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Funnel Web Spider


The Funnel Web spiders are one of the most dangerous spiders in the world and causes severe envenoming in eastern and southern Australia. They prefer dry plains or forests. They build typical tubular burrow retreats, with a collapsed "tunnel" or open "funnel" entrance. Silk radiates from the entrance out over the ground. The spiders seize prey that walks over the entrances. Sometimes several spiders form colonies aggregating their burrows within a small area. Adult males leave their burrows to seek a mate. Such males may enter houses. For this reason they account for many bites and deaths.

The length of an average funnel web spider is 2-4 cm. The carapace covering the front part of the body is almost hairless and appears smooth and glossy. It's body is dark brown and black. The abdomen features some enlarged spinnerets making it easy to distinguish from others. The carapace is raised and longer than wide.

The venom from an funnel web spider contains a chemical called atratoxin. Atratoxia attacks nerves and causes tremendous sensations of pain. The venom can kill a human within 15 minutes. Unfortunately it is a very aggressive spider. If approached by anything it will take up an attack position with its front legs raised and the fangs from a funnel web spider has been known to be able to pierce fingernails. An antitoxin against its poison was developed in 1981.