There has been an increase in funnel-web sightings in recent weeks, including this massive fellow (main picture-above), handed into John Hunter Hospital today. It is claimed to be one of the largest, if not the largest, male funnel-web spiders ever recorded in the Hunter and the Central Coast.
There have been a number of these scary arachnids reported found on the Central Coast and Hunter over the last few weeks. Earlier this month, children ran screaming from their jumping castle pool in Terrigal after one of the potentially deadly spiders decided to join them, whilst this "little" fellow (pictured below) decided to take a stroll across the lounge room floor of a home in East Gosford.
With our recent weather conditions, funnel-webs have been on the move, fleeing their soaked burrows for drier lodgings. They will be out and about, seeking damp, dark corners to hide. Unfortunately, they will often cross our paths in their quest to do so. Checking under bed covers, shaking clothes and shoes before wearing and wearing appropriate outdoor shoes will all minimise the risk of having a painful run-in with one of these uninvited guests.
The Australian Reptile Park at Somersby is the sole supplier of the funnel-web venom and is always on the lookout for the spiders to milk. If you come across a funnel-web and you have the confidence to safely capture it, you can take it to the park or to one of the drop off points listed below.
● Gosford Hospital pathology
● Wyoming Veterinary Hospital
● Wyong Hospital emergency
Dozens of Australians are bitten by funnel-webs every year, however since the anti-venom was introduced in the early 1980s, there have been no known deaths.