Spiders belong to the class Arachnida. They have 8 jointed legs and its body is divided into two sections, the abdomen and the cephalothorax
(a fused head and thorax section).
There are a wide range of spiders, and they vary greatly in appearance and behaviour.
There are only a few spider species that pose a threat to humans.
Some of the more commonly encountered spider species are listed below with some information.
THE WHITE TAILED SPIDER
The whitetailed spider is generally a dark grey to black spider with a cigar shaped body finishing with a characteristic white spot on the end of its abdomen.
It is commonly found outdoors around mulch and leaf matter, behind bark on trees and under rocks etc.
Upon wandering indoors it can be found under couches, fridge's etc but particularly bathrooms.
Although the whitetailed spider is not particularly aggressive, it will administer a painful bite if touched or placed against the body within clothing or a towel etc. The bites can be very painful, and even cause ulceration around the area of the bite.
THE BLACK HOUSE SPIDER
Black house spiders are a dark brown to black spider. The female is usually about 15mm to 18mm in body length but can get even larger. Black house spiders are commonly found around window and door frames, and especially around pergolas and patios.
They make a messy web, usually with a distinctive round entry, not unlike a funnel shape.
The black house spider will bite if provoked, generally causing some local pain and swelling, but can cause an allergic reaction in some people which requires medical treatment.
THE REDBACK SPIDER
The female redback is usually 12-15mm in body length with a smooth black body with a flash of red or orange on its abdomen.
The redback can give a painful bite, causing illness and if medical assistance is not sought can cause death.
Redbacks can be found in stacked items, leaf matter, sheds, and other quiet dark places.
Redbacks make an untidy web and will be more likely to bite when she is guarding her egg sacs which can contain up to 2 000 babies.
THE ORB WEAVER
Many spiders belong to the Orb Weaver group, including the Golden Orb Weaver, which make large strong webs between posts, shrubs and trees.
Female Golden Orb Weavers are about 20mm in body length and have a bulbous abdomen.
Other Orb weavers can get up to 50mm in body length.
Orb weavers are considered to be a non toxic spider, and pose no real threat to humans. Orb Weavers are usually seen at night in their webs
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