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Hadronyche | by Tobias Hayashi Photography
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Hadronyche

Taken on the recent field trip to Kioloa at the weekend. We were down there to explore the diversity of Invertebrates for a course of the same name.

 

It was the first time I had been to Kioloa, which is pretty much like a second campus for the ANU. Apparently the property was donated when the owner died with the proviso that it be used for the education of students.

 

This is a (reasonably large) female funnel-web spider of the genus Hadronyche. Hadronyche is generally considered the less venomous of the two genus of funnel-web spider (Atrax being the other). Females are also generally considered less venomous than the males, although to what extent, if any, is not clear. Hadronyche tend to be found in rotting logs whereas Atrax are more often found under or near rocks.

 

Funnel-web spiders are notorious in Australian folklore as being deadly killers, but in reality there have been no recorded deaths attributable to a bite from these spiders since anti-venoms were developed in 1981. The (13) claimed deaths before were probably due to male Atrax funnel-web spiders. This is more likely due to the male funnel-web spider's habit of wandering around in search of females to mate with, rather than any large difference in the potency of the venom of the sexes. Females tend to stay put in their long funnels, waiting for prey (and males) to come by.

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Taken on March 24, 2012