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A small sample of Queensland Spiders.


Below you will find a few of the many thousand species of spiders to be found in The State of Queensland Australia. Some will be familiar sights around the home while others listed, you will have to search further afield. Apart from The Daddy Longlegs Spider that seems to crop up all over the world the most common found in Queensland homes would without doubt be The Huntsman Spider. Seeing this rather large spider in the house for the first time can be a scary experience but it is a household friendly spider that does a wonderful job of keeping flies and mosquitos in check. However there are some troublesome critters that are best avoided at all costs. The Red Back and The Funnel Web Spider are two that come to mind immediately. The best advice with all spiders is that they are left alone and there is every possibility that you won't come to any harm. If working shoes are left outside it is always a good idea to give them a shake before putting them on.


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Bird Dropping Spider.

Bird Dropping Spider.

This artful spider sits on leaves out in the open during the day disguised as bird dung. Favourite food for these fellows are moths. It is sometimes known as The Deaths Head Spider because of markings resembling a skull and is often called the Orchard Spider because of its frequenting fruit trees where the moths are abundant.Hanging from the edge of a leaf it exhudes a chemical scent that mimics the airborne sex Pheromone released by female moths to attract mates. Common throughout Eastern and Southern Australia this Spider is not considered harmful to humans. This Spider has been found as far afield as Central Australia.


Black House Spider

Black House Spider.

Common in most areas, this spider's web can be found in the corner of window frames, logs ,rock walls, and in the bush their favourite habitats are trees that have been attacked by borers.The sap flowing from the bored holes attract flies, beetles,ants and other small insects that provide a ready made larder for the Spider. The web is similar in nature to the Funnel Web Spiders web but always built in reasonably high places as opposed to the ground hugging Funnelweb.Bites are rare as the Spider is timid but the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, sweating and giddiness can be worrying.Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.


Brush Footed Spider.

Brush Footed Spider.

One of the Tarantula group, this Spider has a large body which varies in colour from Dark Brown to Fawn. The adult female lives in web lined burrows in the ground, wheras the males and young spiders use retreats under rocks and logs. Food for these creatures are Frogs,Lizards and other spiders.The female of the species moults during sexual maturity but males cease to moult on reaching maturity.The Australian Tarantula is often known as the Whistling or Barking Spider on account of sounds produced by rubbing modified spines on the basal segments of their palps against opposing spines on their jaw bases.Not aggressive but will rear up if provoked. If bitten seek medical attention.


Brown Huntsman Spider.

Brown Huntsman Spider.

All Huntsman Spiders are large and have long legs.The Brown Huntsman has motley brown white and black markings.Habitat can be behind loose bark on trees, under rocks or slabs of bark on the ground.They feed on insects and other invertebrates and live quite often in colonies. The main predators of this spider are birds, geckoes,nematode worms, spider wasps and egg parasites.Often seen in homes throughout Queensland,they are not a danger to humans.Their bite can be painful but non toxic. Apply a cold pack if bitten to relieve pain from the affected area. If symptoms persist seek medical attention.


Brown Widow Spider.

Brown Widow Spider.

Varying from light tan to dark brown or almost black, the Brown Widow is a spider with a bite that is twice as venomous as its Black Widow counterpart. The Brown Widow is nocturnally active around the vacinity of its web and not elsewhere. Mating can be fatal for the male as the female mauls the male abdomen with her fangs during this process.This spider is not aggressive and bites normally occur through accidentally being in close proximity to them. If bitten by one of these little beauties one should seek immediate medical attention as the bite can cause respiratory complications in children and heart failure in adults in extreme cases.


Daddy Longlegs Spider.

Daddy Longlegs Spider.

This fellow belongs to the group of Tangle Web Spiders and is common throughout Australia and particularly in households. As the name suggests, this spider has extremely long legs in proportion to it's body length. Feeding on small insects and other spiders, this creature will keep the mosquito population down in and around tropical homes. It builds irregular webs in homes and garden sheds throughout the country and it's bite is not capable of piercing human skin. Although harmless to humans it is quite capable of holding it's own against the poisonous Red Back Spider and most other spiders that enter it's domain.


Flower Spider.

Flower Spider.

Often called the Crab Spider because of it's short stout legs that are held like a crab.Most are white or yellow in colour with green, brown or rosy tints on the abdomen, they have two large front eyes. Hard to spot as they are well camouflaged, but can be seen on flowers or garden shrubs. This spider waits patiently for it's prey to come near and siezes it with it's front four legs. Common in the backyards of South East Queensland, their retreats are usually the undersides of leaves. Flower Spiders bite at the slightest provocation but cause only minor local pain and are relatively harmless to humans.


Funnel-web Spider.

Funnel-Web Spider.

These spiders are large and have shiny black heads. Lifespan is up to 20 years and the Southern Funnel-webs live in burrows below ground or in treestumps above the ground. Burrows are lined with silk and strong strands eminate from the entrance to their lair. Females live out their entire lives in the burrow and only move out to catch passing prey which consist of lizards and frogs. The Northern or Tree Dwelling Funnel-web is probably the most dangerous spider known to man, but usually resides in heavily timbered areas rarely frequented by man. The bite is potentially fatal and immediate attention should be sought if bitten.


Giant Green Huntsman Spider.

Giant Green Huntsman Spider.

Members of this species have been measured at 16 centimetres total span. Their long laterally pointed legs can bend forwards so they are able to walk sideways in a crab like motion.Usually found under the bark of trees they lie in wait for any choice morsal that passes nearby, but as in the name they are known to run their prey down. They do not use webs for catching food but are very quick movers when in hot pursuit of prey. Very common in the Tropical zone in Queensland, and a regular household visitor. Although it's size can be quite scary, the bite usually causes mild local pain and is completely harmless to humans.


Golden Orb Spider.

Golden Orb Spider.

The Golden Orb Spider is named for the colour of the web it weaves. These constructions are very strong and can be up to a metre or more across. In Far North Queensland these spiders are very large and are known to eat birds that have become trapped in their powerful webs. The male of the species is tiny in comparison to the female and is often seen in the web. Aboriginals have been known to use a small tree branch to entwine the web with the spiders inside and use them as lures when fishing. Walking in the garden at night it is common to walk into these webs but the spiders are not harmful to humans.


Grey House Spider.

Grey House Spider.

Common in most suburban areas this spider is also labelled the Window Spider. The Grey House Spider is a small silver and grey spider, with grey and brown banded legs. The abdomen is triangular in side view. It builds tangled webs similar to the Redback. The female of the species never leaves the nest unless absolutely necessary, and is constantly repairing it. The Grey House Spider is a favourite diet of the White Tailed Spider and is readily available in large numbers.The spider is timid and bites from this species are infrequent although they are around in large numbers.


Grey Huntsman Spider.

Grey Huntsman Spider.

This spider is a frequent visitor to households in Queensland. When this guys around, the likelihood of being bothered by mosquitos and other insect pests is almost non existant. Unfortunately the common gecko is an enemy and they also roam our households.The spiders are large and speedy creatures that chase their prey and do not need the luxury of a web for survival. Dexterous in movement whether walking sideways in crablike fashion or front on at full speed these creatures provide lots of entertainment. Non aggressive, and harmless to humans, although they do bite. Their size is the reason for the fear factor.


Jewelled Spider.

Jewelled Spider.

Six strong spines are the feature of this spider along with the black yellow and white markings.The male of the species is mainly black and the spines are not as prominent.The webs are small and circular in shape and are built in shrubbery, or in the tropics can be found on leaves in the forest canopy. The spider sits in the middle of the web waiting patiently for small prey to become entangled. Another name for this species is the Chrismas Spider, as in Brisbane and the South East they are seen at that particular time of the year. The spider is small with very short legs and not known to be a danger to humans.


Jumping Spider.

Jumping Spider.

The Jumping Spider is common in Australia and there are in the region of 250 species of this particular spider. Tufts of hairs behind their claws give them great stability and when jumping they are always attached to a thread of silk that prevents them from falling. They jump on top of their prey from above and are assisted by excellent eyesight. Their main predator is the Spider Eating Wasp that uses it's prey for food for their larvae. Defying gravity they can leap at least 25 times their own body length. Living in houses and gardens they are common in summer throughout Queensland. It rarely bites and is harmless to humans.


Leaf Curl Spider.

Leaf Curl Spider.

A brightly coloured spider with yellow and black markings across a rather large abdomen. They weave a circular web with a segment missing at the top which is taken up by a dead leaf that they curl up. Once completed this becomes their home. Unusually for spiders, the male cohabits inside the leaf with the female. This spider only survives through one summer and eggs are layed in a seperate leaf beside the parental abode.The work of hauling a dead leaf from the ground to the web is done using silk by way of an ingenious pulley method. The spider will retreat into the leaf if approached and is harmless to humans.


Magnificent Spider.

Magnificent Spider.

This spider is never usually seen at ground level. Their habitat is made of leaves bound with silk and is high off the ground in the foliage of trees.The female can produce a scent that attracts moths and when within range the spider throws a sticky ball of silk and glue at the unfortunate prey and retrieves the helpless victim by hauling in on its attached thread. Hence it's other title of Angler Spider. White in colour, except for the the abdomen which has two bright nodules and several small salmon coloured star shaped patterns. The male is minute in comparison to the female and is barely 2mm in length. Harmless to humans.


Mouse Spider.

Mouse Spider.

This spider is a member of the Trap Door family of spiders.Their habitats can be in burrows or in contrast can be in trees. Burrows are lined with mud and silk combined ,and the female rarely leaves her retreat ,and is usually laid back and rarely aggressive. The male is a wanderer during early winter particularly after a wet spell. If approached they will assume a threatening posture. This spider has powerful fangs and their bite can be deep and extremely painful. If bitten, it is imperitive to seek immediate medical attention after first applying a pressure bandage over the infected area as high up the limb affected as possible.


Netcasting Spider.

Netcasting Spider.

The Netcaster has the appearance of a Stick Insect and manufactures a triangular shaped net to enable it to catch it's prey. Lying in wait above a leaf he will have already marked the target area with excretia. As soon as a likely meal approaches the area the spider will cast the net with his front legs. This fellow has two huge eyes that enable it to hunt from sunset to early dawn. Once caught the victim has no chance of escape as the net is extremely pliable and will not break under stress. The Netcaster has never been known to bite humans and is therefore considered a friend for life.


Redback Spider.

Redback Spider.

This spider is probably one of the best known spiders in Australia. The abdomen is black and spherical with an unmistakable reddish stripe. The female is the biting culprit as the male is only a third of her size and his fangs are too small to inflict injury. The Redback is a common sight throughout South East Queensland and in the days of the Outdoor Dunny was a constant pest that often popped up from nowhere to bite an unsuspecting Dunny visitor on the rump. Since anti venom was introduced in the fifties the seriousness of it's bite has been downgraded, but if bitten you still need to seek medical attention.


Red House Spider.

Red House Spider.

This spider is also called the Red Legged Spider and has often been mistaken for the Red Back Spider. Rusty red in colour, their bodies are spotted with the female of the species bearing a red vertical band on the underside of the abdomen. They are a small house spider that like to weave their tangled webs in undisturbed corners such as the eaves, in door frames and in the corners of skirting boards.They sit patiently waiting for small insects that might stray into their webs.Shaped with an hour glass figure similar to the Red Back , this spider has not been known to bite humans.


Scorpion Spider.

Scorpion Spider.

The Scorpion Spider inhabits woodland and forest areas and webs are built close to the ground near to foliage. Commonly fawn in colour but can be various shades of brown. A small black tip is prominent on the end of the females abdomen. As in many species the male is very small compared with the female and does not have a large tail, and is often seen at the outer edge of the orblike web. The female has a rather long tail that can be wrapped around the body giving it the appearance of a scorpion.Their food source consists of any small insects that get captured in the web.Bites are rare and considered harmless.


Shield Spider.

Shield Spider.

A member of the Huntsman family of spiders this particular one is probably the largest. The upper body is coloured even yellow brown to fawn and the head is smooth and domed. Underneath the abdomen we find a badge like pattern with colours ranging from black, yellow, red , orange and white.They are known to make shelters of silk and leaves in forest areas and are seen frequenting local gardens and households. Of the large spiders the Huntsman are the only species that can traverse up and down sheer vertical surfaces with ease.The Shield Spider is a ready biter and can inflict painful wounds with it's large fangs.


Spotted Ground Spider.

Spotted Ground Spider.

The Spotted Ground Spider is similar to the Swift Ground Spider in that it is a sprinter of renown.It has a shiny black head and the body is black with yellow spots on the abdomen. Usually the legs are brown or black in colour. This spider is a wanderer and can be found on open ground or in back gardens during the Australian Summer months. During it's wanderings it comes across it's prey, and when this happens there is only one victor, as the spider is lightning fast over short distances especially when looking for a light snack. This spider is considered non aggressive and harmless to humans.


St.Andrews Cross Spider.

St. Andrews Cross Spider.

The Saint Andrews Cross Spider is a banded Orb Weaver that has distinctive white , yellow and black bands situated across the abdomen. This spider is common and is found in gardens throughout Australia. The web is usually large and if close to the house is a great snare for all the annoying flies and mosquitos that would otherwise annoy the householder. When resting, the spider sits upside down in the centre of the web forming the shape of a cross. Non aggressive by nature, these spiders have very small fangs and they are reluctant to bite. Nausea or dizziness can occur after a bite so seek medical attention.


Swift Ground Spider.

Swift Ground Spider.

This creature has the distinction of being the fastest moving spider in Australia. Like a sprinter it moves in short sharp bursts.The Swift Ground Spider does not build a web and relies on it's speed to capture it's prey. Brilliant white markings adorn it's body with a row of white dashed spots on it's abdomen. Forelegs are red to brown in colour and when dashing at speed they can wave their forelegs above them to mimic the antennae of a wasp.Prey consists of small insects and other spiders.Not a spider that is know to bite humans so we must consider them totally harmless.


Tent Spider.

Tent Spider.

The Tent Spider is a small spider that can be found in warm shaded areas in gardens, trees, in walls or on paths. Unlike the Orb Spiders they build their web horizontally with supporting strands of silk above. The female is approx 10mm long and has an off white body colour, legs are brown and banded and there is a broad rusty stripe down the back of the abdomen. The web has a tent like structure with a distinct central peak where the spider sits waiting for prey to get entangled. These spiders are known at times to live in colonies and to all intents and purpose they are completely harmless to humans although they bite with little effect.


Trapdoor Spider.

Trapdoor Spider.

A large spider similar to the Funnel Web in shape but is brown in colour unlike the shiny black of the Funnel-Web. The male is a much darker brown and smaller. The Trapdoor Spider burrows into the ground and manufactures a door above the hide to conceal the abode. Females remain inside the burrow but the males tend to wander around for long periods. Small creatures that walk near the burrow are easily caught, as the vibrations are detected by the Trapdoor Spider and in a flash the door opens and the helpless creature is snatched back into the burrow. The male will rear up if threatened, and they bite. Medical attention required.


Triangle Spider.

Triangle Spider.

The female of the species can grow to approx. 7.5 mm in body length as opposed to the male that is slightly smaller and weighs in at approx. 5.5mm. The Triangle Spider has a distinctive triangular shaped abdomen with white circular markings and the first two pair of legs face forwards similar to the salticid spider. The spider has strong spines leading sideways from the front of the head. They are found in gardens, trees, and even clothes lines during the summer months. Webs are not used for snaring prey, they rely on ambush tactics alone. Bites can be painful for a short period but they are not considered harmful.


Two Spined Spider.

Two Spined Spider.

Very rare to see these creatures during the day as they hide under leaves and remain so until nightfall. The abdomen is rounded, and coloured red, green, yellow and black with two individual white spines atop the abdomen. Often seen at night in orchards as moths are attracted to fruit trees They weave an orb like horizontal web to catch moths and other small creatures during the night, and consume the entire web before settling down in their hideouts for the daylight hours. Able to change colour to confuse likely predators. One of the arachnids that can be labelled as 'pretty'. This spider is harmless to humans.


Giant Water Spider.

Giant Water Spider.

This spider can grow to the size of a human hand and is extremely aggressive if disturbed.Often found on causeways or bridges close to streams.The spider has hairs on the base of its legs that enable them to walk on water. Fish, Frogs and small Invertebrates are taken from the water by this spider that can dive under water and remain submerged for some time due to air trapped in the hairs around their spiracles.Similar in shape and colour to the Wolf Spider but has much longer legs. After mating, the female builds a web of silk and leaves among rocks and reeds to nurse the young until they are able to fend for themselves. Painful Bite.


Whip Spider.

Whip Spider.

These spiders that lack a tail, are flattened arachnids that have long whip-like first legs that are antennae like in appearance and help the spider in its exploration of it's local environment.By day they live in rocks crevices or under tree bark for cover and set forth at night for food. The spider is commonly seen in garden bushes, and send a few single strands of thread into foliage below and waits for prey to wander into the silk. Toothed bristles on the end segment of it's last leg enable the Whip Spider to send swathes of sticky silk from it's spinaret, entangling it's helpless victim. No known bites from this species.


White Tailed Spider.

White Tailed Spider.

This spider is aggressive by nature and is found mainly under logs or bark in back gardens or in bushland areas. It is common to find these spiders in homes and they will find cover under garments left on the floor or anywhere else they find suitable. They surface from cover at nightime and prey mainly on small prey and other spiders.The spider has a distinctive white spot on the end of it's abdomen. Bites are common events and cause localised swelling and pain around the affected area. Some bite cases have been known to cause ulceration of the skin but these are rare.


Wolf Spider.

Wolf Spider.

Found in gardens throughout Australia ,The Wolf Spider resides under leaves, bark or even in burrows.This spider is also found in uninhabited remote inland areas. Crickets and lizards provide their main diet but they have been known to engage with small birds,mice and the occasional Cane Toad. The spider is not aggressive by nature but will bite in an effort to defend itself.Bites are not known to cause serious injury, but it is always wise to seek medical attention if bitten by one of the several species of Wolf Spider that are found here. Domestic animals are vulnerable to the venom and can die as a result of it's bite.

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