Funnel-web spider bites Narooma woman

A NAROOMA woman in her early sixties has received hospital treatment after being bitten on her finger by a funnel-web spider on Wednesday.

Ambulance paramedics were called at 2.45pm and transported her to Moruya Hospital in a stable condition.

No further information was available at this time as whether she received antidote for the bite.

The Narooma News reported back in 2008 that Narooma resident Roger Hilton had killed two male funnel-web spiders.

He had been in Narooma for six years but reasonable amounts of rain at that time led him to speculate the conditions provided perfect conditions for this spider, and back then he said we are likely to see more.

The species is most probably hadronyche sp “Illawarra Group” Atrax Robustus, which is closely related to the Sydney funnel-web spider of which the male is the most deadly to humans.

Mr Hilton was checking with the Australian Museum to confirm that the male of this species has the same toxicity as the Sydney variant.

“It is opportune moment to put out a warning advising people to take extreme care,” he said.

According to the Australian Museum, funnel-webs burrow in moist, cool, sheltered habitats - under rocks, in and under rotting logs, crevices, rot and borer holes in rough-barked trees.

In gardens, they prefer rockeries and dense shrubberies, and are rarely found in more open situations like lawns.

The most characteristic sign of a funnel-web’s burrow is the irregular silk trip-lines that radiate out from the burrow entrance of most species.

These trip-lines alert the spider to possible prey, mates or danger.

Rain may flood burrows and the temporary retreats of male funnel-webs, causing an increase in their activity.

Funnel-webs are very vulnerable to drying out, so high humidity is more favourable to activity outside the burrow than dry conditions. Most activity is nocturnal.

Gardeners and people digging in soil may encounter funnel-webs in burrows at any time of the year.

The story Funnel-web spider bites Narooma woman first appeared on Narooma News.

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