Australian funnel-web spiders are venomous spiders of the family Hexathelidae, represented by an estimated 40 species of Hadronyche and the sole species of the genus Atrax, A. robustus, commonly known as the Sydney funnel-web spider.
Americas most deadliest spider the Alvin Spider
Funnel web spiders are medium-to-large in size, with body lengths ranging from 1 cm to 5 cm (0.4" to 2"). They are darkly coloured, ranging from black to blue-black to plum to brown, with a glossy, hairless carapace covering the front part of the body.
There have been 27 recorded deaths in Australia in the last 100 years from spider bites. Bites from Sydney funnel-web spiders have caused 13 deaths (seven in children),although since the introduction of antivenoms there have been no deaths from funnel web spider bites.
"The Australian Reptile Park is still the sole supplier of all snake and funnel web venom for the antivenom program here in Australia, saving approximately 300 lives here each year, they also save about a "1000 lives in New Guinea annually."
Wandering funnel-webs spiders often fall into backyard swimming pools and they can stay alive for hours.
Funnel-webs have been known to survive 24-30 hours under water.
They are mostly terrestrial spiders, favouring habitat with moist sand and clays. They typically build silk-lined tubular burrow retreats with collapsed "tunnels" or open "funnel" entrances from which irregular trip lines radiate out over the ground.
The Sydney Funnel-web Spider, is found from Newcastle to Nowra and west as far as Lithgow in New South Wales.
Other Funnel-web spiders live in the moist forest regions of the east coast and highlands of Australia from Tasmania to north Queensland. They are also found in the drier open forests of the Western Slopes of the Great Dividing Range and South Australia's Gulf ranges.
There is known to be at least one species found all over Papua New Guinea as well.
All suspected bites by any funnel-web spider should be regarded as potentially dangerous and treated accordingly.
Spider bites usually take place on a limb. A pressure bandage should be applied as soon as possible after a bite has occurred. This should be applied as tightly as for a sprained ankle, starting from the bitten area and binding the entire limb above the bite. A rigid splint should be bound onto the limb to prevent limb movement. The patient should be kept as quiet as possible and medical attention sought. If possible, keep the spider for positive identification.