Sydney’s Funnel Web Spider.
There are at least 40 species of funnel-web spiders and they are currently placed in two genera: Hadronyche and Atrax. They are medium to large spiders, varying from 1 cm – 5 cm body length. Males are more lightly built than females. Body colour can vary from black to brown but the hard carapace covering the front part of the body is always sparsely haired and glossy. The lateral pair of spinning organs (spinnerets) at the end of the abdomen are longer and easily visible in Atrax spp. but often shorter in Hadronyche spp.
With highly toxic venom produced in large amounts and large fangs to inject it, the Sydney funnel-web is without a doubt the deadliest spider in Australia, and possibly the world.
The Sydney funnel-web prefers to make its home in sheltered, shady spots, which are always cool and humid. The natural habitat are rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests, however, the shaded areas of well-vegetated private gardens are also readily colonized. The silk-lined burrow is constructed beneath some type of object such as a rock or log and may reach 600mm in length. Most burrows have two entrances which are also lined with silk in a general funnel shape, with numerous thicker lines anchored to adjacent rocks, roots, etc. These threads may also act as trip-lines, which alert the spider when prey is near.