Where to Now ... Redback Spider : Latrodectus hasselti

Trish Meyer

Denhams Beach, Australia

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE
Photographed at Denhams Beach, New South Wales, Australia.
The Redback Spider : Latrodectus hasselti is a potentially dangerous spider endemic to Australia. It is a member of the genus Latrodectus, or widow family of spiders, which are found throughout the world. The female is easily recognisable by her black body with a prominent red stripe on the upper side (i.e. the back) of her abdomen. Females have a body length of about a centimetre while the male is smaller,
being only 3 to 4 millimetres long. The Redback spider is one of few arachnids which display sexual cannibalism while mating.

Redbacks are considered one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia. The Redback spider has a neurotoxic venom which is toxic to humans with bites causing severe pain and potentially causing death or serious illness, especially in the young and elderly, however there is an antivenom for Redback bites which is commercially available.

Redback spiders build tangled webs under ledges and in garden shrubs; the webs are untidy arrangements of tight threads with no obvious pattern and are usually close to the ground and in contact with it; most of the time the females are in a retreat of dead leaves bound with silk and often there are several round egg sacs nearby.
They are the messiest web builders and are more likely to run and hide than to wait around for a photo session like this one.

Source : Wikipedia and personal observation.
More information can be found here

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