Redback Spider

Redback Spider (Latrodectus Hasselti)

Appearance

  • The female redback is black with a distinctive red or orange marking on its back, although this may sometimes be absent.
  • The female can grow up to 15mm in length. Males are very small and usually only grow up to 5mm in length.
  • The male has more complex markings than the female, incorporating white and sometimes yellow markings.

Life Cycle

  • Female redbacks take about 2-3 months to mature, and can lay 3-8 egg sacs between September and May. Each sac can contain up to 300 eggs. However, most of the hatchlings don’t survive because they’re eaten by their siblings and are very prone to wasp parasitism.
  • Females may live for two to three years, whereas males only live for about six or seven months.

Habits

  • Commonly found in logs or under rocks in the bush. They tend to reside in dark, dry areas. In suburban regions, the redback has been known to live under roof eaves, floorboards, shelves, flower pots or in garden sheds.
  • The web is a triangle of dry silk. The trap lines are sticky to assist with catching prey.
  • Redback spiders are carnivorous, and eat almost any small insects that are caught in their webs. They also eat skinks and even juvenile mice, snakes and frogs.

SPIDERS

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