6 of the Most Common Spiders in Perth

Perth is home to a variety of spider species ranging from the virtually harmless to the outright deadly. After reading this article, you will know what these spiders look like, where they hide, and how to treat their bites.
Perth is home to a variety of spider species ranging from the virtually harmless to the outright deadly. After reading this article, you will know what these spiders look like, where they hide, and how to treat their bites.

Not only is Perth the sunniest capital city in Australia, it is also home to species of spiders ranging from the virtually harmless to the outright deadly.

Knowing what these venomous spiders look like, where they hide, and how to treat their bites can drastically reduce your risk of a trip to the emergency room.

This article will help you live harmoniously alongside 6 of Perth's most common spider species.

We also cover spider bites in our general and childcare first aid courses. We have training locations in Perth and in every other state, capital city, and major town throughout Australia.

A female Redback spider
A female Redback spider

Redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti)

Appearance

Female redback spiders have the following characteristics:
  • A black, pea-shaped body that can grow up to 1 cm in size
  • Slender legs
  • An orange to red longitudinal stripe on the top of their abdomen
  • An orange to red hourglass-shaped spot on the underside of their abdomen

Male redback spiders, meanwhile, have the following characteristics:

  • A light brown body that can grow up to 4 mm in size
  • White markings on the top of their abdomen
  • A pale hourglass-shaped spot on the underside of their abdomen

Habitat

Redback spiders, also known as the Australian Black widow, are widely distributed across the country. They prefer to build their webs in dry, sheltered sites close to human habitation, including:

  • Sheds
  • Toilets
  • Junk-piles
  • Rocks and logs

Danger

Only female Redback spiders are considered dangerous to humans, as the fangs of their male counterparts are too small to pierce human flesh.

Redback spider venom acts directly on the nervous system and can cause the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Sweating
  • Muscular weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting

However, female Redback spiders are retiring creatures and will generally only bite humans if they come into direct contact with their web.

Likewise, no deaths have resulted from a Redback spider since the introduction of antivenom in 1956.

If you sustain a bite from a Redback spider, consult the first aid procedure listed in our Resource Library.

Looking to get you First Aid knowledge up to date?

We run certified First Aid courses throughout all major Acustralian citys. Find a location near you.

The Daddy-long-legs spider
The Daddy-long-legs spider

Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

Appearance

Daddy-long-legs have the following characteristics:

  • A pale brown body that can grow up to 9 mm in size
  • Extremely long, skinny legs

Habitat

Having been accidentally introduced from Europe, this cosmopolitan species can now be found in most urban areas throughout Australia.

They like to build their thin, tangled webs in sheltered, undisturbed areas of the house, including:

  • Under furniture
  • Behind doors
  • In the corners of ceilings

Danger

The Daddy-long-legs spider is considered largely harmless to humans, as its venom typically results in a short-lived stinging sensation.

If you are bitten by this species, clean the affected area with soap and water, apply a cold compress, and seek medical attention if you are worried about your symptoms.

The White tailed spider
The White tailed spider

White tailed spider

Appearance

The White tailed spider has the following characteristics:

  • A dark reddish to grey body that is shaped liked a cigar and can grow up to 18 mm in females and 12 mm in males
  • Dark orange-brown banded legs
  • A white spot at the tip of their abdomen

Habitat

One of the most common species of White tailed spider, Lampona cylindrata, is widely distributed across southern parts of the mainland, including Western Australia.

In the wild, they tend to shelter beneath rocks, logs, and other detritus.

In the summer months, however, they tend to venture indoors and hide between pieces of fabric and in sheltered nooks and crannies.

Danger

Like most spiders, this species will generally only bite people when provoked.

Likewise, their venom typically causes mild symptoms similar to those of a bee sting, including:

  • An initial burning pain
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness

If you sustain a White tailed spider bite, follow the same procedure as for a Redback spider bite.

The Black house spider
The Black house spider

Black house spider (Badumna insignis)

Appearance

The Black house spider has the following characteristics:

  • A dark, robust body that can grow up to 18 mm in females and 15 mm in males
  • A dark brown to black carapace covered with grey hairs
  • A charcoal grey abdomen, sometimes with a dorsal pattern of white markings

Black house spiders are often mistaken for Funnel web spiders, though Funnel web spiders tend to be less hairy.

Habitat

Though widely distributed across Australia, this species is particularly prevalent in southern and eastern parts of the mainland.

They typically build their web retreats in:

  • Tree trunks
  • Rock walls
  • Logs
  • Buildings - specifically, window frames and wall crevices

Danger

Black house spiders are a shy species and rarely bite people.

However, their venom can cause considerable pain and swelling. On rare occasions, it can also cause:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Giddiness

If you sustain a bite from a Black house spider, follow the same procedure as for a Funnel web spider bite.

The Huntsman spider
The Huntsman spider

Other common spiders in Perth

Huntsman spider

Huntsman spiders are renowned for their long legs, which bend forward like those of a crab. They are widely distributed throughout Australia and like to live under rocks, loose tree bark, and in crevices on rock walls. Their bites are infrequent and generally cause negligible symptoms that can be treated with a cold compress, such as mild pain and swelling.

Wolf spider

Wolf spiders typically have drab coloured bodies covered in grey, brown, or black markings. They are widely distributed throughout Australia, with some species common in suburban gardens. Female Wolf spiders have also been known to enter homes to protect their egg sacs from the cold. Their bites typically result in only minor symptoms like local pain or itchiness.

The Wolf spider
The Wolf spider

Final thoughts

For hands-on experience with manging spider bites, enrol in one of our general or childcare first aid courses. We have training locations in Perth and in very other state, capital city, and major town throughout Australia.

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