Spiders are the most widely distributed animals in the country. There are around 10,000 species of spiders living in different types of ecosystems. Unfortunately, some of these species are venomous which have been reported to cause severe envenomation. Let’s find out what these venomous spiders are and if they are found in Perth. In addition, information on first aid responses to their bites will also be discussed below.
Common Spiders Found in Perth
According to Australian Geographic, about 10,000 species of spiders are found in different cities in the country. Let’s find out which of them are commonly found in Perth.
These spiders (Latrodectus hasselti) are also known as the ‘Australian black widow’, which have the following appearance:
- Female redback spiders
– Brownish or blackish in colour.
– 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.
- Male redback spiders
– Light brown in colour.
– White markings on the upper side of the abdomen.
– Pale hour-glass 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.
They have been found to provide good shelter for retreats amongst the crack in the bark of Perth trees. In addition, they are also known as the ‘Window Spiders‘, and their scientific name is Badumna insignia. These spiders may be identified by the below description:
- Dark and robust.
- The carapace and legs are dark browns 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.
Called vagrant hunters, these spiders live beneath the barks and rocks in Perth. Their whitish tips at the end of their abdomens make them easily identified. Furthermore, they have the below physical characteristics:
- Shaped like a cigar.
- The body is in 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.
Daddy Long Legs Spiders
The scientific name of these spiders is Pholcus phalangioides, and they belong to a group called the tangle-web spiders. Such spiders are found in urban areas, like Perth. They may be identified to have:
- Extremely long and skinny legs.
- Small body.
- Cream to pale brown in colour.
There are also darker markings on the legs and abdomen in spiders of some species that belong in the same group.
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 that may grow up to 2 cm compared to the male huntsman spiders that reach only 1.6 cm body length.
These spiders have different species that vary in size and live on the ground in leaf litter or burrows of Perth. However, 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.
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.
Venomous Spiders Found 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 these spiders act differently and cause distinct symptoms. All of which may be treated with first aid practices that may be learned from a first aid course in 123C Colin St West Perth 6005. In addition, antivenom is also distributed and accessible in Perth.
Effects of the Redback Spider’s Venom
Reported bites from this spider are quite high in Perth, 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.
Following are the identified symptoms after this specie of spider bites:
- Muscular weakness.
Pain is an early symptom and it may become severe.
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.
The bite of this spider may cause:
- Local swelling.
In some cases where this spider has made multiple bites, it has also caused the development of skin lesions.
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.
Bites from this spider may cause:
- Initial burning pain.
The above may only be felt in the bitten area.
Application of a cold pack may also be done as a first-aid treatment to 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.
A few cases of their bite have caused:
The above are considered to be mild.
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.
Once this spider bites, there may be a feeling of a deep painful bite.
Spider bite first aid from a mouse spider is similar to that of a funnel-web spider bite.
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.