Funnel Web Spider: Facts About The World’s Deadliest Arachnid

In the wee hours of Dec. 27, 2016, Fiona Donagh of New South Wales, Australia was asleep when she was awoken by a venomous critter that crawled into her bed.

The creature crept up her leg and bit her several times on the torso and arm, causing a burning sensation.

Her lips started to feel numb after a few minutes. She also felt a stinging sensation that spread around her face and tongue.The symptoms even got worse. She experienced extreme sweating, excessive saliva production and muscle spasms.

She had to be taken to the hospital and treated for several days at the intensive care unit as the bites left her fighting for her life.

Donagh was bitten by a deadly creepy crawly, a 2-inch black funnel web spider native to Australia. It is so lethal it can kill in just 15 minutes.

Deadly Spider

The funnel web spider, which has 35 known species, is among the most dangerous arachnids in the world. Some regard it as the most deadly spider.

It only takes a single bite from this critter to kill and these spiders already proved to be deadly. From 1927 to 1981, funnel spiders are believed to have killed 15 individuals.

Humans are more susceptible to their bites than other animals such as cats and dogs

The males of the species, such as the one that bit Donagh, are particularly dangerous. Their bite is six times more toxic than that of the females.

The males are also often implicated in fatal bites to humans based on analyses of bite records. Of the documented deaths linked to bites from Sydney funnel web spiders, all the cases where the sex of the biting spider could be determined point to the male of the species.


These venomous spiders have body lengths that range between 0.4 to 2 inches. They have a hairless carapace (the hard upper shell of the spider) that covers the front part of their body.

These arachnids are dark in color ranging from black to brown. They are also characterized by a shiny head and thorax. Some funnel web spiders look like tarantulas.

They have fangs large and powerful enough to penetrate soft shoes and fingernails.


Funnel web spiders are rarely found in lawns or other open terrains. They can be found under houses, in holes in trees, and in crevices between rocks as they tend to make their burrows in moist, cool and sheltered habitats.

This creepy crawly can be found in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria.

If you live within the primary range of the funnel web spider, don’t put your family at risk of getting bitten by this dangerous critter.

Donagh was lucky to survive the bite albeit she had to be examined for the long term impact on her organs. Not everyone is as lucky.

The safety of your family depends on making sure your home is free of venomous creatures such as the funnel web spider, and for this, you need a tried and tested pest management expert like us.

We can help check and ensure your home is safe from dangerous pests.  Contact us now to learn more about our services.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.