Just before Christmas and at a time when I should have been spreading the festive goodwill, I presented you with a post called The Funnel Web Spider of Australia and Death.
It included two videos and a picture of Australia’s deadliest spider.
Since then many of us will have enjoyed eating our Christmas turkey, but we are not the only ones who enjoy eating the occasional bird. My apologies for the lame intro, I’m still recovering from New Year’s Eve, today’s post is about…
Australia’s Bird Eating Spider
Its proper name is the Eastern tarantula and has the scientific name of Phlogius crassipes. It is Australia’s largest spider and can grow bigger than a man’s hand. It can make hissing and whistling sounds so it has also picked up the nicknames “barking spider” and “whistling spider”.
Its bite is venomous but it won’t kill a human, it would make you feel ill for a while though. This spider could kill a cat or dog and will often kill and eat rodents, frogs, and as the name suggests, the occasional bird. Like most spiders though, it’s much more likely to eat insects.
Fortunately for me and many other Australians, this spider is only found in North Queensland.
My thanks to Wikipedia for making me look
clever stupid. As Neil Beni pointed out in the comments on December 31, 2018, they are also found in Northern Territory. I double checked with the Australian Reptile Park website, and they confirmed that this spider is found “in the warmer and more arid regions of Australia“.
My thanks to Neil for correcting me, and I retract my thanks to Wikipedia, who need to pull their socks up.
Enough waffle, let’s take a look at a few bird eating spiders.
It’s not often you hear a guy say about a Sheila “Has she got a pair of fangs on her or what?” Today you will though, assuming you watch the video below. The sound quality is not great, but it’s still one of the best videos on YouTube about the Australian bird eating spider and features the much missed Steve Irwin.
This is not an embeddable video though, so if you want to watch it you will need to go to YouTube to do that. Just click the link below or the image above…
There are hundreds of different species of tarantula and they are certainly not limited to Australia. I watched a few videos on YouTube about these giant spiders, including a very interesting one featuring Steve Backshall pulling a wild Goliath Bird Eating Spider out of a burrow in the Amazon.
Guess what? The spider appeared irritated at first and then seemed to calm down before eventually exploring the guys hands and arms. Nobody got bitten.
That made me wonder, are spiders as bad as all that? Maybe they just want to be friends? Let’s face it, it’s not their fault they look so ugly, perhaps we shouldn’t give them such a hard time?
I have to make it clear here, I am in no way scared of spiders, but I still wouldn’t want to handle one. Not sure why, I’ve seen a friend of mine pick up a Huntsman spider and gently take it outside. Me, I have to scoop it into a container.
Now I know many people are really scared of spiders and that is a big concern for them as they consider a possible move to Australia. What would my advice be?
- Don’t let the thought of spiders spoil a potential move to Australia.
- Depending where you live, and let’s assume you live close to a city or in the city, away from the bush and in a relatively modern home, then you will probably see very few spiders.
- Those that do get into your home will be dead within 24 hours or less if you have pest control.
- More importantly, pest control deters spiders (and all insects) from entering your house.
- If you do see a spider, just like me, DO NOT TOUCH IT!
Like this guy…
I know this video isn’t from Australia or related to Australia in any way, but it is about spiders. I’m putting this one up simply because it is an amazing video. Here is that guy I mentioned who went into the Amazon…
Yes, amazing! But you won’t catch me handling one.