Redback spider

Redback spider

The Creepy Crawler

One of most recognizable species of Australia, the redback spider is commonly found in places ranging from the bush to urban neighbourhood. In fact they also survive in ill kept lawns, pumpkins as well as leafy vegetable crops. Check for them inside log piles as well as under the rocks before getting on with the job. Fully grown female redbacks are jet black in colour with an uneven red stripe behind their sphere-shaped abdomen. Young females are typically smaller and brown in colour with white marks. A sticky, knotted web is built by the female in dry, protected places and she conceals herself in the top funnel-shaped section of her web. No webs are built by male redbacks. In most cases their strong, disorderly webs are close to the ground where the spider hides often safeguarding the circular hairy egg sacs. Redback spiders are small with the females about 1 centimetre long and males just about 4mm in length. Often young redbacks vary in colour as this also depends a little on how old they are. It is very rare to spot a male redback spider. They are much smaller and brown in colour with white and red markings. Lifespan of female redbacks is around two or three years while male redbacks live for approximately six to seven months.

Diet of Redback spider

Typical diet of Redback spiders includes insects and crickets. It is seen that big female redbacks are able to catch small lizards and they even steal food from other redback spider webs. Females also sometimes eat the little male redbacks after mating.

Danger to humans

Only the bite of a female redback is hazardous and it can make the patient sick with pain, sweating and vomiting. It is possible to get anti-venom for redback bites and no person has lost life due to a bite from redback since the discovery of this medicine. Redback females hardly ever leave the web and these spiders are not antagonistic. On the other hand it is best to be cautious as their bite being very poisonous can be extremely dangerous and if not treated on time even fatal.

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