Victorian Funnel-web Spider Hadronyche modesta

Spiders of Victoria series

Identification

The female Victorian Funnel-web Spider characteristically has a shiny black cephalothorax (fused head and thorax) and a dark brown to black abdomen. The male is similar to the female, although the cephalothorax and legs often have a polished lustre. In form, the Victorian Funnel-web is similar to the Melbourne Trap-door Spider, but the body is generally smaller and darker and lacks the rib-like markings on the top of the abdomen.

Photo of a Victorian Funnel-web Spider

A Victorian Funnel-web Spider
Photographer: Alan Henderson. Source: Museum Victoria

Habitat and biology

Around Melbourne, these spiders are only known from in the Dandenong Ranges area.

Female and male habits and biology are similar to the Melbourne Trap-door Spider. Females remain in or around their silk-lined burrow.

During late summer and autumn, males wander in search of females and may enter buildings.

Funnel-web spiders use ‘trip-wires’ to catch their prey. These trip-wires are strands of silk radiating from the burrow entrance. At night, the spider sits inside the entrance with its legs touching the silken strands. When it feels the vibrations of an insect tripping the wires, the spider pounces on the prey.

Bites

Although these spiders are related to the Sydney Funnel-web Spider, they have not been implicated in any fatalities or serious envenomations. They are only known to cause general symptoms such as headaches and nausea.

Further Reading

Brunnet, B. 1994. The Silken Web – A Natural History of Australian Spiders. Reed Books: Melbourne.

Lindsey, T. 1998. Spiders of Australia. New Holland Publishers: Sydney.

Walker, K. L., Yen, A. L. and Milledge, G. A. 2003. Spiders and Scorpions commonly found in Victoria. Royal Society of Victoria: Melbourne.

Comments (141)

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fparry 31 May, 2009 17:29
Two of these spiders have been found in Warrenheip Victoria. The first approx. 4-5 weeks ago, and the second one last night ie 30/5/09.
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EDWIN GARCIA 4 June, 2009 04:13
I´m not quite sure of what kind of spider i found, it looks almost identical that this one (Hadronyche modesta)but I´m not sure, i actually scanned it, where can i send you the image, the thing is that I´m in Mexico, and i thought those were only Australian spiders. PLEASE REPLY!
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Discovery Centre 14 June, 2009 14:40

Hi Edwin,

Please feel free to log your identification request and attach your images here. A museum arachnologist will look at your images and let you know what kind of spider you've found.

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Robyne McNally 20 July, 2009 14:53
Think I have caught one of these spiders in Koorlong, Vic near Mildura. Did think it was a Trapdoor but certainly looks more like a Victorian Funnelweb (didn't know they existed)
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deaedw 21 September, 2009 10:41
Definately caught one in the garden in Baxter, about 2 inches across!!
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Al 22 September, 2009 22:01
I have just sprayed one with Baygon in Taylors Lakes area. Not 100% sure if this was the funnel web but sure looks like nothing else.
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Nate dogg 3 November, 2009 20:12
Fairly sure tunnel found in diamond creek. Vic.
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Petrakim 15 April, 2013 19:38
Just found one in Hurstbridge, inside my house, with hatchlings, lots of them. I sprayed them, but will take a photo. It had a 'funnel' shaped web, which gave it away, and looks just like the photo.
Andrew 9 November, 2009 20:59
caught eight of these at home in Mitcham. All exactly like the photo and approx 1 - 1.5 inches across
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Rachael 20 November, 2009 12:44
Caught 2 of these in my outdoor laundry in Collingwood. One was already dead outside of the web, so I sprayed anyway, and another came out of the web in the ground when I did this. Is there anywhere you can take spiders in melbourne to confirm species?
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Discovery Centre 21 November, 2009 11:48

Hi Rachael - We offer a free identification service here at the Discovery Centre at the Melbourne Museum! Pop your specimen into a jar in the freezer, and when you have a moment, bring it in. The details of where we are, and the guidelines of the service, are available on the link above.

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sam 31 December, 2009 14:29
I saw a spider yesterday that looked very similar in Hawthorn East, Melbourne VIC
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Melanie Randell 1 January, 2010 20:55
Hi - Pretty sure have just identified one of these sitting in among gardening stuff on our balcony - we are in Prahran. At first thought it was the trapdoor but then upon closer inspection think it is the funnel web??
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meagain 29 January, 2010 14:27
im am 99% sure i just found one of these in front yard when i was gardening my young son almost trod on it. didnt know they were in victoria and was curious how they could get here from nsw. especially southern vic. [coronet bay/bass area]
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Discovery Centre 30 January, 2010 14:54

Thank you for your question. There are species of Funnel-web spider in Victoria as mentioned in the information shown in this sheet. However, the spiders are not the Sydney Funnel-web and do not have the same venom issues as the Sydney species.

People are welcome to send an image of their spider to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and we can try and identify it. If the spider has been found in the Coronet Bay area it is more likely to be a species of Trap-door spider than Funnel-web spider.

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rayray 17 February, 2010 21:37
found a male funnel web in knoxfield. sits in a hole near front door. quite aggressive when theres a fly in the web
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Julie Marshall 19 February, 2010 11:45
We have a large infestation of the Victorian funnel Web spider, we live in Brunswick and have had no success in eradicating them. I was happy when they stayed in the garden but they are now coming in the house.
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Markus 9 March, 2010 21:15
I believe I have found a Victorian Funnel Web on Phillip Island Red Rocks area. We have found six so far after the heavy rains over the weekend. I have taken photo's and am concerned for children's safety. The only difference from the photo is there is a grey spot on the abdomen towards the head. Looks more like a Sydney Funnel Web to me? Thankyou
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edel maher 10 March, 2010 07:34
we live on phillip island and my kids found a funnel web in the back yard,it is exactly like the one shown in picture. on closer inspection of back yard it is covered in holes with silk webs covering,what should i do,please advise. ive also got alot of white tailed spiders in the house
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edel 10 March, 2010 12:43
you are defiently right marcus,i have no doubt they are funnel web spiders and like yourself i am concerned for safety of my kids
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Discovery Centre 12 March, 2010 10:30

Hi Markus and Edel,

I understand your concern, but remember spiders have no interest in people. They do not feed on us and do not seek us out. If people make sure not to place themselves in jeopardy the chances of a bite are very low. Take care when gardening, explain to the kids not to dig the spiders up or put their fingers in the holes and they are unlikely to get bitten. Being on Phillip Island the spiders are more likely to be trapdoors, but even if they are a species of Victorian Funnel-web, these spiders are not known to have the venom toxicity of the Sydney Funnel-web.

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Malcolm Grant 21 March, 2010 14:41
Hi, I was bitten by one yesterday, identified as a Victorian Funnel-web. I can attest that the bite hurts alot. I received localised pain to the hand with a 50cm area turning red and being slighlty puffy. I felt a small amount of nausea for several hours, with the symptom passing after 2 hours. The bite area has remained sore 24hrs later, reduced in redness with two puncture wounds clearly visible. Regards, Malcolm
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Renny 21 March, 2010 17:21
can fuunle webs kill you
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Discovery Centre 24 March, 2010 11:47

Hi Renny,

the Sydney Funnel-web has caused human fatalities but there has not been one since the introduction of an antivenom in 1981. If you have a look at the information under 'Bites' in this information sheet you can find information on the Victorian Funnel-web.

 

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Bethany 25 March, 2010 00:29
Hi, I think i just found a funnel web spider in my bathroom in East Keilor, it had built its web in the window frame of our window that we had left open. The web had two 'openings'. Do funnel web spiders build webs inside? It wasnt sitting outside the web and i dont live anywhere near the dandenongs but the photo is almost identical.
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Discovery Centre 25 March, 2010 10:41

Hi Bethany,

Funnel-web spiders do not build in window frames, so your spider will not be a funnel-web. Without seeing an image I would imagine your spider is most likely a Black House Spider, Badumna insignis. See this link.

http://museumvictoria.com.au/discoverycentre/infosheets/spiders-found-in-victoria/spiders---meet-your-housemates/

 

 

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Justin Cooper 6 April, 2010 13:33
I've seen 2 of these and accidently killed one splitting wood in Dales Creek VIC (Near Blackwood in the Wombat Forest).I could rescue the encephalothorax if you wish and send it to you but all features match and it had a silk nest in a fallen tree section. ps great resource you have here! Knowing their mild toxicty helped me reassure and educate my son...
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Discovery Centre 7 April, 2010 10:36

Thanks for the offer, Justin, and we're pleased you like this resource. However, there's no need for an extra encephalothorax in our collection. This one can stay in the wild! 

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Debra Dickson 8 April, 2010 20:29
I was bitten this morning by what i believe was a victorian funnel web. The bite was very painfull and i have experienced nausea and headaches all day, other than that there doesnt seem to be any other problems. I live in the Emerald area of the Dandenong ranges.
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Riley Buchanan 25 April, 2010 16:58
I found a victorian funnel web under a bale of hay on our farm near Meredith. It reared up at me and gave me a fright. I caught it an icecream container and went to show Mum. She took some photos. It's body was about 3 - 3.5cm long. Then I let it go back in the paddock where I found it.
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kirsty 6 June, 2010 01:41
I have just seen vic funnel web number four in the same area in my home. I live in Boronia but more The Basin side at the foothills of the dandenongs. This one was in my kids Bedroom, time to get someone out to spray!
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Suzie 11 July, 2010 13:24
We live in Jan Juc and have 100s of holes up to 1cm diameter in a moist, dark area of our garden. Some of the holes have web layering the side of the hole in the tunnel and some have web across the top of the hole. I have not seen any spiders yet, but my husband saw one yesterday that he and our neighbour believe looks very much like a funnel web. When prodded it jumped about 20cm very quickly. I am worried we have an infestation of funnel webs (or trap-doors?) This worries me because we have a young child who loves to play in the garden.
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suzie 12 July, 2010 13:41
my question regarding my previous post is - is there anything that can be done to erradicate the spiders? Thank you
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Discovery Centre 12 July, 2010 14:59

Hi Suzie, if you live in Jan Juc it is more likely that you may have trapdoor or wolf spiders than funnel-webs. It is very difficult to eradicate spiders as the young of a number of species disperse by using filaments of silk in a process known as ballooning. So even if you dig up and kill every spider you find, others will recolonise suitable habitat over time. You are also far more likely to get bitten trying to dig up and kill a spider than if you leave them alone. The best thing is to be aware of their presence and educate the kids into not diggging them up or putting their fingers in the holes.

These spiders can be quite common and while we receive hundreds of enquiries about them, the number of actual bites that we are contacted about has been extremely low over the years.

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Nicole 3 September, 2010 21:36
I live in Eden Park (Whittlesea) and I am certain that I discovered a victorian funnel web yesterday living under a concrete trough. We get many spiders up here but had not seen one of these before. Was exactly like picture and almost 2 inches long.
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Chris 21 September, 2010 22:32
Hi there. We live in Boronia, and have a large back yard dotted with dozens and dozens (probably a hundred) of tunnels (0.5cm-1.5cm diameter), some of which are lined at the top with silk. The thorax of the chappie I have sitting in a jar on my desk is a little bit too shiny for me to be 100% convinced they are trapdoors (also reading about the distribution of funnelwebs in the Dandenongs). We have three little children, and I know they roam in Autumn (I disturbed one in a leaf pile this year). I am happy to educate the kids to leave them alone, but unless we do the boiling water thing, I feel it's just a matter of time before someone's bitten... Any advice?
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Discovery Centre 22 September, 2010 16:06
Hi Chris, if you have collected one of the spiders please feel free to mail it to us at Discovery Centre PO Box 666 Melbourne 3001. If the spider is still alive please place it in the freezer overnight, this will humanely and quickly kill it. Also if you can post the spider in a container which won't get crushed such as a pill jar. We can then give you an identification and information relevant to the spiders you have.
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Vincent 8 October, 2010 09:57
Hi, I live in manly and i found a spider while i was working. I put it in a jar and it's still living! What can i do with it? I have been told that i can sell it for 100$, is that true ?
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Discovery Centre 8 October, 2010 13:14

Hi Vincent. Determining what type of spider you have found will help you decide what to do with it. Some people do keep spiders as pets but, in general, spiders tend to be better left in the wild to carry out their important role as predators upon other invertebrates. If it's a Sydney Funnelweb, the Australian Reptile Park milks them for venom so that antivenene can be made to help people who get bitten. You can find out through the website where to drop off your spider for this worthy cause.

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Helen 2 November, 2010 18:31
I was bitten by either a Melbourne trapdoor or funnel web in my herb patch at home in Reservoir a couple of years ago. The bite didn't kill me but my scream nearly gave my husband a hear attack. I always garden with gloves on now.
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Aaron 12 November, 2010 19:47
Victorian Funnel-web Spider Hadronyche modesta I have these spiders nesting and thriving out side in my bawlyn home post code 3103. Mostly in tunnels in the brick near windows and garage, I just found two more under my fav chair out side that I have been sitting on for months. They are not aggressive at all and I have never seen or found one inside is it safe to leave them alive or to pest control? I might add that they have appeared every where since I left the first one I found alive must have been a female they breed like crazy I have found over ten. My question is will they try to venture inside when it gets hotter?
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Discovery Centre 15 November, 2010 12:25
Hi Aaron, it sounds from your description that what you are seeing is the Black House Spider, see here, which makes a funnel shaped web and is often found in brickwork and in window corners. These spiders can come inside but are usually quite shy and consequently although they can be quite common through surburban areas bites are rare.
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philippa coffey 21 December, 2010 16:24
Our pool installer was just bitten by one of these spiders, we are in Balwyn. He caught the spider in a water bottle. It was a nasty bite, it drew blood. He took the spider with him to the hospital (still there under observation) and this is what they said it was. There was an egg sack nearby also. He has been advised he will be fine.
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Chelsea 29 January, 2011 13:57
We are in Box Hill Nth and also have hundreds of holes in the backyard which are covered by silk webs (thankfully we haven't seen any spiders yet!!!). Is it possible to take a photo of the burrows and send it to you to confirm whether it is a Vic funnel web burrow?
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Discovery Centre 1 February, 2011 13:45
Hi Chelsea, we are not able to say what type of spider you have from an image of the burrow. Considering where you live your holes are more likely to belong to a species of trapdoor or wolf spider; despite the name, not all trapdoor spiders have lids on their burrows. Just be careful if digging or landscaping in the garden that you may dig up some unhappy spiders.  
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Jutta 6 February, 2011 18:27
Just fount an Victorian funnel web in out backyard. Sprayed his home until he came out. Perfect match to the picture on your web page
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ivm 22 March, 2011 18:34
Melbourne, Northern Suburbs. We found a Victorian Funnel Web Spider Monday 21 March 2011 residing in our forklift at work! NASTY!!!!
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Michelle 29 March, 2011 12:20
Just wondering how widely are these spiders distributed through the state? Im on the Vic/NSW border and hae spotted something similar to your picture in a burrow in my front lawn. Unfortuneately i have only seen the front view of the spider. I have taken a photo that I will send through hopefully you will be able to tell me if it's a NSW or Vic spider.
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Heather 30 March, 2011 09:29
I found one of these spiders in an open box in the garage and a smaller one I live in the Melton area. It is now dead with a lot of baygon this spider I had looked exactly the same there was no web that I could see
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Discovery Centre 8 April, 2011 12:07
Hi Michelle! Thanks for sending your image to us - as per our email, yours turns out to be a wolf spider!
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Tinelle 13 April, 2011 00:46
Found a Funnel Web Spider on our front porch last night. I had never come across one before and he looked quite different to the all the Red Backs that frequent that area. Yarra Junction, VIC
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Liza 14 April, 2011 20:54
I have killed 3 of them now, i live on 5acres in upper Beaconsfield. They come in about 7.30 - 8.30pm. After looking at all the pictures it definatly looks like a funnel webb. Large fangs, walks very slowly and very dark browny black in colour.... We also have a pool and my husband has been finding alot of them in the pool... if i spray the outside of the house will it get rid of them? I have 2 small children 1.5years and 2.5years that i am worried they might bite them?
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Discovery Centre 15 April, 2011 11:45

Dear Liza,

We can certainly provide a identification of the spider but we do need either a specimen or at least a photograph in order to do so. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide advice on eradication – you will need to contact a pest control company for advice.

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liza 15 April, 2011 18:35
I got one that has drowned in the pool as a specimen. We can work out if its a funnel webb or a mouse spider, both look sooo much alike. I am hoping its the victorian funnel webb as they are less vernamous? am i right about that... how do i tell the difference and where do you want me to send this spider
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Discovery Centre 19 April, 2011 15:48
Hi Liza, please click on the 'Ask the Experts' link at left, then on 'Identifications' the guidelines give information on how to package the specimen and where to send it.
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Mike dandenong ranges 19 April, 2011 19:16
I was in the shower drying myself when one of these fell out the towel onto my foot.It played dead so I caught it in a jar but was then very aggressive ,constantly rearing back ready to strike when we looked at it.It's mate was nearby on the bathroom floor where our cat had started to eat it.
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Sharon 19 April, 2011 21:08
Just spotted what looks like a funnel web spider crawling across the floor, was about 10cm from my sleeping cat. Have lived in this house in Wesburn for 10years but never seen one of these before!
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Gina 21 April, 2011 21:09
Hi I live in Bacchus Marsh,we have been finding holes all around our garden,not so long ago we had a large area laid in bark for soft fall in a childrens play area.I have noticed holes along the edging between the bark and path,today we spotted the spider sitting there with most of its body out,It looks simular to this from what we could tell,what I'm wondering is that all of the holes we have don't have a door or a web over them,could it still be a funnel web, or trapdoor.I did tell the children that they should never touch any spider to tell me where it is and I will deal with it,but since this is a play area do I need to be worried about these spiders jumping out at the children,I do have a range of ages throughout the week,so the younger more curious children have no fear of our crawling friends yet.Oh and I feel I am handeling this very well in having to share our space,I'm from NewZealand and never had to worry about all the creepy crawlies this wonderful country has to offer :)
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Discovery Centre 25 April, 2011 10:33

Hi Gina,

The spider is more likely to be a Melbourne Trap-door spider as they look very similar to Funnel-web spiders. Despite it's name, it does not have a 'trap-door' over it's burrow. More information can be found on the Melbourne Trap-door spider page on our website.

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Liza 28 April, 2011 12:12
I have pictures of the spider that i am talking about where can i upload them to send to them to you. Maybe you can tell me if it is a mouse or a funnel webb spider, saves me having to send the dead ones in.... thanks Liza
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Discovery Centre 2 May, 2011 11:06
Hi there Liza! You can upload your pictures and submit your identification request on our Identifications page.
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JP 21 May, 2011 22:05
Hi have caught a large spider in croydon area 3136 that entered the house, and it appears to be a funnelweb... we sprayed it with regular insect spray and only seemed to have upset it! Have lived here 6+ years and seen all the regular expected crawlies around the place but this is definately a new one! can you please advise what sort of range these spiders have? do they stray far from a web/nest? and if you can, what is best preventative to keep these outside - should we consult exterminators?
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Dempsey 24 May, 2011 22:47
I have been searching all over the net and foun this spider. I live in Bargo, which is 30-40 minutes North of Goulbourn, and have found hundreds of Funnel-Web holes. Further look at a dead spide revealed it did not look exaclty like the Sydeny Funell-Web, and looks more like the Victorian kind. Like the leg joints were brown like the picture and it seemed smaller and shinier on the head area. Please I hope this could possibly be the Victorian Family, as I don't want anyone dieing!
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Bill 24 June, 2011 17:10
do victorian funnel webs live in Geelong? if so were would you find them?
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Discovery Centre 25 June, 2011 12:26
Hi Bill, as far as we know Victorian Funnel-webs do not occur in the Geelong area. There are a number of different spiders such as trapdoors and some of the wolf spiders which can appear similiar. If you have an image or a specimen you would like us to examine please see the guidelines for identifications.  
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EV 14 July, 2011 12:53
Hi, I've been gardening in Blackburn area and have found lots of very neat holes that curve away underground. I thought they might belong to spiders but thought they could also belong to Cicadas so I took a torch out last night and found a Victorian funnel web spider in each hole waiting for prey. At least two in the garden bed, but several in the actual lawn which is odd. I'm going to try and get a photo tonight. The largest would probably be a female at adult size going by the description above. There isn't much web visible though, but it has to be a Melbourne funnel web as there is no trap door and the limbs are too dark and finer to be a mouse spider.
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Adrian 12 August, 2011 22:50
We used to live in Ferny Creek, one of the reasons we were more then happy to move was due to these spiders. On occasions in the damp downstairs rooms, we would get "invaded" by up to 20 of these spiders a night. Once or twice we woke up with them on our bed / face. The funnel webs around inside our house were quite aggressive and would not run off scared; instead they would stand on their back legs with fangs up ready to bite. Very glad to be away from those spiders, none of our friends seemed to get invaded like we did!
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Liz 18 August, 2011 14:55
I live on Mt. Dandenong and there are funnel webs all over the place - little holes in the ground with fine threads of web spun across. Only found 2 inside the house (and then only on the first floor) in my 5 years here. Caught both on a fly-swatter and escorted them outside.
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Robert 9 October, 2011 10:04
The backyard of my daughter's residence in Cranbourne is currently infested with funnel web spiders. 3-4 holes per square foot of earth. The backyard doesn't drain well, and is perpetually moist, which I suspect is not only a comfortable environment for the spiders, but also ideal for the breeding of prey species. The specimen I isolated was a male, with a leg-span greater than the palm of my hand.
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Nathan Wilson 14 October, 2011 21:03
We found around 20 of these spiders ( Victorian funnelweb) in a friends factory in Moorabbin. If you need any samples of various sized ones then you are welcome to collect them from his factory.
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kaleb 23 October, 2011 18:56
i just caught one in my room
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leanne pittman 3 November, 2011 23:12
im a mad gardener for last 20yrs and have seen funnel webs in frankston and now in swan marsh vic. ive also just been bitten on hand in two spots by what looks like on internet images by red back spider all in last month. ive been bitten twice by scorpions and all kinds of ants. since i have so much bad luck, its next for funnel web which i hav another in jar and then snake bite. im alive and kicking still
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Marsh 13 November, 2011 21:47
I live in Traralgon (Gippsland) Victoria, and found one identical to this 2 nights ago walking across our porch where our children were playing. We have infant children, and i am concerned how toxic a bite may be to them?
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Theresa 26 November, 2011 17:56
I live in Mansfield 3724 and found a male funnel web in characteristic behaviour, wondering slowly behind the house after rain. we relocated this one. In August we dug one up in the paddock whilst removing rocks. Thank you for this wonderful site, you have hepled us out on many occassion.
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Jennifer 9 December, 2011 12:41
OMG, i am moving from WA to Ballarat soon and I had no idea Victoria had funnel web spiders. Are they found in the Ballarat area?
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Discovery Centre 10 December, 2011 12:09
Hi Jennifer, don't be too alarmed, Victoria does have a number of funnel-web species but these do not have the venom issues of the Sydney Funnel-web. Also you are very unlikely to be bitten, we receive hundreds of enquiries relating to spiders each year and I would say the number of actual bites that are reported to us could be counted on one hand. Funnel-web spiders tend to remain in or near their holes unless flooded or dug out or at certain times of year the males will go wandering looking for a female.  
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Lisa 29 December, 2011 21:24
Hi I live in windale nsw and we just court one that looks 100% like the victorian funnel web spider and they are every where in my back yard.
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Zoe 31 December, 2011 11:55
Hi, i think i may of found a funnel web but i'm not really sure because i live near Halls Gap vic and it's web is on a rock near the indoor pool?? it seems pretty unusual, but is it possible?? Thanks.
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Discovery Centre 31 December, 2011 13:44
Hi Zoe, it is hard to be sure without seeing the spider that has made the web but it is quite possible that it may be what is commonly referred to as a Black House Spider. These spiders are commonly found around and in our homes where they make a funnel shaped web that people often mistake for a funnel-web spider.
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kamrul 8 February, 2012 20:48
my friend saidm that it is a brother of the atrax robustus
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Discovery Centre 9 February, 2012 11:27
Hi Kamrul, the Sydney Funnel-web and the Victorian Funnel-web spider are related in that they both come from the family of spiders Hexathelidae. However as you point out the Sydney Funnel-web is a species from the genus Atrax, while the Victorian Funnel-web is a species from the genus Hadronyche.
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tony 22 March, 2012 15:25
it saddens me to read of all these people spraying spiders. There is no need to kill these spiders surely. And if you must, a whack with a shoe would have to be better than a slow death via pest spray.
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matt 16 May, 2012 21:15
discovered one of these under my house in CRAIGIEBURN,VICTORIA! first i thought it was a sydney funnelweb,google the image and it is most definately a victorian. huge,3 inches at least. will be hiring a tradie for any works under there ;)
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Rick 16 May, 2012 21:57
my mate just found one under his house. He lives in Craigieburn. About 3 inches in length he said.
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Barry Guyatt 20 May, 2012 15:09
Dug up first funnel web spider for some years today in our back yard at Raymond Island. A real big old girl, relocated her to a less frequented place.
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Mel 14 July, 2012 15:37
Hi, We live in Vermont and have found a few holes in moist area in the front yard. No webs, and about 3cm in diameter. One hole is flat to ground level, the other appears as though something's tunneled up from under ground. Please advise via email if you think this is one of the Victorian Funnel webs? Thanks, Mel
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Discovery Centre 14 July, 2012 16:02

Hi Mel, Funnel-web Spider holes do tend to have strands of web stretching out from them. If you have not observed these, it is unlikely that the holes were made by Funnel-webs. There are other spiders that make holes, but these also tend to leave evidence of their presence in the form of webs.

You mentioned the holes were in moist soil. Perhaps they were caused by Land Crayfish (they bring the soil up to the surface, leaving messy "towers").

Museum Victoria has a free Identification Service, but in order to identify something we need to see a photograph or the specimen itself. Details on how to get a specimen or photograph to us can be found in our Identification Guidelines.

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Juzzy 5 August, 2012 16:49
We know they are up here, never seen one but hey this is the Dandenongs, but was taken by surprise yesterday when we dug up a large female in KALORAMA. There was no webbing anywhere near her (just some wet yabby holes) and to say she was upset would be putting it mildly. Maybe the rains are forcing them down yabby holes, who knows, but don't rely on a web/nest to indicate one is nearby.
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Tyson 2 October, 2012 23:24
A friend of mine recently found out he has hundreds living around the back and front yard of his new home.
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Belinda Dewar 10 October, 2012 20:52
Hi, I live in Glen Waverley, Victoria, and I have a big black spider residing in my football boot which is in an outdoor laundry. I haven't gotten close enough to compare it to the picture of the funnel web, but the web goes into the boot like a funnel...is this a characteristic of the funnel web? I've also got lots of white tails at the moment. How do I get rid of both types of spiders? Do I spider bomb the house? I'm throwing my boots away!
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Discovery Centre 13 October, 2012 11:21
Hi Belinda, from your description the web sounds like it belongs to a Black House Spider rather than a funnel-web. The Australian Museum website has some good information on this species. Regarding spider numbers, it is not really feasible to 'spiderproof' your property but the Australian Museum website does offer some advice on how to minimise spider numbers. Also bear in mind that no spiders feed on people and they will not seek you out to bite you. 
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john of sassafras 19 October, 2012 15:30
my wife just dug a female up while gardening,its got the ribs on the abdomen and identical to a match on the web [pardon the pun] l had just moved her on the lawn while checking inside when a kookaburra swooped down and took her, so hope things will be ok with the jackass
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Richard 23 October, 2012 18:21
Just wondering wether there have been any reported funnel web spiders in Port Fairy Victoria? Or are they more likely to be Trapdoor spiders? We seem to have come across a few in our back yard digging up the vegie garden for the first time this year. Also burrowing under native trees in a silk lined hole, discovered after chainsawing the dead tree down. They appear the same as the photos on the web but Trapdoors seem quite similar also. Thanks.
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Discovery Centre 24 October, 2012 12:19
Hi Richard, there are at least 2 species of funnel-web spider in Victoria, (both different to the Sydney Funnel-web), but to our knowledge these species have not been found in the Port Fairy area. The spides you are finding are more likely to be a species of trapdoor which as you have correctly pointed out can be very easily confused with funnel-web spiders. 
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Rhea Joson 26 November, 2012 16:30
I believe I've just sprayed and killed a funnel web spider. I live in the Knox City area. When I sprayed it, it ran out of its web quickly . Its web is a circular tunnel and is just outside my back door!
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Steve 27 November, 2012 08:43
Our cat cornered what appears to be a Victorian Funnel web last night in our laundry, I've sent a pic to Melb Museum to confirm. We're in Bendigo, central Victoria & I've never seen one here before. Steve
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Damian Lee 4 December, 2012 02:37
Just found a funnel-web spider. I live in Mullewa (7 hours north of Perth) WA. Its a male funnel-web full grown. It was a hot night with a major storm that had just passed. Sprayed it with flyspray and now its soaking in mentholated spirits, Taking to the Ag Department wednesday.
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rob 16 December, 2012 09:30
Paynesville Vic, I thought it was a Sydney funnel web until i looked here but it is one of these i'll be letting it go in the bush.. spiders & snakes will turn up anywhere these day due to travelling under & in vehicles etc..
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Lisa 9 January, 2013 23:48
Earlier this evening I found a funnel web crawling up the wall next to my computer. Caught it in a jar to identify. I live in Dunolly in the goldfields vic.
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Discovery Centre 10 January, 2013 16:24
Lisa - we can identify your spider for you from a good, clear image or the specimen itself. Given that you are in the Goldfields, feel free to submit an image via out online Identifications service.
Lauren 14 January, 2013 11:23
I encountered one of these spiders in my backyard on the weekend. It was about 20cms underground (I was digging up the backyard). Very nasty looking spider. I live on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.
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Vic 23 January, 2013 15:20
I just killed what i think was a funnel web spider in Pascoe Vale, VIC. It was a male as it was smaller, but inspecting this image and others I'm pretty sure that is what it was. I'd love to be proved wrong. What other spider found in my area looks like a funnel web? When I was trying to wack it with a broom it ran for me aggressively, quite like the sydney funnel web, which I grew up trying to avoid as I lived near the royal national park and our garden was infested with them. that coupled with its looks make me believe it was one.
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Discovery Centre 24 January, 2013 14:40

Hi Vic, if you are able to take a photo of the dead spider and send it in to us in the Discovery Centre, we can have the entomologist take a look and identify it for you. Our email address is discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au

 

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Liam 2 March, 2013 18:30
I have noticed heaps of funnel like webs all over the outside of the house, in holes in the mortar between bricks. I've sprayed all I can and found one big hole downstairs about the size of a 50c coin (the biggest I've found so far) I checked to see if there was a spider in it by placing a dying bee on the outside and fair enough it was pounced on and instantly dragged deep into the hole, its scared the hell out of me haha, I should just kill it yeah? Before it grows too big for the hole and needs to move out? Also another thing, the old mortar and even the brick looks like it has been somewhat chipped away at, is it possible the spider has done this?
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Discovery Centre 3 March, 2013 09:25
Hi Liam, the spider making the funnel shaped webs in the brickwork is likely to be the Black House Spider, Badumna insignis. This spider is often mistaken for a funnel-web due to the shape of its web, but funnel-web spiders do not make webs in brickwork. The Black House Spider is usually quite timid and despite them being common bites are rare. They would not have caused the damage to the brickwork, but as you have noticed are more than happy to take advantage of any holes they can find. There is probably not a lot of point in spraying them, new ones will just move in to occupy the holes once the spray has worn off. 
Alicia 6 April, 2013 16:22
Have been gardening happily beside these spiders and scorpions all day in my garden on Mt Dandenong. If I find one in the way I pick it up with some soil in the shovel and move it to another part of the garden. It seems to me that the majority of people commenting are very keen to use insect spray and destroy these amazing creatures. Pick them up and put them outside if they come into the house!
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Chris Notley 26 May, 2013 22:13
Hi, with the sun going down & out gardening with my wife (at Clifton Springs, Vic.)I upended a old 400x400 plastic pot (near a water tap to the side of our decking) & noticed a burrow cut out or nest & movement in the end of the soil then the big spider. It's big & as long as a PK chewing gum packet. He didn't move much at first but once in the bottle he then moved sharply - scary looking. It looks very similar to online images. I'm not all that happy knowing there around in our area & particularly in my back yard. The big dam thing is still alive in a vented gar. What should I do with it ? Cheers, Chris & Heatherlee.
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Damien jones 6 June, 2013 21:38
I've just found what looks to be a funnel web in Leopold Geelong but not 100% sure it looks almost exactly like the one in the foto I just can't see the back end to see if it has them little feeler like things but also it's funnel has about 4 entrances an its on a bracket that a Fluro light mounted on it witch is in my garage about 8ft off the ground
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haidar 15 June, 2013 19:46
thanks for the information but there is one thing how long does the male spider live?
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Discovery Centre 18 June, 2013 13:24

Hi Haidar - we checked with our Live Exhibits department with your query, and they have said the following:

No-one has ever recorded the life span of a male Victorian Funnelweb, but based on similar species within the same family it is likely to be 12-18 months. Female funnelwebs can be very long lived, but males often die following the mating season at the end of summer.

Wassail 27 October, 2013 21:25
Just dug up a 3cm one in my garden in Montrose Vic. Big fangs! Was moving a sleeper and there it was. Have put it in a jar. If you want it then it yours, let me know.
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Discovery Centre 29 October, 2013 11:51
Hi Wassail, thanks for the offer but we do have a number of these in the collection already, so feel free to let him or her go. 
Simon 28 October, 2013 20:00
Hello last weekend I unrolled the garden hose and jokingly said to my wife look out there's a big huntsman in the hose reel! But when I shook it out onto the ground it had a large full abdomen, a couple of small dark brown markings on its back a similar coloured upper body but!! A good set of fangs? And when I tried to move it on it became very aggressive towards the gentle stick in front of it and actually attacked it several times. We have taken photos of the spider and would be interested to know what it is. I'm sure it's not your average sleepy keen to escape Huntsman although very similar in colour with probably a shorter coat.
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Discovery Centre 29 October, 2013 12:38
Hi Simon, you are welcome to send your spider images to us at discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au 
Chris 6 November, 2013 22:53
Got the fright of my life yesterday when I unearthed what I believe to have been a funnel web on my back deck - Mount Waverley, Vic, lots of vegetation around the area and home. Its web was quite large with a very distinct funnel, in a shady place between roof struts (although the location is hot, color bond style roof above). Web size about 2.5-3.5cm diameter funnel opening. Anyway the spider matched the description well but I can't find it now to confirm. Was wandering given the location and description whether it could have been or probably wasn't a funnel web? I know we have white tail, black house and red back spiders all over the place too, if they're common co-inhabitats. Also mulched two trees recently and there's a lot of it still all over the back hard.
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Jade Kercheval 30 December, 2013 16:36
Hi, I have found one of these spiders today in Pakenham, have taken a photo and matched it to this spider exactly. It is summer time so I think possibly it was a male in search of a female, it was sitting on the grass in the sun.
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Discovery Centre 31 December, 2013 10:31
Hi Jade, if you want us to have a look at your photo please feel free to send it to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au
Kate 2 January, 2014 22:15
We have recently purchased a property in Reservoir as an investment. While fixing up the backyard we found two, very close together under a butterfly grass, and another at night. Can they hurt children? If so how can we evict them?
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Discovery Centre 3 January, 2014 11:22
Hi Kate, given where you have seen them they are unlikely to be Victorian Funnel-webs, it's more likely that they are a species of trapdoor spider which can look similar. Neither the funnel-web nor the trapdoors in Melbourne are considered highly venomous like the Sydney Funnel-web. These spiders have no interest in people, so as long as people know they are there and make sure not to grab them or stand on the there shouldn't be too many problems. You can send images of the spiders to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au if you would like us to take a look at them.  
Lindsay 14 January, 2014 18:52
Wife found one today in Doreen (on a curtain, indoors)
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Melissa 16 January, 2014 21:57
Hi...I live in Albury which is on the NSW/VIC border...I have several(30+) funnels with a silken web surrounding the top of the funnel in my backyard...they appear to be in more shaded areas with the opening of the funnel facing away from the sun...I haven't seen a spider coming out of the funnel so not sure what it looks like...would the species be more likely the Victorian Funnel Web or the Sydney one? Can you move them on somehow? Or at least prevent them from taking over the backyard? There appears to be new holes appearing all the time...Thank you
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Simon 7 February, 2014 09:04
I have recently moved to Mt Dandenong and discovered several spider burrows in the garden with an opening about 25mm. I have not seen any spiders in or out of the burrows so I don't know what species has created them. I am a little concerned about our dogs and cat, should I be? Should I take any precautionary measures? I am not one to unnecessarily kill creatures living in their own habitat.
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Ged 25 February, 2014 10:06
I reside in Austinmer NSW, about an hour south of Sydney, right up in the escarpment opposite bush land. Today i was moving garden waste from a pile in to a skip, and came across what looked suspiciously like a Sydney Funnel Web. We have been told that they have been seen in our garden before, but we have not seen one in the 4 years we have been here. I thought i had spotted it between the brick work of the house outside, right near the garden waste pile, but before i could get a proper decent look, he shot back in to the crevasse. Any idea what it may have been? It was definitely black, with more of a rounded shape... no longer then 3cm length for body and 4-5cm leg span (length)
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Discovery Centre 25 February, 2014 11:42
Hi Ged, we'd love to help but we'd need to see some good quality images to try and provide you with an identification. If you can safely get some feel free to send them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au In the meantime have you had a look at images of the Sydney Funnel-web online to see if it matches what you saw? For example the Australian Museum has some good information.
Narelle 11 April, 2014 11:18
This is a great resource for getting a good idea about the spiders that are around. Today I found an ugly looking black one. I have to say I am petrified of spiders, however I find it very sad to read all the posts about spraying them. Concerned parents might like to think of the implications that pesticides might have on their children as well as bite risk. I hate to think of the damage being caused along food chains, all because of our determination to eradicate.
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ashleigh 13 April, 2014 01:11
Found one yesterday on my front porch in Collingwood, vic. Had to spray it to appease the terrified housemates/visitors. A big funnel shaped web with legs poking out caught my attention. Looked just like the picture!
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Fabian 5 May, 2014 07:57
Buenas tardes! Me llamo Fabian. Queria comentarles que encontre en el jardin de mi casa una araña de 10 patas. De unos 30 mm de diametro. Constextura robusta, color marron orcuro brillante. Es muy agresiva. Puedo enviarles fotografias para que me ayuden a identificarla?
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Discovery Centre 5 May, 2014 10:54
Hi Fabian! You're welcome to send spider identification requests and photos to us through our Ask the Experts service.
Juzzy 7 May, 2014 16:21
There seems to be a larger then normal population of these around Kalorama lately. Normally they stick to the woodland areas of my property but their burrows are popping up everywhere, even in high traffic areas in the yard. At first I thought they were our yabbies (we have a huge population of land crayfish) but after moving some soil for a drainage ditch I unearthed 8 in a 3 meter x 1 meter area. What was odd was some of them where pale and wrinkly, like they had been in the wet ground too long and got pruny (do they shed?) These wrinkly ones were very lethargic. This got me thinking could these wrinkly ones be a different species? They looked just like the other funnel webs except for the lighter/greyer colour and their wrinkly abdomen.
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Discovery Centre 11 May, 2014 11:23
Hi Juzzy, Victorian Funnelweb Spiders (Hadronyche modesta) are the only funnelweb species that exist in the Dandenongs. Like all spiders, they shed their skins as they grow (moult). After spiders moult they are very pale, lethargic and soft, so this may be what you're finding in your yard. If the spiders are of a similar age, they will probably be moulting at around the same time as each other.

Unlike other spiders, funnelwebs cannot disperse far so the populations tend to be highly localised, and highly variable from year to year depending on environmental conditions. In bad years there will be a low survival rate, but in good years the populations boom because they live in such high densities.

Gary Luscombe 12 May, 2014 13:09
I find 2 or 3 of these spiders in my swimming pool each day dont know were they are coming from How can I get rid of them is it to risky to swim in pool with these spiders
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Gus 23 August, 2014 16:19
Hi, My place is in East Keilor (Melbourne's North West). Typical suburban block, I have around 100 large burrow holes (1-1.5cm diameter) and probably 1000 small holes surrounding them, across my entire block. Don't try poison them yourself, I tried that, they will simply move to another area on your block and burrow there. Pay for a proper exterminator to do it. They inject poison into every hole (we are using one safe around pets and veggie garden). Why all the fuss? They come out in the evening and roam around the back door. I have been bitten by various spiders, don't fancy that happening again.
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Discovery Centre 30 August, 2014 11:58
Hi Gus, based on where you live the holes are more likely to belong to trapdoor or wolf spiders rather than funel-webs. Being bitten by a spider is certainly not fun but be aware that chemical pest control is likely to be a short term remedy. Even if you manage to kill every spider on your property they are likely to recolonise over time. If you know you have them take precautions such as shaking out any shoes left outside, don't walk in the yard in the dark with bare feet and if they are coming inside from the garden, those draught excluders may stop them if you have an obvious gap under the door. Best of luck.   
Deb Weiss 6 September, 2014 14:03
We found three under the cement path at the rear of our house in Mont Albert
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Discovery Centre 6 September, 2014 16:52
Hi Deb, based on your location these spiders are more likely to be trapdoor spiders which can look quite similar. You are welcome to take some images if you want and send them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au
Amanda Grimwade 7 September, 2014 13:48
I live in Benalla in Nth East Vic and over the years have dug up what looks like a Victorian Funnel Web many whilst gardening. But yesterday digging a hole for a fruit tree i found a huge one. Matches your description pretty well. Head to abomen over 3cm huge fangs and very aggresive. She is now in a jar alive so I could have her properly identified. Kept digging in same area and found another 8 smaller and varing in sizes. The are many holes 1-2 cm in the area also. Has any one else reported find them here in Benalla before? Great web site and resource. It has been very helpful. Can I have her identified.
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Discovery Centre 8 September, 2014 11:30
Hi Amanda, please feel free to safely get some images of the spider and email them to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au and let us know they are for enquiry number 35876. Try to get some shots of the spider in profile not just from above as the profile shots can help with identification. Don't put yourself at risk of a bite, take the shots through the glass if you have to.   
Jess 23 September, 2014 01:17
These beauties are just amazing. I have kept a large female in a terrarium for the past couple of years in my kitchen and she is the most wonderful little friend. She is kept happy, healthy and well fed, with all environmental requirements that i know of to provide :)
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Dave 30 September, 2014 18:42
I found a funnel-web spider in my room yesterday and discovered the back yard is covered in their burrows. I have a photo I can post but I want to know how to deal with these guys.
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Susan 17 October, 2014 10:51
We have one in Thornbury..its burrowed in a small hole right inbetween a window frame adn a brick wall..I have no idea how to move it..any suggestions? Please help!!!
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Discovery Centre 18 October, 2014 10:55
Hi Susan - if it's in a location like a window frame in Thornbury, then that is not a funnel-web but almost certainly a Black House Spider. These are unlikely to cause any problems for humans or pets.