-DOOR
GARDEN
ORB-WEAVING
St Andrews Spider
SAINT ANDREW'S
CROSS
Huntsman Spider
HUNTSMAN
SPIDER
Sydney Funnel-Web spiders: aggressive by nature - can be deadly


Sydney Funnel Web Spider Female
FEMALE
Sydney Funnel-Web Spider - MALE
MALE
Area of distribution: The Sydney Funnel-Web Spider is a ground dweller, commonly found in moist soil areas along much of the eastern coastal area of New South Wales and Victoria.
Venom toxicity: - The Sydney Funnel-Web Spider is one of the world's most deadly spiders. Both the male and female carry atraxotoxin, one of the world's most dangerous toxins.
DANGER TIME: The mature male Sydney funnel-web spider will leave it's burrow and wander off during hot humid nights, looking for a mate. At this time it is known to enter homes, lodge in footwear, clothing and swimming pools, where they can survive several days under water.
Highly aggressive: The male Sydney funnel web spider is highly aggressive when disturbed or cornered and is able to inflict multiple bites, with its "flick-knife" hardened fangs.
Heavy rain or earthworks will drive the Sydney funnel-web spider out of it's burrow and are commonly found wandering around the garden or in the home at such times.
An anti-venom is available in most major hospitals and ambulance vehicles in "funnel-web country". If bitten, you should apply first aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought as soon as possible.
Spider identification: -The male Sydney funnel-web spider is about 25 mm and the female about 30 mm in body length. They are shiny black in colour with a dark purplish brown abdomen with a covering of reddish hairs.
Unique identification markings include it's long spinnerets, that is, the two appendages on the end of the abdomen. Also the male Sydney funnel-web spider has a distinctive spur on both it's second front legs - refer to illustration on left.
The Blue Mountains funnel-web spider is highly venomous and is found in the Blue Mountains area, as far west as the Bathurst - Orange region and occasionally in the Sydney basin.
The Northern tree funnel-web spider is highly venomous and is found in south-eastern Queensland and northern New South Wales as far south as the Hunter Valley region.
Click here re FIRST AID for Sydney Funnel-web spider bite
Red-Back spiders - highly venomous - can be deadly
Area of distribution: Australia-wide.
Venom toxicity: The Red-Back spider can inflict a painful bite which can be fatal, especially to the young and elderly. An effective anti-venom was developed in 1956. About 250 people receive the anti-venom each year.
Nerve poison: Only a small amount of venom can cause serious illness, as the poison attacks the nervous system. Systemic envenomisation usually results in headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, pyrexia, hypertension and in severe cases, paralysis.
Excruciating pain: The pain around the spider bite area can be excruciating. If bitten, immediately apply first aid and seek medical attention (ambulance) should be sought as soon as possible.
Spider Identification: -The red-back spider size varies greatly. The male can be tiny, with the abdomen of the female growing to the size of a large pea. Red-back spiders do NOT always have a "red" marking.
Habitat: The red-back spider prefers dry habitats; is often found in out-houses, letter-boxes, underside of seats, in rubbish, such as empty cans, in the sub-floor and other dark areas. Electric lights attract their prey, such as moths, flies, mosquitoes and other insects.
Click here re FIRST AID for a Red-back spider bite
White-tail spiders: venomous and highly dangerous ?

Area of distribution: Australia-wide.


Venom toxicity: The bite of a white-tail spider may cause nausea and burning pain followed by swelling and itchiness around the site of the bite. In some rare but dramatic cases, a severe allergic reaction, blistering or ulceration of the skin, similar to gangrene, has apparently been caused by a white-tail spider bite.
Proven dangerous? Some scientific researchers are unconvinced as to whether this spider causes such horrific ulcerations. Bacterial infection of the wound caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans carried on the fangs of the white-tail spider, may be a contributory factor.
In any case first aid and medical attention should be sought, if bitten, as and when any adverse health effects are observed.
Spider identification: The adult white-tail spider adult varies in size from 12 to 20 mm in body length; is grey to black in colour with a white section on the end of it's tail - as illustrated.
Habitat: -The white-tail spider prefers cool moist locations and is commonly found in garden mulch areas. In summer, it often wanders into buildings, particularly bathrooms, to escape the heat.
Click here re: FIRST AID for White-tail spider bite
Mouse spiders - venomous, painful bite
FEMALE

MALE

Area of distribution: Australia-wide.


Venom toxicity: The Mouse spider is known to cause severe illness, especially to young children. Although normally not aggressive, the male Mouse spider will bite if provoked, and should be considered dangerous to humans.
Deep painful bite: The Mouse spider has large hard fangs which can cause a deep painful bite. First aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought as soon as possible.
Spider Identification: The Mouse spider is a medium to large spider of up to 35 mm in body length. The male Mouse Spider may or may not have a bright red head and elongated fangs.
Mistaken identity: The Mouse spider is often mistaken for the Sydney funnel-web spider. The main differences being the funnel-web spider has far longer spinnerets (the 2 appendages on the end of the abdomen) and the male funnel-web has a spur on each of it's second leg - as illustrated above.
Habitat: Mouse spiders are ground dwellers with burrows that may be more than one metre deep. The male Mouse spider often wanders about during the day on open ground, especially after rain, in search of a female.
Click here re FIRST AID for a Mouse spider bite
Black House spiders ...venomous, causes nausea
Area of distribution: Australia-wide.
Venom toxicity: The bite of the Black House Spider is poisonous but not lethal. Some people report severe pain around the bite site, heavy sweating, muscular pains, vomiting, headaches and giddiness.
In any case if bitten by a Black-house spider, immediate first aid and medical attention (ambulance) should be sought.
Spider Identification: The adult Black House spider spins a lacy, messy web and are up to 15 mm in body length and of a dark brown to black velvet textured appearance.
Habitat: The Black House spider and prefers dry habitat areas and secluded locations, and is commonly found in window framing, under eaves, gutters, in brickwork, sheds, toilets and among rocks and bark. Electric lights attract their main food source of moths, flies, mosquitoes and other insects.
Click here re FIRST AID for a Black House Spider Bite
Wolf spiders ...venomous but non-aggressive

Area of distribution: Australia-wide.
Venom toxicity: The bite of the Wolf Spider is poisonous but not lethal. Although non-aggressive, they will bite if provoked and should be considered dangerous to humans.
Painful bite: The bite may be very painful. Immediate first aid and medical attention, particularly as to children or the elderly.
Spider Identification: The adult Wolf spider is 15 mm to 30 mm in body length; of mottled grey to brown in colour, with a distinct Union Jack impression on it's back. The female Wolf spider carries it's young on it's back.
Habitat: The Wolf spider is a ground dweller, with a burrow retreat. This spider has a roving nocturnal lifestyle to hunt their prey and can move very rapidly when disturbed. Commonly found around the home, in garden areas with a silk lined burrow, sometimes with a lid or covered by leaf litter or grass woven with silk as a little fence around the rim of the burrow.
Click here re FIRST AID for a Wolf spider bite
Trap-Door spiders ... low risk and non-aggressive

FEMALE
Area of distribution: Australia-wide.
Venom toxicity: The bite of the Trap-Door spider is of low risk (mildly toxic) to humans. It is a usually timid and non-aggressive spider but may stand up and present it's fangs if harassed.
Rarely bites but if it does bite you it it can be painful.
Spider Identification: The adult Trap-door spider is about 35 mm in body length; of brown to dark brown in colour; and heavily covered with fine hairs. The male has distinct boxing glove-shaped palps, that is the two "sensory feelers" at front of it's head.
Habitat: The Trap-door spider is a ground dweller, with a burrow retreat lined with silk of up to 250 mm in depth and around 25 mm in width. The Trap-door spider prefers nesting in drier exposed locations, and may have a wafer-like lid on the burrow entrance.
Click here re FIRST AID for a Trap-door spider bite
Orb-Weaving spiders ... low risk and non-aggressive
Area of distribution: Australia-wide, particularly common in bush land along the eastern coastal areas.
Venom toxicity: The bite of an Orb-Weaving spiders is of low risk (mildly toxic) to humans. Orb-Weaving spiders are a non-aggressive group of spiders. Seldom bite.
Be careful not to walk into their webs at night - the fright of this spider crawling over one's face can be terrifying and may cause a heart attack, particularly to the susceptible over 50 year olds.
Spider Identification: The adult Orb-Weaving spiders is about 20 to 30 mm in body length; has a bulbous abdomen; and often has a colorful, dark to light brown pattern. The common Golden Orb-Weaver spider has a purplish bulbous abdomen with fine hairs.
Habitat: Garden orb-weaving spiders are oten found in summer in garden areas around the home. They spin a large circular web of two metres or more, often between buildings and shrubs, to snare flying insects, such as flies and mosquitoes.
Click here re FIRST AID for Orb-weaving spider bite
St Andrews Cross spiders ... low risk and non-aggressive


St Andrews Spider
Venom toxicity - the bite of the St Andrews Cross is of low risk (non-toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders.
Area of distribution - Australia-wide.
Spider Identification - adult 5 to 15 mm in body length - abdomen striped yellow and brown - as illustrated. The St Andrews Cross Spider usually sits, upside down, in the middle of it's web forming a cross - as illustrated.
Habitat - this spider is a web-weaver usually found in summer in garden areas around the home. It is considered beneficial as it spins a large web to snare flying insects, such as flies and mosquitoes.
Click here re FIRST AID for a St Andrews Cross Spider Bite
Huntsman spiders ...low risk and non-aggressive
Huntsman Spider
Area of distribution: Australia-wide.
Venom toxicity: The bite of Huntsman spiders is of low risk (mildly toxic) to humans. Huntsman spiders are a non-aggressive group of spiders.
Painful bite: a large Huntsman spider has extended fangs and can deliver a deep painful bite. Howver they are extremely timid and will run away given the chance.
Beware in summer when the female Huntsman spider is guarding her egg sacs or young.
Spider Identification: An adult Huntsman spider may have a body length of up to 20 mm. It's the diameter including legs may reach 45 mm. The first 2 pairs of legs are longer than rear two. The Huntsman spider is hairy; buff to beige brown colour, with dark patches on it's body.
Usual habitat areas: The Huntsman spider prefers to live under the flaking bark of trees, under flat rocks and under eaves or within roof spaces of buildings.
Often found indoors: The Huntsman Spider often wanders into homes and is found perched on a wall. They are shy, timid spiders able to move sideways at lighting-fast speed.
Click here re FIRST AID for a Huntsman Spider Bite
The Anatomy of a Female Spider
The cost for Professional Pest Control for spiders
The cost of professional pest control of spiders - using professional strength low hazard (non-solvent) Permethrin based insecticides - actual cost depends on spider species - size of property - extent of infestation - ease of access - sub-floor area - roof void - other obvious or likely nesting sites.
Expect to pay between $150 to $200 for medium size residential premises. Commercial and manufacturing premises are quoted upon inspection. Highly problematic infestations over wide area may be more expensive.

Service warranty period may vary according to the spider pest species - the extent and severity of the spider infestation - and other environmental factors that may promote reinfestation - professional pest control of above ground webbing spiders usually carries a 6 month service warranty.

 

Consumer Protection Advice - Pesticide Safety Issues
Pesticide safety be wary of very cheap prices for spider control - check which pesticides are to be used - do they propose to use the far cheaper, less effective, solvent based pesticides which can be acutely harmful in premises where occupants may suffer from asthmatic or other bronchial ailments.
Be careful when selecting a pest controller it's far too easy to get a State Govt WorkCover issued Pest Control Licence and start up a pest control business - using mostly unsupervised trainees who have little knowledge of spider pest species or spider control pesticides .... more details
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