There are at least 40 species of funnel-web spiders and they are currently placed in two genera: Hadronyche and Atrax. Not all species are known to be dangerous, but several are renowned for their highly toxic and fast acting venom. Funnel-web spiders are found in southeast Australia, around Sydney. They are not native to the United States, although some people may keep them as exotic pets. Funnel-web spiders live in burrows in sheltered positions in the ground, or in stumps, tree trunks or ferns above the ground. Their burrows are lined with a sock of opaque white silk and several strong strands of silk radiating from the entrance. The body may range from 1.5 cm (0.5 in) up to more than 5 cm (2 in) long depending on the species.
Bites in humans
Funnel-web spider venom is highly toxic and all species should be considered potentially dangerous. The male of Atrax robustus, the Sydney Funnel-web Spider, is probably responsible for all recorded deaths (13) and many medically serious bites, however no deaths have been recorded since the introduction of an antivenom in 1981. Funnel-web spider bites are extremely painful. They usually cause tingling or numbness in the mouth or lips within 10 – 15 minutes. It’s highly recommended to seek immediate medical attention if you get bitten.