Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Red Back

Part of the watering process on the golf course requires the lifting of a cover to get to the relevant valve.
When I turned this valve cover over this morning, I disturbed a Red Back Spider.

The Red Back makes an untidy web in dark places. It’s a trellis or scaffolding structure between two parallel surfaces that are a short distance apart. Many of the vertical strands are sticky and they trap any insects that may wander too close.

Red Back Spider toxin is particularly strong. A bite can seriously harm a human and can cause death in some cases if the antitoxin is not quickly administered.

This female has just one egg sac, but they can have 4 or 5 sacs that might produce several hundred spiderlings, usually at the onset of rain – now that’d be good, (the rain I mean)!

PS: Here's a link to a great post on Red Backs by Gaye from the Hunter.


  1. I still haven't seen a redback in Tassie. Looks like she's getting plenty of beetles down there,

  2. hi Gouldiae,

    good to see a Red-back spider post to herald the onset of the warmer weather. It is always worthwhile repeating warnings of these secretive, but venomous, spiders.

    Most interesting to see Mosura's comment about not as yet seeing a Red-back in Tasmania. Mosura, I hope you will let your readers know when/if you find one.

    I had so many last season that I had to seriously cull them in the children's play areas (and the outdoor furniture).


  3. Yes Gaye,
    They certainly can be a concern in certain areas, particularly when they are in number. This one's been in residence under the lid for a few weeks now, so I know she is there and never leave my fingers in the hole for very long. I might start wearing the gloves again, just the same!

  4. Just keep that fellow down there. :)