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Online Pest Library - Spiders


Spiders There are over 500 species of spiders living in Australia and over 35,000 known worldwide. Spiders are not insects, but are arthropods of the class Arachnida.

Identifying a Spider
Spiders have two body regions, the head and the abdomen. This arthropod lacks antennae and has four pairs of slender legs. Male spiders are generally smaller than the females, though the exact sizes vary depending on the species. For example, an American house spider is about 3/16" long, while a female tarantula is about 3".

The Damage Spiders Can Cause
Most spiders will not bite unless provoked by handling or other contact. In many cases, bites occur when a person inadvertently comes in contact with a wandering male spider or a spider habit. Many spider species cannot pierce human skin with their fangs, and those that can generally leave the area in a state of minor irritation and swelling.

Two spiders should be avoid the Sydney funnel-web (Atrax robustus) and the Redback (Latrodectus hasselti) because their bites can be painful for some days.

Are those two to be worried about? Since 1956 nobody died from a Redback bite and since 1980 nobody from a Sydney Funnel-web bite, mainly because of the development of an antivenom.

White-tailed Spider bites have been controversially implicated in causing severe skin ulceration in humans. The white-tailed spider has a dark reddish to grey, cigar-shaped body and dark orange-brown banded legs. The grey dorsal abdomen bears two pairs of faint white spots (less distinct in adults) with a white spot at the tip; the male has a hard, narrow plate or scute on the front of the abdomen.

Spiders' Life Cycle
After mating, a female spider will deposit eggs in a silken sac. Depending on the species, one sac can carry 20 eggs or several hundred. In general, those species that tend their eggs will produce fewer per egg sac, while those that abandon the sacs will produce larger numbers.

It is extremely rare for a female spider, including the black widow, to eat the male after mating.

Many spiders live only 1-2 seasons, but some species can live for as long as 20 years.

Spiders' Habits
Most spiders are nocturnal and shy of human activity.

All spiders are predators and the primary food source is insects and other arthropods. After capturing their prey, the spider will kill or paralyse it with venom. When food is scarce, a spider can survive several weeks or months depending on the species.

 

Redback Spider
Redback Spider

Garden Orb Spider
Garden Orb Spider

Funnel Web Spider
Funnel Web Spider

 

Huntsman Spider
Huntsman Spider

Male Cupboard Spider
Male Cupboard Spider

White Tip Spider
White Tip Spider

For more Spider information visit www.spiderzrule.com

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