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The Spider's Parlour

Fascinating Facts


Frequently Asked Questions

Melbourne's Spiders

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Climbing spider
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Red-back spider


Red-back Spider

Juvenile Red-back spider Juvenile Red-back spider

The Red-back is Australia’s best known spider, and is part of national folklore. They can live almost anywhere but do especially well in the man-made, disturbed environments of both country and city. Red-backs are closely related to the equally infamous Black Widow Spiders of America.

Red-backs are prodigious breeders. Each female makes several egg sacs in a year and produces up to a thousand eggs. In warm conditions when there’s plenty of food Red-back numbers can explode.

Red-backs are constantly being transported around Australia, and sometimes overseas, in a variety of freight. Recently, they were found in the streets of Osaka in Japan, possibly shipped in from Australia with a cargo of wood chips.

Hundreds of Red-back spider bites are reported each year, but less than 20 per cent require anti-venom treatment.

Only female Red-back spiders bite people. Male spiders are only a tenth the size of females.

Visit the Victorian Spiders database for more details.

Brown House spider

Bird Dropping spider

Funnel-web spider

Golden Orb spider

Leaf Curling spider

Melbourne Trapdoor spider

Red and Black spider

Red-back spider

White Flower spider

White Tail spider

Wolf spider

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