The funnel web spider is often mistaken for a tarantula. But the bite from an attack is extremely toxic, similar to that of a Brazilian wandering spider.
What is it?
Funnel web spiders are extremely venomous spiders that get their name from the funnel-shaped webs they use to burrow and trap vs their prey. Their horizontal webs have silk burrows in which they hide. Once their prey fall onto the web, the spider rushes out from the funnel, grabs its prey, and takes it back into the funnel for consumption.
Where is the funnel web spider located?
Funnel web spiders are found along the eastern coast of Australia. They make their burrows in cool, moist areas like under rocks and in rotting logs. Those that come into contact with humans are most often found in suburban rockeries and shrubberies.
How will it kill you?
When funnel web spiders bite, they often do so repeatedly while delivering as much venom as possible in each bite. Their venom contains a deadly toxic ion channel inhibitor called atracotoxin, or ACTX. Once the ACTX enters your system, the onset of symptoms is rapid and includes twitching, salivation, elevated heart rate, and elevated blood pressure as well as nausea & vomiting, muscle spasms, fluid accumulation in the lungs, and excessive acid production. Death then occurs due to lowered blood pressure (hypotension) and fluid accumulation in the brain (cerebral edema).
How to survive:
If you’ve been bit by a funnel web spider, apply pressure to the bit area with the use of bandage wrap and immobilize it with a splint in order to slow down the venom’s movement in your system and prevent systemic envenomation. Keep this pressure immobilization bandage on until you can get to professional medical help, where you’ll be administered an immunoglobulin G antivenom, a fast-acting and highly effective antivenom designed specifically to treat funnel web spider bites.