Australia houses the worlds deadliest spiders, which include the funnel-web and redback spider. It must be stated that most spiders are not dangerous and beneficial to the environment.
The Sydney funnel-web spider is large, black, aggressive and has serious fangs. Both the male and female are toxic, but it is the male that has won outright the title of Australia’s most dangerous spider.
The Sydney funnel web spider favours moist, cool conditions, and live in burrows with web lines radiating out from the entrance. Their holes may be found under low-growing plants, logs, fallen leaves and rock gardens; moist areas such as laundries, outdoor taps and swimming pools are also attractive places.
The Redback spider
is found all over Australia and it is the female to avoid; the smaller male does not bite. The female is small, black and characterised by a red stripe on top of its abdomen.
The White-tailed spider
is ground-dwelling hunter. This reddish-grey spider eats mostly other spiders and is often found inside the house, in bathrooms, cracks and crevices and cupboards. Outdoors, it can be found hiding under bark, leaf litter and logs.
The Mouse spider
builds burrows in creeks and rivers. Females are large, with dark brown to black bodies and are often confused for a funnel-web or trapdoor spider. Its bite is toxic and painful.
The Black and grey house spider
is also known as the window spider, which can be found hiding in dark corners of windows and wall crevices, as well as on logs, tree trunks and under bark. They are dark brown to black in colour with body markings. The Black and grey spider is not aggressive but is capable of giving a painful bite.
The Huntsman spider
is a large, flat, brown spider, which looks scary but only prey on the much more dangerous white-tailed spider, cockroaches and other insects. Huntsmen are found under bark during daylight hours, as well as in cars. Bites are not serious but they may cause localised pain and swelling.
Spider Identification chart
Click on image to enlarge.