10 Different Types of Spiders in Australia

Types of Spiders in Australia
Photo by Bergadder

Australia is home to different animal species, including spiders. There are over 2000 types of spiders in Australia, so you’re bound to come across these eight-legged creatures.

Even though spiders are common in Australia and are beneficial to the environment, no one wants to have them in their home.

Many people have irrational fears of spiders due to their appearance and the numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding them.

However, some of these spiders are venomous, while some are harmless. The venomous types can be very dangerous to you and your family, so you need to watch out.

Let’s look at the different species you can find in Australia.

1. Huntsman Spider

Huntsman spiders are big, long-legged spiders with legs that can measure up to 15 cm across. These spiders are generally grey to brown in color, with banded legs on occasion.

In addition, they have eight eyes. They also have flattened bodies that allow them to live in tight areas under loose bark or rock crevices.

You can find these spiders in Australia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, the Mediterranean, Hawaii, Florida, and many other tropical and semi-tropical regions. Adult huntsman spiders do not build webs; instead, they seek and forage for food.

Huntsman spiders feed on insects and other invertebrates. Unlike several other spider species, these spiders spend a lot of time courting, and the male is rarely attacked after mating. In fact, huntsman spiders coexist harmoniously in large colonies.

Finally, huntsman spiders aren’t dangerous; they’re beneficial because they eat insects. However, their bites can cause inflammation, headache, vomiting, prolonged pain, and irregular pulse rate.

2. Redback Spider

The species gets its name from the red markings on the female. The female’s body measures roughly 10mm (0.4 in). Its eight long, thin legs are almost two to three times as long as its body.

Redback females have dark brown or black bodies and legs. There is a red stripe that can be divided into red dots on its abdomen. In addition, a red ‘hourglass’ form is visible on the underside of the abdomen.

The redback spider is among the types of spiders in Australia. They’re common in cities like Perth, Alice Springs, and Brisbane. The spider finds heat and shelter in cities like these.

The redback frequently looks for warmth inside of buildings. Unfortunately, this puts it in constant contact with humans. Their bites are the most common serious spider bites in Australia. 

A redback bite may first feel no more painful than a pinprick. The spider may sometimes give a dry bite in which no venom is injected. However, if the spider successfully injects its venom, the victim will quickly start to feel severe local pain. 

If the situation is more critical, the victim will start to sweat profusely and experience muscle weakness, spasms, nausea, and vomiting.

However, their bites are now rarely fatal, especially since antivenom is available for persons who have been bitten.

3. White-tailed Spider

These dark grey spiders are 12-17mm long and easily identified by their elongated body type and a unique white patch on the end of the abdomen. In juveniles, the sides of the abdomen have pale patches, but these disappear in adults.

Although their preferred habitat is under dry bark and plants, you can also find them inside homes, seeking refuge from the light after nighttime hunting. Ensure not to leave clothes lying around because these spiders will hide in them.

They’re among the different types of spiders in Australia. But you can also find some species in New Zealand. These nocturnal hunters prefer to feed on other spiders, especially the grey house spider.

White-tailed spiders can bite, although they only do so when threatened or handled. In most situations, the bite will be harmless because there is nothing in the venom that can harm us.

However, their bites are immediately painful. The spider has poor eyesight, so it’s possible to catch the perpetrator easily. White-tail spider bites have rarely caused anything more serious than a red mark and localized, temporary pain.

4. Wolf Spider

The size of a wolf spider varies from half an inch to two inches, with males being smaller than females. They have distinctive dark patterns on their back and are normally hairy and brown, grey, or tan.

The undersides of the spiders might be salmon pink, light grey, cream, or black. Wolf spiders lack the bright appearance of other spiders because they rely on camouflage for security. Their color generally matches their preferred habitat.

These insects are among the different types of spiders in Australia. You can find wolf spiders everywhere except in the Antarctic and extreme polar regions. 

They live anywhere there are insects to eat, which includes both coastal and inland habitats. These consist of suburban gardens, alpine meadows, wet coastal forests, shrublands, and woodlands.

Wolf spiders are insectivores, meaning they mostly eat other spiders and ground-dwelling insects like grasshoppers, ants, and beetles. They rarely feed on amphibians and small reptiles.

Furthermore, wolf spiders are generally referred to as domestic pests because, when the weather cools, they seek out warm locations to overwinter in homes. You’ll find them near doors, windows, basements, and garages.

Although the wolf spider is not aggressive, it will freely inject venom if repeatedly provoked. Its poisonous bite causes swelling, minimal discomfort, and itching. Wolf spider bites can be painful even though they are thought to be harmless to people.

5. Sydney Funnel-web Spider

This is one of the most deadly types of spiders in Australia. Sydney funnel-web spiders range in size from medium to giant, with body lengths between one and five centimeters (0.4 inches to 2 inches). 

These spiders have shiny heads and thorax and are dark in color, ranging from black to brown. Some of these spiders have a strong tarantula resemblance. 

The abdomen of female funnel web spiders is larger and can be either brown or bluish in color. Their legs are also shorter than those of the males. Also, their eyes are small and closely grouped.

Sydney funnel-web spiders prefer to live underground in secret tunnels or above ground in stumps, tree trunks, or ferns. They line the interior of their burrows with a thick layer of opaque white silk that extends from the entrance in various directions.

Furthermore, these spiders rarely give dry bites. Although it appears that 10% to 25% of their bite is toxic, it is impossible to predict the likelihood, and all should be handled as possibly fatal.

Although the venom is very toxic to primates, it appears harmless for many other creatures, including horses, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even cane toads. It’s possible that these creatures are immune to the venom’s effects.

6. Trapdoor Spider

Among the types of spiders in Australia is the trapdoor spider. Their usual length is about 2.5 centimeters, although they can grow as long as 4 centimeters.

Trapdoor spiders have eight eyes, two in the middle and three on each side. They range in color from yellowish brown to reddish brown to black. Also, they have strong jaws and pointed fangs that pierce downward into their prey.

Trapdoor spiders have two fangs, eight thick, short legs, and two body parts: the abdomen and the thorax. These spiders often have a stocky appearance. They can run very fast too.

A trapdoor spider, unlike other spiders, does not spin a web. They have a trapdoor on top of a burrow. The burrow is around 30 centimeters deep and 5 centimeters broad. They can dig burrows near creeks or rivers to catch small fish.

Humans are not at risk from the Trapdoor spider’s bite because it is non-toxic. It is a non-aggressive spider that is normally timid, but if harassed, it will stand up and show its fangs. Though they don’t often bite, trapdoor spider bites can be extremely painful.

7. Black House Spider

This is among the common types of spiders in Australia. The black house spider is a large, strong spider with a dark color. The species’ female can grow to a maximum size of 18 millimeters, while the male can grow to a maximum size of 9 millimeters.

Homeowners often find black house spiders in the window frames, beneath leaves, in gutters, in brickwork, and among rocks and bark.

Black House spiders can often be found in the Australian bush on trees with rough bark because it makes a nice retreat for them to hide out in the cracks.

Their web is a jumbled mass of triangular sail-like shapes commonly found stretched in the corners of walls and windows. The spider spends most of its time in the nest, where it has a funnel-shaped entrance, waiting for prey.

The female black house spider never leaves her web—unless compelled to—and keeps fixing it. Continual additions of silk can cause old webs to seem woolly and grayish. When ready to mate, males look for females within their webs.

Black house spiders prefer trees that wood-boring insects have attacked because the sap that flows from the boreholes attracts creatures that the spider can easily feast upon, such as flies, beetles, butterflies, bees, and ants.

However, inside the house, they prey on pests drawn to the light of windows and lamps, where the spiders prefer to build their webs. Electric lights also attract moths and mosquitoes, which these spiders feed on.

Although the black house spider is venomous, it is not considered threatening to humans, except for the possibility of infection from the bite.

However, their bites can be quite painful and cause local swelling. It can also include symptoms like sweating, nausea, and vomiting.

8. Cellar Spider

Cellar spiders are also among the different types of spiders in Australia. All cellar spiders have oval-shaped bodies, which might be light yellowish, light brown, or light gray in color. 

The body of an adult female long-bodied cellar spider is about 7-8 mm long, and the front legs are about 45–50 mm long. In comparison, the body length of an adult male long-bodied cellar spider is roughly 6 mm.

Cellar spiders weave loose, irregular webs in buildings like houses, sheds, barns, and warehouses with higher relative humidity and moisture levels. 

You can find cellar spider webs in dark and damp areas of these structures, such as the corners of eaves, windows, and ceilings in cellars, basements, crawlspaces, and garages.

Cellar spiders like to dangle upside-down in their webs while they wait for prey, which is other spiders and insects.

A cellar spider will pulse its body repeatedly to cause its web to shake when it is bothered. These pulsations aid in trapping insects that have reached the web and eventually become the spider’s next meal.

Finally, there is no evidence that cellar spiders are poisonous. Their small fangs prevent them from injecting people with some of the deadliest venoms. However, no research exists to support this claim.

9. Brown Recluse Spider

This spider is among the venomous types of spiders in Australia. Brown recluse spider adults typically measure between 1/4 and 1/2 inches in length. 

They can be tan to dark brown in color, and their dorsum or top of the cephalothorax frequently has a darker fiddle-shaped marking. The six eyes on brown recluse spiders are positioned in three pairs (diads) in a semicircle. 

Spiderlings resemble adults except that they are smaller and paler. The female creates an irregular web in uninhabited spaces like the basement, attic, and garage. The web serves as a refuge rather than a place to capture prey. 

In addition, the typical outdoor locations for brown recluse spiders include boulders, stacks of inner tubes, utility boxes, woodpiles and beneath the bark, etc. There have been reports of these spiders under cedar shake roofs.

Brown recluse spiders love eating tiny prey like cockroaches and crickets when it comes to feeding. They like their large prey to be dead, probably to protect themselves from harm. The majority of their prey are insects.

Brown recluse spiders are capable of biting and injecting venom. Injection of its venom may result in necrosis, or dead tissue, which causes an ulcerating form of sore. 

Healing proceeds very slowly and typically takes several weeks, leaving behind extensive scar tissue. Plastic surgery could be necessary in extreme cases.

10. Queensland Whistling Tarantula

Last on the different types of spiders in Australia on this list is the Queensland Whistling Tarantula. The Queensland whistling tarantula has 8.5-inch-long legs and a 3.5-inch-long body.

They get their name from the hissing sound they make when irritated. You’ll experience more than simply a sharp pain if this spider additionally bites you.

Although not fatal to humans, its venom can make a person throw up for up to 6 hours and can instantly kill a dog or cat. Although you can keep this spider as a pet, you must be cautious with them around you and other pets.

Conclusion

That’s all about the different types of spiders in Australia. Hope you also learned how to get rid of these creatures and what to do when they bite you. Although arachnophobia is a genuine concern, spiders often help us more than harm us. Thanks for reading!

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