Australian Reptile Park: Funnel web ‘megaspider’ saving lives

Enormous ‘MEGASPIDER’ has 2cm fangs which puncture human fingernails – and experts want YOUR help catching them

  • Massive funnel web has been donated to lifesaving antivenom program
  • 8cm spider has 2cm fangs which will be milked for their venom 
  • Australian Reptile Park has asked for citizen scientists to – safely – catch them 

A massive funnel web spider with fangs so long they could bite through a human fingernail has been donated to a lifesaving antivenom program at the Australian Reptile Park. 

The arachnid has been named Megaspider and the park says she is roughly twice the size of a typical funnel web spider, more comparable to a tarantula. 

The 8cm funnel web spider’s 2cm fangs will be milked for venom that can be turned into antivenom. 

This 8cm funnel web has 2cm fangs which will be milked for their venom at the Australian Reptile Park. It will be used to make anti-venom

The Australian Reptile Park on the NSW central coast is the only funnel web spider venom milking facility in the country and the antivenom produced there saves up to 300 lives a year, the park says. 

Australian Reptile Park education officer Michael Tate has ‘never seen a funnel web spider this big’. 

‘She is unusually large and if we can get the public to hand in more spiders like her, it will only result in more lives being saved due to the huge amount of venom they can produce,’ he said. 

The park encourages citizen scientists to safely catch funnel web spiders to donate to the antivenom program. 

The Megaspider was donated in a clear plastic container with no marking to say where it came from, and the park is now seeking its donor to find out where it came from in the hope of finding similarly large spiders. 

Spiders can be donated to the park itself, as well as at a number of drop off points around Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle.