Don't be! It is very
seldom heard in
Australia that someone has been killed by a spider.
that's despite the fact that we love to spend a lot of time outdoors,
camping in the bush, which is when you are most
likely to come across spiders (as well as snakes and other dangerous
Yes, there are some poisonous
but they are easy to avoid and they are not
altogether that poisonous. With the antivenoms available, all you have
to do is to get to the hospital. Click on the link above to read more
the subject. Below is more information about what types
of spiders there are
There are two large
groups of spiders in Australia - primitive
often see the primitive spiders because they don't make webs
at all. They live in hollow nests in the ground and most of them only
get out to forage night time (some of them make funnel-looking web-like
structures around their hollow entrances but they don't make webs to
catch prey). They tend to be large, dark in colour,
and they live very long - up to 20 years which is why they are called
Having such slow
generation turnover has made their evolution very slow and
this is why they haven't evolved the silk to build proper nets. They
have a few other disadvantages such as poor eyesight. Because they lack
nets the only way to
catch the prey is to poison it. The spiders in this group
tend to be more poisonous than the modern spiders.
- bird eating spider.
The group contains many
species of trapdoors, funnel webs and mouse
spiders. The most poisonous
ones are funnel webs,
which live in New
South Wales and south-eastern Queensland.
Australian spiders only live a few years at most, and with a
generation turnover have evolved much more. That said, some of them
still do have poison, and do use it to kill the prey once they have
caught it in the net. These spiders can be divided into four groups
based on the level of their evolution.
These are Australian
spiders that still live
on the ground, but (as opposed to the primitive spiders
that wait for the prey to come to them), take the 'step' to find a prey and hunt it.
They include spitting,
jumping, nursery web, wolf, sac and huntsman spiders.
Some of the more infamous ones in this group are Fiddle Back, Garden Wolf and White Tailed Spider.
They are known for their 'poison' however nobody has been killed by
them! Huntsman spiders are known to be harmless however some species
can still give you quite a bad bite that may get infected for ages.
Tailed Spider by
Kaptain Kobold via Flickr.com
the Ground but Still Hunting Mostly Non-flying Insects
These spiders have left
the ground, but they
still don't build proper spider webs. Most of them are
nocturnal, and they live up in trees, or in scrubs and
flowers, where they are looking for insects. They don't have any venom,
and they include crab,
triangular, orchard, mimicking and net casting spiders.
House Spider by pengo-au via Flickr.com
Weavers - Three Dimensional Nets
Exactly as it sounds,
these spiders pioneer
the net building
and consequently most of their diet consists of flying insects.
They build three dimensional, messy nets, often in cavities in tree
trunks, caves and rock ledges. Some of the spiders in this
considered dangerous, such as Black
House Spiders and the infamous Redback
they are not nearly as 'deadly' as they have made sound.
Mikeblogs via Flickr.com
Weavers - Two Dimensional Nets
Yep, that's the pro
level in web building and spider evolution. These
spiders only use their energy for building
nets in insect flight paths and then just sit there and
wait for the prey to fly into the net. No energy needed to develop
poison, or run around finding the insects and hunting them
down. These are the most
successful spiders, and also the ones that you most often
see - they don't hide in corners, and they are there, easy to spot day
or night. Their two dimensional nets are perfectly designed
for minimal use of silk and maximum speeds when moving across it. They
include Wheel Weaving Garden Spiders,
St Andrews Cross Spider,
and the famous and beautiful Golden
They are all harmless.
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