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 Thermal Imaging Lake Macquarie,  Thermal Imaging Maitland,  Thermal Imaging Central Coast

When one talks about Australia, probably one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is its arsenal of deadly animals. While there are a lot of them, the Aussie spiders have an infamous reputation for being as stealthy as they are lethal, putting them at the top of the feared list. The question is, should people make a run for it immediately when seeing any eight-legged arachnid?


It is true that the Land Down Under is home to these phobia-inducing critters, but fortunately not all of them are dangerous. Some are as harmless as any house spider found in different parts of the world, while there are those that pose mortal threat and are the subject of dreadful tales. The key is to pinpoint which ones are good company and recognize those that spell disaster.


As a quick reference, these eight-legged creatures can be classified into three groups - low risk spiders, painful bite/ venomous spiders, and the feared dangerous/ deadly spiders. They are grouped according to their threat to humans, and while this article isn’t a definitive guide, it will layout basic information that are essential to identifying some common varieties.



A guide to aussie spiders

Leading the group of low risk spiders is the Garden Orb Weaving Spider. This is a stout, reddish-brown or grey arachnid with a leaf-shaped pattern on its triangular abdomen. As its name suggests, it creates vertical orb webs in order to catch prey, making them beneficial in some ways. These variants are reluctant to bite humans, but when they do they only cause negligible pain, numbness and swelling.


Another low risk arachnid is the St. Andrew’s Cross Spider. It is another orb-web spider that gets its name from its bright web decorations most recognizable by an X shape. Appearance-wise, these spiders can be easily identifiable by the yellow stripes on their bodies as well as the peculiar pairing of their legs, making it appear like they only have four when viewed from afar. Like the Garden Orb Weaving Spider, these are non-aggressive critters that only bite humans when defending themselves. While they do have venom, it is not considered a threat to humans.


Those who like venturing the outdoors will most likely see Huntsman Spiders, another common low risk spider. These are hairy, buff to beige brown spiders that live under bark of trees, rocks or even within roof spaces of buildings. It is a rather shy, non-aggressive variant that bolts sideways when seeing intruders, and its bite is non-toxic to humans.


Lastly, another common low risk spider is the Trapdoor Spider. It’s best defense is the way it camouflages itself to its surroundings, yet when detected might look like the deadly Funnel Web Spider, which is another of its clever defensive strategy. It is brown and has hairy and non-hairy variants. It helps in the control of garden pests, and while they may bite when defending it is not dangerous.


After identifying which ones won’t pose a threat, it is time to look at those one should stay away from. First of the venomous spiders is the Black House Spider, which can be classified by its dark brown to black velvet textured appearance. It prefers dry habitats in secluded locations and is usually seen in window framing, gutters, sheds, and among rocks and barks. Its bite can cause severe pain, heavy sweating, muscular pain, vomiting, headaches, and giddiness. While it isn’t lethal, one is required to seek medical attention as soon as possible.


Another venomous kind of spider is the Wolf Spider, a peculiar kind which does not create webs and instead hunts on the ground. It can be seen as a hairy, orange-brown to gray and black arachnid with stripes on its back. Another thing that makes it easy to classify is the extra two arm-like appendages extending out front. Like the Black House Spider, its bite is not deadly but is extremely painful, thus those who may be allergic to its venom should consult a doctor.


The last one under the venomous group is the Mouse Spider. It is characterized by its bulbous head and jaws, shiny carapace, and short spinnerets. It is a large black arachnid which is commonly mistaken for the notorious Funnel Web Spider, although there are a few subtle differences. Venom-wise, it is very toxic that it is almost comparable to spiders in the dangerous group, so it goes without saying that medical attention is imperative.


Finally, the dangerous/ deadly spiders are those that one must absolutely steer clear of. First up is the White Tail Spider, which is seen as a grey to back arachnid and, as its name implies, has a white section at the end of its body. Its bite can cause nausea and burning pain, followed by potential bacterial infection from its fangs, which is all the more reason to seek quick medical attention.


Another fearsome arachnid is the Red Back Spider, a variant related to the famous Black Widow. It is a black spider with a prominent red dorsal stripe found almost everywhere in Australia. It is said to be responsible for most spider bites in the country but can be addressed with an ice pack as first aid. It is important to note as well that only the female bite is toxic.


Last but definitely not the least in the dangerous group is the Funnel Web Spider. This notorious arachnid can be found in dark, moist areas. There are multiple variants of the spider, although one of the common warning signs is upon seeing irregular silk lines coming out from a potential funnel web burrow. It has a shiny carapace, deeply curved groove, and no obvious body pattern, which makes it hard to identify with other species that look like it. Its venom has been so infamous that an antivenom was made specifically to address its bite, so it is a definite hazard.


There may be other spiders out there, but these are the most commonly found in the area. While they sprawl at every corner, it is important to arm oneself with the knowledge in identifying them to be always ready and alert.

 Thermal Imaging Lake Macquarie,  Thermal Imaging Maitland,  Thermal Imaging Central Coast

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