Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Venomous funnel-web tarantula
|Venomous funnel-web tarantulas|
The venomous funnel-web tarantulas of the family Hexanthelidae are notorious for the inclusion of the Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus). This is probably one of the three most dangerous spiders on our planet. It has a powerful neurotoxin that, for some reason not easily apparent, is more toxic in the male. Unfortunately, males are aggressive and tend to wander in search of females. They are often found in swimming pools where they have fallen while so engaged. They also show up in garages and yards in suburban Sydney. Until the antivenom was produced in 1980, the bite of a male Sydney funnel-web spider was usually fatal. Even the bite of a female or juvenile can be serious.
Like the related diplurid spiders, the hexanthelids have generally long spinnerets. Members of the genus Hadronyche can also produce a nasty bite. Most hexanthelids are found in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. One species is known for the Mediterranean region and two from South America.
- Main, Barbara York. 1976. Spiders. Collins, Sydney, Australia.
- McKeown, Keith C. 1952. Australian Spiders. Angus and Robertson, Sydney, Australia.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details