On funnelweb venoms

Robert Raven R.Raven at MAILBOX.UQ.OZ.AU
Sat Jun 15 10:41:25 CDT 1996

On Mon, 10 Jun 1996, Robin Leech wrote:

> Well, I guess "commonly found" is a thing relative to where one lives.
> In the Sydney, Australia, region, the funnel web spider is common.  The
> female (a cocktail of 4 venoms) can be lethal, and the male is lethal (a
> cocktail of 5 venoms).  The funnel web is seasonally very common, and
> when I was there, one of the best collecting tools was a swimming pool
> filled with water.  The funnel webs can survive about 2 days at the
> bottom of the pool before drowning.

I'm not sure where this 4/5 venoms notion comes from. I've seen the venom
traces of female and male funnelwebs and they are much the same except
the peak in the males are much higher. Also, venom of penultimate male
funnelwebs looks just like that of the female, the very high toxicty of
these spiders arises only in the final moult when they don't need it to

Of course, no deaths have ever been reported from the bite of any female
funnelweb though bites are not uncommon.

Dr Robert J. Raven
Museum Scientist (Arachnology)
Queensland Museum, Grey St, South Brisbane, 4101, Q.
Queensland Museum, PO Box 3300, South Brisbane, 4101, Q.

Phone: 61-7-38407698 or 61-18-748 467 (24 hour)
Fax: 61-7-3846 1918

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