Victorian Funnel-web Spider
Family: Hexathelidae ID: Simon, 1891
Habitat and Biology
Although these spiders are related to the Sydney funnel-web spider, they have not been implicated in any fatalities or serious envenomations. In Melbourne, they are only known from the outskirts in the Dandenong Ranges area. Female and male habits and biology are similar to the trap-door spider. Females remain in or around their silk-lined burrow. During late summer and autumn, males wander in search of females and may enter into buildings. Funnel-web spiders use what are known as 'trip-wires' to catch their prey. These trip-wires are strands of silk radiating from the burrow entrance. At night, the spider sits inside the entrance with its legs touching the silken strands. When it feels the vibrations of an insect tripping the wires the spider pounces on the prey.
Male: Similar to female, though cephalothorax and legs often with a polished lustre.
Female: Cephalothorax and legs shining black, abdomen dark brown to black.
Similar in form to Trap-door spider except generally smaller in overall body size and darker in colour.
Several strands of silk radiate from around the entrance of the burrow.
Despite being a relative of the Sydney funnel-web spider, the venom is only known to cause general symptoms such as headaches and nausea.