CPR First Aid

Venomous Spiders Found in Perth

Venomous Spiders Found in Perth

Spiders are the most widely distributed animals in Australia. There are around 10,000 species of spiders living in different types of ecosystems. Unfortunately, some of these arachnids are venomous and their bites have led to severe cases involving envenomation. Let’s find out what these venomous spiders are and if they are found in Perth, Western Australia. In addition, information on first aid responses to their bites will also be discussed below.

Common Spiders in Perth WA

According to Australian Geographic, about 10,000 species are found Australia-wide. Below are the spiders found in Perth according to multiple pest control companies such as Swatapest.

Redback Spiders

These spiders (Latrodectus hasselti) are also known as the ‘Australian black widow’ and have the following appearance.

  1. Female redback spiders
    – Have brownish or black bodies.
    – Orange to red longitudinal stripe on the upper abdomen.
    – An “hourglass” shaped red/orange spot on the underside of the abdomen.
    – May have the same size as a pea.
    – Slender legs.
  2. Male redback spiders
    – Light brown.
    White markings on the upper side of the abdomen.
    – Pale hourglass marking on the underside.

The juvenile spiders of this species have additional white markings on the abdomen. This species is also common in disturbed and urban areas, like Perth. Habitats are usually roof eaves, floorboards, shelves, flower pots, or garden sheds.

"Spider young with white markings. Found in Perth's urban spots, dwelling in roofs, floors, and sheds."

Blackhouse Spiders

They have been found to provide good shelter for retreats amongst the cracks in the bark of Perth trees. In addition, they are also known as the ‘ Window Spiders ‘, because they build their webs around window frames. Their scientific name is Badumna insignia and may be identified by the below description:

  • Dark and robust.
  • The carapace and legs are dark brown to black.
  • The abdomen is charcoal grey and there is a dorsal pattern of white markings.

The females of these spiders are known to be bigger than the male ones.

"Window Spiders: retreat in Perth tree bark cracks; weave webs around frames."

White-Tailed Spiders

Called vagrant hunters, these spiders live beneath the barks and rocks in Perth. In the same spots, they lay their disc-shaped egg sac which contains up to 90 eggs. Their whitish tips at the end of their abdomens make them easily identified. Furthermore, they have the following physical characteristics:

  • Shaped like a cigar.
  • The body is in a dark reddish to grey colour.
  • Banded legs that are dark orange-brown.
  • The dorsal abdomen is also grey.
  • Two pairs of faint white spots in the abdomen.

The male white-tailed spiders also have a scute on the front of their abdomen.

Perth's vagrant hunters: hidden spiders with disc-shaped egg sacs, identifiable by whitish tips.

Daddy Long Legs Spiders

The scientific name of these spiders is Pholcus phalangioides, and they belong to a group called the tangle-web spiders. Daddy Long Legs spiders are found in urban areas, like Perth. They may be identified as having:

  • Extremely long and skinny legs.
  • Small body.
  • Cream to pale brown.

There are also darker markings on the legs and abdomen in spiders of some species that belong to the same group.

Pholcus phalangioides, urban tangle-web spiders in Perth.

Huntsman Spiders

The huntsman spiders are found to be living beneath the bark of trees, rocks, walls, logs, and the grounds of Perth. Under the Family Sparassidae, these spiders are also called ‘Tarantulas’ or ‘Giant Crab Spiders’. Below are their distinctive features:

  • Large spiders with long legs with a span of up to 15 cm.
  • Their colour is mostly grey to brown.
  • Banded legs.

Females are also bigger and may grow up to 2 cm compared to the male huntsman spiders that reach only 1.6 cm in body length.

Huntsman spiders under bark, rocks, and ground in Perth. Also known as "Tarantulas" or "Giant Crab Spiders.

Wolf spiders

These spiders have different species that vary in size and live on the ground in leaf litter or burrows of Perth. Some also consider them garden spiders due to their habitat. They all have the same identification:

  • Drab body colour.
  • Body patterns (may be brown, yellow, grey, black, white, or pink).
  • Abdomens have scroll-like patterns.
  • The colour of their underside is light grey, cream, black, or pink.
  • Jaws have a small raised orange spot.

These spiders also have eight eyes in three rows, with four of them being in front that are smaller and the other four are bigger and are arranged in a square on top of the high and convex head.

Perth ground spiders, diverse in size, inhabit leaf litter or burrows; some known as garden spiders.

Mouse Spiders

Aside from these spiders having bulbous head and jaw regions, they also have:

  • Black or blue abdomen.
  • A patch on top of the abdomen that may be black or light grey.
  • Very wide, shiny, and black head.
  • Bright red or orange-red jaws.
  • Dark legs that may appear long and thin.

The females are known to be larger, stockier, more solid, and have a uniform black cephalothorax (fused head and thorax) and body. In Perth, their habitats range from open forest to semi-arid shrubland.

Female spiders: larger, solid, black-bodied. Habitats: Perth's forests to semi-arid shrubland.

Trapdoor Spiders

A news article from The Western Australian Museum’s website discusses the two new species of trapdoor spiders discovered in Western Australia. One of them was found in the north of Perth near Cataby and Regans Ford. The article includes a photo showing the following characteristics:

  • Dark brown body
  • Light brown legs

The species in Perth had a name of ‘Proshermacha telaporta’.

"Article: New trapdoor spiders found near Perth"

Venomous Spiders in Perth

From among the list of common spiders found in Perth above, the venomous ones are:

  • Redback Spiders
  • Blackhouse Spiders
  • White-Tailed Spiders
  • Huntsman Spiders
  • Mouse Spiders

The venoms of such Australian spiders act differently and cause distinct symptoms. Treatments are available which you may learn from a first aid course at 123C Colin St West Perth 6005. In addition, antivenom is also distributed and accessible in Perth.

Effects of the Redback Spider’s Venom

Reported cases of redback spider bites are quite high in Perth which often require medical attention, especially during the summer months. The Australian Museum says that there are at least 250 bites from this spider each year. Furthermore, the venom of this spider may cause serious illness and have caused death.

Symptoms

Following are the identified symptoms after this species of spider bites:

  • Sweating.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Pain.

Pain is an early symptom and it may become severe.

First Aid

If this spider bites, the first aid response may be applying an ice pack to the bitten area to relieve pain. In addition, applying a pressure bandage is discouraged as it may worsen the pain.

Effects of the Blackhouse Spider’s Venom

In Perth, there are not a lot of recorded bites from this spider as they are known to be timid.

Symptoms

The bite of this spider may cause:

  • Pain.
  • Local swelling.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Sweating.
  • Giddiness.

In some cases where this spider has made multiple bites, it has also caused the development of skin lesions.

First Aid

The first aid management for the bite of this spider is also applying a cold pack.

Effects of the White-Tailed Spider’s Venom

Contrary to what this spider has been suspected of, cases of White-tailed Spider bites in Perth and other areas were found to not cause ulceration on human skin.

Symptoms

Bites from this spider may cause:

  • Initial burning pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Itchiness.

The above may only be felt in the bitten area.

First Aid

Application of a cold pack may also be done as a first-aid treatment for the bite of this spider.

Effects of the Huntsman Spider’s Venom

Fortunately in Perth, there have only been a few reported bites from this spider. It may be due to them being non-aggressive, they may just run away from humans when they see one.

Symptoms

A few cases of the Huntsman spiders bite have caused:

  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea.

The above are considered to be mild.

First Aid

Similar to the above first aid tips, a cold pack may help reduce the pain of this spider’s bite.

Effects of the Mouse Spider’s Venom

There have been a few reported serious envenomations of this spider in Perth. It is also considered to be as dangerous as the funnel-web spider‘s venom.

Symptoms

Once this spider bites, there may be a feeling of a deep painful bite.

First Aid

Spider bite first aid from a mouse spider is similar to that of a funnel-web spider bite.

What is the Most Aggressive Spider?

Many people fear spiders due to their venomous bite and general creepy crawly factor. One misconception people have about spiders though is their aggression. Generally, spiders are likely to avoid humans unless provoked or feel cornered and have to bite to defend themselves. 

With that said though, the bite of certain spiders still needs to be avoided. Some of these bites can bring about serious symptoms and even death. 

What is the Most Deadly Spider?

With that said, it may be worthwhile to learn about the most deadly spider. In truth, the world groups together the most deadly spiders. These include the Brazilian wandering spider, the redback, the black widow and the Sydney funnel-web.

Conclusion

There are different species of spiders found in Perth. Some of them are venomous spiders that cause minor to severe symptoms. Fortunately, these may be treated with first aid and antivenom is also available.

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