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The Spider's Parlour

Fascinating Facts


Frequently Asked Questions

Melbourne's Spiders

Writing Scientifically
Make your own:
Climbing spider
Spider web
Red-back spider


Funnel-web spider

Spider Victorian Funnel-web specimen

Australian funnel webs are restricted to the south-east of the continent, and mainly in coastal areas. There are at least 40 different species, and not all are dangerous, unlike the notorious Sydney Funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus).

Some Funnel-web's venom can have a severe effect on primates (like humans, apes and monkeys). However it has little effect on other mammals like cats, dogs or kangaroos. Thirteen deaths have been recorded from Sydney Funnel-web bites in Australia. Male Funnel-web spiders are about five times more venomous than females, so are probably responsible for these fatalities.

Female Funnel-webs take 3-4 years to mature and may live as long as 20 years. Males mature in 2-3 years and wander about looking for a mate for 6-9 months before they die. Male Funnel-webs are also more active in summer than winter.

Despite rearing up in an impressive threat pose, Funnel-webs can't jump. Unlike some spiders they cannot swim either, but can stay alive in pools for many hours supported by air bubbles trapped amongst their body hairs (eventually they sink and drown).

Victorian Funnel-web spider
The only Funnel-web spider found near Melbourne is the Victorian Funnel-web (Hadronyche modesta), which can be found in the Dandenong Ranges. It is not aggressive or dangerous, however you may get a headache and feel sick if bitten.

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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