Red alert for redback spider
Proceed with caution with this Australian spider.
This week’s reader photo of a juvenile Redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti) was captured by Sally in her home in Mingay, Victoria. “I saw this little spider in a box of horseshoe nails just before my fingers went in to grab some nails. If it wasn’t for the red back alert, I could have possibly grabbed the spider instead of my camera!” she said. Being mainly nocturnal spiders, Redbacks are commonly found in or near Australian homes in warm sheltered locations. Although no one has died from a Redback bite since 1956, their bite can be severely harmful to humans, and it is estimated more than 2000 people are bitten each year.