Funnel Web Spider

The funnel web spider is normally found in the southern hemisphere, particularly Australia, both in coastal and highland areas. Though the generic name of the funnel web spider is used most of the time, it includes no less than thirty-six species that live both on land and in trees. The favorite habitat of the funnel web spider consists of the moist area under rocks, crevices, rotten trees, holes and tree bark. For the funnel web spider varieties that live in gardens, shrubs are the perfect place to make their nests. There is plenty of room to make the silk lines for their burrow: these threads help the spiders catch their prey, but they also make a great warning means that signal danger or the presence of mates.

Warmth and humidity make the perfect habitat for the funnel web spider, nevertheless, they also suffer from heavy rains that destroy their burrows. In the aftermath of such events, the funnel web spider redoubles its level of activity so as to get its life back on track. The size of the species varies from 1.5 to 4.5 centimeters for the body length; they are mono-color, dark brown usually, without any patterns at all. The only distinct element of the male funnel web spider is a swelling on the second leg and the spinnerets located at the end of the abdomen.

The female funnel web spider lives very isolated, it remains in the burrow for almost its entire life; males are the ones that go out to hunt and find mates particularly in summer and autumn months. The number of reported bites is the highest during the mating season when the funnel web spider males enter in houses and garages through small gaps in the doors and window sills. Mating is dangerous for the funnel web spider as the females are very aggressive, this is why the male funnel web spiders have to hold them with the spurs on the second legs.

For the protection of its eggs the female funnel web spider will bite fiercely, hence this is the period during which the chances of getting bitten are the highest. It takes only three weeks before the eggs hatch and two more months before they leave the nest. Females have an incredibly long lifespan up to ten years - while the males die within a year after they reach maturity. The bite of the funnel web spider is very dangerous as it can cause illness or death.

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