NSW funnel web spiders emerge early for mating season

By Australian Geographic 12 October 2018
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Keep an eye out.

NSW RESIDENTS have been warned to stay vigilant as an influx of funnel spiders emerge from their burrows, ready to mate.

The warm, wet weather New South Wales is currently experiencing has triggered an early start to the mating season, which would usually begin in the summer months.

A number of people have begun spotting them in their backyards. Experts are urging residents not to kill the spiders, but to cautiously collect them if possible.

The Australian Reptile Park, the only place known to milk funnel webs for their venom, is low on supply. The park must milk 500 to 700 spiders each week in order to have enough venom to support anti-venom production.

The funnel spider is considered to be one of the most dangerous spiders on earth, able to kill a human in 15 minutes. But since the anti-venom program started in 1981, there have been no deaths.

They’re usually found in cool, sheltered and shady spots throughout Sydney, the Illawarra, Newcastle, and the Central Coast.

Drop-offs can be made at several NSW locations, which are listed online along with an instructional video and guide explaining how to catch and transport the spiders safely.