Recent rain is bringing more funnel web spiders out of hiding

Caught: This female funnel web spider was pulled from a backyard pool at Caringbah this week
Caught: This female funnel web spider was pulled from a backyard pool at Caringbah this week

The rain is bringing more than a soaking to places up and down the east coast. Also on the move are funnel web spiders.

Liz Stevens of Caringbah in Sydney’s south found a large female funnel web in her backyard pool on Tuesday – luckily before her curious toddler spotted it.

“It was big, black and scary,” she said. “After all this rain, they are out.

“It was very still but then sprung back to life after two hours. It was pretending to be dead but was very much alive.

“My son thought it was amazing and wanted to keep it as a pet.”

She captured the spider in an empty plastic milk bottle and took it to Sutherland Hospital.

Funnel web bites should be left untouched, says NSW Health, except for the use of an elasticised bandage, and the victim should remain still until medical help arrives.

There are 40 different types of funnel web spiders located on the east coast of Australia, including the Port Macquarie funnel web, whose venom is slightly more toxic than the Sydney funnel web.

It’s found along the Mid North Coast, including in Bellingen, dwelling in garden burrows that can be identified by trip line webs that are spread out across ground from the hole and are designed to snare prey.

Like many funnel web spider species, both sexes of the Port Macquarie funnel web have a shiny black carapace, dark brown to black legs and abdomen.