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 name “common garden orb weaver spider” pretty much sums this spider up. It’s very common in Australian gardens where it weaves an intricate orb shaped web. It is similar to the garden spiders around the world with its big, bulky abdomen and distinctive patterning. Unlike the European garden spider the orb weaver (Eriophora transmarina) is nocturnal, often building its web close to lights where insects are attracted.
Despite being nocturnal this is one of the most commonly encountered spiders in Australia. It is not generally aggressive and will retreat and/or play dead if threatened. However, it is a large spider and will bite. In fact Eriophora accounts for more spider bites than any other species. Fortunately the bite is quite mild resulting in mild local pain and possible short term swelling.