Saturday, 20 September 2008

Don't mess with a redback

 
 
 
 

I got this from an Australian friend! The redback is a very small spider, but look how dangerous it is!
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Come to Australia , where our spiders eat our snakes!
An office receptionist got the shock of her life earlier this week when she found a 14cm long snake entangled in the web of a deadly spider. Tania Robertson, a receptionist at an electrical firm, came in to work on Tuesday and spotted the sight next to a desk in her office. The snake, which had obviously died from the spider's poisonous bite, was off the ground and caught up in the web.
Throughout Tuesday, the spider checked on her prey, but on Wednesday she rolled it up and started spinning a web around it. She also kept lifting it higher off the ground, while continually snacking on it.

The Redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti) is a potentially dangerous spider native to Australia. It resembles a Black widow spider. It is a member of the genus Latrodectus or the widow family of spiders, which are found throughout the world. The female is easily recognisable by its black body with prominent red stripe on its 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 animals 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. There is an antivenom for Redback bites which is commercially available.

15 comments:

Old Lady Lincoln said...

WOW, I hope they sprayed the office area so there aren't anymore spiders like that one. Just think how bad it could have been if it had bitten her.

Have a great week-end.

Reader Wil said...

It is to be hoped indeed! It's a nasty little animal.

Dina said...

Oh Wil, so glad it was not YOU close enough to take these pictures.

Reader Wil said...

No, Dina, these are not my photos! Otherwise I would have used them for CC.

rebecca said...

okay, i think i'll scratch australia off my list as one of the places to visit. wow! i did not know that a spider could web a snake. this is incredible.....and scary. very scary.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Mercy, mercy me!! Snakes are scary enough, but a snake-eating spider! WOW!!

Janice Thomson said...

I'm with Rebecca - that's a bit too scary for me - I'd be nervous the whole time I was there :)

Dar's Foto Faze said...

I think spiders are fascinating creatures, but I do stay far away from the poisonous ones. Great photos

raccoonlover1963 said...

Hi Wil. I have never seen anything like that. The spider, however, looks just like our Black Widow spider. Very poisonous! I had inadvertantly wound up with one in a box that I had packed up when moving back to Florida from Arizona. Imagine my surprise to open the box, hear the web crackle then see the spider! That was enough for me!
Lisa

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

really cool post - without the photos, it would be just an encyclopaedia text, but you've displayed it nicely with the pics!

Reader Wil said...

Raccoonlover, that must have been an awful experience to see a Black Widow!
Rebbecca, I wouldn't go to Australia if my daughter hadn't lived there. Still the people I met are very nice and the country is beautiful. My daughter is happy there, that's enough for me.
Thank you all for your comments.

Merisi said...

Mamma mia!
Thinking that all my life I was out "saving" spiders by carrying them out of harm's way, I shudder to think what I'd do if I encountered one of these poisonous ones! Run??? Yes!

Indrani said...

OMG! This is scary!
I showed to my daughters too.

Dick said...

Very interesting but I'm glad we don't have them in the Netherlands.
Great shots and story

Cláudia said...

Well, it's almost unbeleavable if I had not see the shots. My nephew will leave in Australia next year, I will show it for him!