HomeExperts warn of surge in funnel-web spiders following heavy rain

Experts warn of surge in funnel-web spiders following heavy rain

A massive funnel-web spider with fangs that could puncture a fingernail has been reported amid a creepy-crawly surge.

The Australian Reptile Park has captured its largest funnel-web spider with huge fangs capable of puncturing a fingernail.

The beast, dubbed by staff as a “megaspider”, has fangs almost 2cm long and was reported amid a surge in the number of creepy-crawlies thriving in wet and humid conditions in NSW.

Keeper Jake Meney said the heavy rain on the east coast had led to an “influx” of the creatures, which he warned were “very active”.

“This female funnel-web spider is over 8cm in length and the average funnel-webs are typically less than five, so this spider is quite a bit larger than typical,” he said.

“Even a normal-sized funnel-web has extremely large fangs, but on this megaspider, the fangs are almost 2cm long, which is longer than a taipan fang, and that’s capable of puncturing a human fingernail.”

The “gargantuan” spider was handed into the park, with Mr Meney encouraging frightened residents to avoid squashing the crawlies.

Instead, he urged residents to capture the spiders and hand them to the Australian Reptile Park where the venom is milked to produce lifesaving antivenene.

The park’s program saves 300 human lives per year and handles a wide range of beasts, but education officer Michael Tate said he had never seen a funnel-web this big in more than 30 years.

“She is unusually large, and if we can get the public to hand in more spiders like her, it will only result in more lives being saved due to the huge amount of venom they can produce,” he said.

Mr Tate said the spider was handed in without any information and asked for the responsible person to get in touch to assist the team in collecting more of the same.

“We are really keen to find out where she came from in hopes to find more massive spiders like her,” he said.

If you spot a spider, the park asks for the creatures to be captured safely and handed into one of many collection points with details about where and when it was found.

Drop-off points include:


  • Westmead Hospital
  • Sutherland Hospital
  • Hornsby Hospital
  • Brookvale Greencross Vets
  • Mona Vale Veterinary Hospital
  • Hawkesbury City Council
  • Symbio Wildlife Park

Central Coast:

  • Australian Reptile Park
  • Gosford Hospital
  • Wyong Hospital
  • Wyoming Veterinary Hospital
  • Wyong Hospital



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