Latrodectus hasseltiCommon name: Redback Spider

Meaning of name: Latrodectus means adorned bandit. Hasselti honours A.W.M. van Hasselt, a colleague of Tamerlan Thorell, the Swedish arachnologist who described this spider in 1870.

Distribution: This spider has been found throughout Australia.

Remarks: The females of the Redback Spider can grow to have a body length of approximately 10 millimetres, but the males only reach about 4 millimetres.

Female Redback Spiders can be dangerous to humans, however the fangs of the males are too small to penetrate the skin. But the spiders are not aggressive and bites usually occur when the spider is accidentally handled. If bitten, medical attention should be sought as soon as possible as there is an antivenom for the bite.

We have seen this spider in January, March, May and November.

References: Spiderwatch, A Guide to Australian Spiders. Bert Brunet. 2000.

Atlas of Living Australia