Name: Sydney Funnel Web Spider (Atrax robustus)
Scientific Classification and Taxonomy:
Distribution: Distribution is centered on Sydney, extending north to the Central Coast and south to the Illawarra region, and west to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
Habitat: The spider can be found in moist microhabitats, including under logs and foliage. Sydney funnel-web spiders are mostly terrestrial spiders, favoring habitats with moist sand and clays.
Behavior: They typically build silk-lined tubular burrow retreats with collapsed "tunnels" or open "funnel" entrances from which irregular trip-lines radiate over the ground. In some exceptions, which lack trip-lines but may have trapdoors, the silk entrance tube may be split into two openings, in a Y or T form. The spiders burrow in sheltered habitats where they can find a moist and humid climate; for instance under rocks, logs or borer holes in rough-barked trees. The long-lived female funnel-web spend most of the time in their silk-lined tubular burrow retreats. When potential prey, which includes insects, lizards or frogs, walks across the trip-lines, they rush out, subduing their prey by injecting their venom.
Venom: Sydney funnel-web spider venom contains a compound known as δ-atracotoxin, an ion channel inhibitor, which makes the venom highly toxic for humans and other primates. However, it does not affect the nervous system of other mammals. These spiders typically deliver a full envenomation when they bite, often striking repeatedly, due to their defensiveness and large chitinous cheliceral fangs. The bite of a Sydney funnel-web is initially very painful, with clear fang marks separated by several millimeters. The size of fangs is responsible for the initial pain. In some cases the spider will remain attached until dislodged by shaking or flicking it off. Physical symptoms can include copious secretion of saliva, muscular twitching and breathing difficulty, disorientation and confusion, leading to unconsciousness.
Dymadex's blogs on bugs, including insects and arachnids. Insects are hexapod invertebrates like ants, beetles, bees, and flies. Arachnids are joint-legged invertebrates like spiders, scorpions, ticks, and harvestmen. Other organisms in this blog include centipede, millipede, and worms.
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