Funnel Web Spider

The Funnel Web Spider

One of the most dangerous families of spiders is Atracidae family which is commonly known as the Funnel Web Spider, native to Australia. This family incorporates around 35 species, each having its distinct features with some general traits. So if you’re living in coastal areas of Australia, you should have sound knowledge about them.



Funnel Web Spider

Funnel Web Spider by Magnus Hagdorn from UK – funnel web spider, CC BY-SA 2.0

The appearance of a Funnel Web Spider varies from species to species. Generally, they all are brownish and grayish in color bearing dark colored bands and marks; their body and legs are usually covered with hairs. Their size varies within the range of 0.4 to 2.0 inches and mostly Funnel Web Spiders have a long tail-like body shape.

Their webs have distinct funnel shape web tube with flat surface; the flat surface works by entangling preys, whereas funnel tube provides spiders safe escape to their burrows which are made either underground or in the crevices.


They are immensely aggressive towards their prey. Their venom is so strong that it can kill its prey instantly. They usually hide under wood piles, rocks, gardens, burrows, corners of the buildings, and in the dark areas of the home.

They aren’t habitual of attacking humans, but if disturbed or come in contact while digging, they bite people in defense.


Most obvious and intimidating sign of funnel web spiders’ presence is the existence of cone-shaped webs on the surface of building structures or on vegetation.

Common symptoms in case of an unfortunate encounter with funnel web spiders include local pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, numbness in mouth, salivation and sweating. In case of such symptoms, emergency medical treatment should be taken as funnel web spiders’ bites are lethal.


Funnel web spiders usually sneak into your home in search of food or mate. They feast upon small insects and bugs therefore they swarm in dark places with high probability of insects like garage, clutter in storerooms, attics, etc and spin their webs there to catch preys. Sometimes they accidentally enter the house when their nest is disturbed in outdoors.

In outdoor settings, usually funnel web spiders invade in search of shelter and water. They require high humidity level for survival. They make their burrows near the soft ground under rocks, shrubs, logs or beneath leaf litter.


It is highly important to guard yourself against these creatures because if somehow they bite you, it can be lethal. The following methods will help you in eradicating them.

Seal the cracks:

Seal the secret and small passages of these spiders in your home; this includes cracks in walls, gaps in windows, foundation and doors, etc.

Remove their food sources:

Get rid of their food sources as much as you can. Minimize the presence of bugs, pests and insects in your garden, basements, attics, porch, etc with help of insecticides or other insect killers.

Professional pest exterminators:

If you identify a presence of funnel web spiders in your home or garden, it’s advisable to not step on them as they are aggressive spiders and if not killed they will attack back and will repeatedly bite. They cannot jump, so try to trap them in a bottle or jar and if they are in their webs, leave them there and call a professional spider exterminator to get rid of them.

Funnel Web Spider Facts

  • The lifespan of male funnel web spiders is 3-4 years, whereas females live up to 12 years.
  • Male funnel web spiders are seven times more toxic than females.
  • Funnel web spiders found in the US aren’t toxic.
  • They have the ability to take in small vertebrates like frogs and lizards.
  • They cannot survive without water for more than 2 days.
  • The funnel web spider has strong fangs which can pierce through gloves, leather and nails.