Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Redback Spider

The redback spider is a potentially dangerous spider native to Australia. Here are a couple of photos I took of one which we found underneath our letterbox. It is an adult female with a body roughly the size of a pea. As you can see it is protecting three large egg sacs.

The redback spider is a member of the widow family of spiders. It is one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia having a neurotoxic venom which is toxic to humans with bites causing severe pain. There is an antivenom for redback bites commercially available and it is interesting to note that there have been no deaths reported since the antivenom was introduced in 1956.

Redback spiders are found all around Australia. They are often found close to human residences. Every summer we find them in our garage and near fences.

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