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redback spider

Redback Spider - Latrodectus hasseltii

The Redback is common throughout the mainland and in Tasmania, in all but the coldest alpine climates and the most hostile deserts. Bites from the Redback are known to have killed at least a dozen Australiana in the 1st half of the 20th century. By the 1980's there were between 830 and 1950 cases of Redback bites.

Redback bites are the greatest single cause of serious spider bites in the country, outnumbering all the snake-bite cases and severe marine stingings put together.

The female of the species is the one you really need to be able to recognize as she is the one who can kill. The female Redback is approximately 10mm long, and is all black, except for the large red stripe on the body. The male Redback is about 4mm long, has a white abdomen and has four black stripes down the side of the body. The male may also have very small red markings on the body.

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