Australia is renowned for having being home to some of the deadliest creatures on the planet. The sea is full of man-eating sharks, it has the deadliest snakes on Earth and there is even a bird capable of killing a man – granted it can’t fly, but you get the picture. However, if australia is infamous for one particular group of terror inducing beasties it is our eight-legged friends the spiders. If you are arachnaphobic, which frankly most people seem to be, then Australia, with its 10,000 species of spiders could present a few problems.
Whilst all spiders are venomous in reality very few are capable of biting a human and even fewer pose any potential risk. In fact Australian spiders are statistically so un-dangerous that there hasn’t been a death from a spider bite since 1981. That’s puts them on a par with, er, wombats!
So, now you are in possession of the facts and realise there is nothing at all to be scared of allow me to introduce you to one of Australia’s not so deadly spiders
The Huntsman spiders are the archetypal big, hairy, fast moving spider of arachnophobes nightmares. They can have a leg span of up to 6ins (15cm) and are generally seen racing across walls. As the name suggests the Huntsman do not have a web and hunts prey such as cockroaches using speed.
These spiders are common across Australia and as a rule don’t bother anyone – well except for scaring the crap out of people! Although capable of biting they are not usually aggressive, an exception is when the female is guarding her eggs.
The bite is painful, but not dangerous. It can cause some systemic effects such as nausea, headache and palpitations but apparently not necrosis of tissue.
Perhaps the biggest danger posed by the Huntsman is its habit of entering cars. The sudden appearance of a large spider from behind a sun visor or racing across the dashboard has allegedly been responsible for several car crashes.