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Sydney Funnel Web Spider

Atrax robustus


Sydney funnel-webs are medium to large in size, with body length ranging from 1 to 5 cm (0.39 to 2.0 in). They are glossy and darkly coloured, ranging from blue-black, to black, to brown or dark-plum coloured. The carapace covering the cephalothorax is almost hairless and appears smooth and glossy. Another characteristic are finger-like spinnerets at the end of their abdomen. The shorter-lived males are smaller than females but longer legged.


Sydney funnel-web spiders are mostly terrestrial spiders, favouring habitats with moist sand and clays. They typically build silk-lined tubular burrow retreats with collapsed "tunnels" or open "funnel" entrances from which irregular trip-lines radiate over the ground. In some exceptions, which lack trip-lines but may have trapdoors, the silk entrance tube may be split into two openings, in a Y or T form. Sydney funnel-webs burrow in sheltered habitats where they can find a moist and humid climate, for instance under rocks, logs or borer holes in rough-barked trees.

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SonamYoketsang 9 years ago

God their a beauty.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 9 years ago

Did you try to get your five cents back, Lachlan? A write-off, no doubt. Most people don't realise they can jump. The one spider species that really does spook me.

bayucca 10 years ago

OK, then you know what you are doing ;-)... I just mentioned my concern if somebody does not really knows which one it is and does not really know how to handle such kind of animal. Most snakes and spiders are probably not half as dangerous as the media might make them, but it is always better to be aware and think it is a dangerous one, but it is not than the other way round. And you alsways have stupid people around, like me with my Fer-de-Lance snake ;-)...
At home I realized that I definitely was too close to that snake!

LachlanHart 10 years ago

Hi Bayucca, thanks for your concern but yes I am aware of the Sydney Funnel Webs aggressive and venomous characteristics. I am a Bush Regenerator from Sydney and we encounter them quite often. This specimen was one of about 50 females that we unearthed whilst removing a sediment fence. They were fairly cold and docile and only became aggressive after some time in the sun. The 5 cent piece was dropped from a safe distance to provide some scale to the picture. Their reputation as a dangerous spider is probably not really warranted as being a ground dwelling spider bites are rare. It is the wandering males in search of a mate that pose the biggest threat and most bites will occur when the victim puts on boots that have been left on the verandah over night and a male has taken refuge inside. The male is also much more venomous and aggressive than the female. But saying this anti venom is readily available and even in the event of a bite fatalities are almost unheard of. Considering that it shares its habitat with several snakes that can kill you in under an hour the Funnel Web is not so bad ;-)

bayucca 10 years ago

Great capture! However, I am wondering if you know that Atrax robustus is considered as one of, if not the most dangerous and aggressive spiders on the globe. Laying a dime or a pencil so close to take a picture might be quite risky.

Spotted by

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Spotted on Aug 15, 2012
Submitted on Sep 15, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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