Mutant Funnel Web Spider Could Be One Of Many More After Rainfall
Potential surge sparked by dump of rain!
It almost looks fake! Credit: Australian Reptile Park Facebook
The Australian Reptile Park has captured its largest female funnel-web spider with massive fangs, capable of puncturing a fingernail.
The beast, dubbed "Megaspider" with fangs 2cm long, was reported amid a surge of spiders in New South Wales’ recent wet and humid conditions.
Keeper Jake Meney warned the dump of rain on the east coast has created an “influx” of the creatures which he says are “very active”.
The “gargantuan” spider was handed into the park without any information.
“This female funnel-web spider is over 8cm in length and the average funnel-webs are typically less than five, so this spider is quite a bit larger than typical. Even a normal-sized funnel-web has extremely large fangs, but on this megaspider, the fangs are almost 2cm long, which is longer than a taipan fang, and that's capable of puncturing a human fingernail.”
- Keeper Jake Meney
Mr Meney says he would like to see more residents hand the creatures into the Australian Reptile Park where they can milk their venom to produce lifesaving antivenin.
Thanks to the parks program, 300 human lives are saved each year and they handle a wide range of beasts.
Education Officer Michael Tate said in his thirty years, he had never seen a funnel web of this size.
“She is unusually large, and if we can get the public to hand in more spiders like her, it will only result in more lives being saved due to the huge amount of venom they can produce,” he said.
Mr Tate said they would like the person who handed Megaspider in to get in touch to assist the team in collecting more of the same.
“We are really keen to find out where she came from in hopes to find more massive spiders like her,” he said.
If you spot a spider, the park asks for the creatures to be captured safely and handed into one of the many collection points with details about where and when it was found.
The drop-off locations include:
- Westmead Hospital
- Sutherland Hospital
- Hornsby Hospital
- Brookvale Greencross Vets
- Mona Vale Veterinary Hospital
- Hawkesbury City Council
- Symbio Wildlife Park
- Australian Reptile Park
- Gosford Hospital
- Wyong Hospital
- Wyoming Veterinary Hospital
- Wyong Hospital
- John Hunter Hospital
See the Australian Reptile Park's video of Megaspider here.
Join Tom Tilley with regular rotating co-hosts Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi on The Briefing, Monday - Saturday, for the day's headlines and breaking news as well as hot topics and interviews. Available on Listnr.