Redback Spider

Photo(s): 

Redback Spider

Latrodectus hasselti


Females mature in approximately four months and can live for 2-3 years. The smaller male matures in about 90 days and lives for  6-7 months. The round egg sacs are 1 cm wide, suspended within the web. They are woolly and white, turning brown over time. Each egg sac contains approximately 250 eggs. Spiderlings are cannibalistic and will eat unhatched eggs and other spiderlings. 


Details Description
Type
Invertebrate
Group
Arachnid - Spider
Identifying Characteristics

Females have a large circular black body to 1 cm in length, with slender legs and an orange to red stripe on their upper abdomen. The underside of their abdomen has an hour-glass shaped red-orange spot. Immature females are smaller, brown and have whitish markings. The males' body is smaller, 3-4 mm, light brown with the red stripe often less distinct. The male body also has white markings on the upper side of the abdomen, and a pale hour-glass mark on the underside. Juveniles also have white markings on the abdomen.

Distinctive Markings

Black, round body with very obvious orange to red stripe on their upper abdomen.

Diet

Carnivore. Eats mainly insects but can also catch and eat small lizards, male trapdoor spiders and king crickets. They are eaten by Daddy Long-legs spiders and white-tailed spiders.

Habitat

Builds webs in dry, sheltered sites such as amongst rocks, in logs, shrubs, stacked materials, sheds or outdoor furniture and toilets. Found in habitats ranging from bushland to urban areas.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Bites/Sting
Redbacks are not aggressive though bites are potentially fatal for children or the elderly. Pain from bites may be delayed for 5 minutes then increase in intensity. Victims should not bandage bites but apply ice and seek immediate medical attention.
Taxonomy
Phylum
Arthropoda
Class
Arachnida
Order
Araneae
Family
Theridiidae
Genus
Latrodectus
Species
hasselti
Found in south-eastern Australia, including throughout Victoria.

Distribution maps indicate current and historic locations where species have been sighted.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

Conservation Status
DEPI Advisory List
Not listed
FFG Act
Not listed
EPBC Act
Not listed

The conservation status of species is listed within Victoria and Australia.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI) Advisory List consists of non-statutory advisory lists of rare or threatened flora and fauna within Victoria.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) lists threatened species in Victoria. Under the Act, an Action Statement is produced for each listed species.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation, listing nationally threatened native species and ecological communities.