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Funnel-web spiders unusually active in Sydney boost antivenom strain in Australian Reptile Park

The influx of funnel web spiders donated to the Australian Reptile Park has given the park’s anti-venom program an unexpected boost.

Twelve funnel webs (5 males, 5 females and 2 juveniles) captured by the public were dumped in jars recently at Hawkesbury City Council, north of Sydney.

Billy Collett, the park’s director of operations, said the donation suggested the spiders were unusually active despite the cold weather.

“Usually our peak is in the spring and summer, when the males run around chasing the girls,” Collett said. abc radio sydney.

He suspected that the recent weather had driven them out of their burrows.

“This is a win for us because we need as much venom as possible to produce enough for our anti-venom program here in Australia,” said Collett.

The park has about 500 male spiders participating in an anti-venom program, squeezing venom once a week. Females are less venomous and spend most of their lives in burrows.

“Easy” to catch

Colette advised people to catch spiders when they saw them crawling.

Many feared spiders, but Colette said they would be safe to catch.

“It’s really easy. They don’t jump like many people think,” he said.

“Basically, you just put a jar or cup on top of him, slip some paper or plastic under it, tilt it to hold it in place, make some holes in the lid, and put a little bit of damp dirt on it. .”

Sydney, Central Coast and Newcastle have a number of drop off points at veterinarians, hospitals and parliament.

There have been no deaths from spider bites since the park’s anti-venom program began in 1981.

need more education

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-12/funnel-web-spiders-boost-anti-venom-stocks/102335172 Funnel-web spiders unusually active in Sydney boost antivenom strain in Australian Reptile Park

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