Sunday 18 November 2018

Watch: This video of 100 tiny, deadly spiders emerging from an egg sac is what nightmares are made of


Nilima Marshall

Arachnophobes look away now, because this video of deadly baby spiders emerging from their sac for the first time is the stuff of nightmares.

Footage shared by the Australian Reptile Park on Facebook shows the egg sac being carefully split open, allowing around 100 baby Sydney funnel-web spiders (Atrax robustus) to scramble out.

The video gained over half a million views in less than 48 hours.

The egg sac was handed in to The Australian Reptile Park by a member of the public as a part of its funnel-web spider antivenom programme.

The process involves raising spiderlings to extract their venom – which is then used in the production of antivenoms to help save snake and spider victims.

Funnel-web spiders are large and bulky, with females reaching over 35mm in body length and males around 25mm.

The bite of a Sydney funnel-web spider is potentially deadly, but no fatalities have occurred since the introduction of antivenom.

Daniel Rumsey, head of Reptiles and Spiders at the zoo, said: “Before the antivenom was developed 33 years ago, there were 13 recorded deaths in New South Wales by funnel webs, but there has been zero fatalities since the development of the antivenom in 1981.”

A Sydney funnel-web spider.

Australia is in the midst of the summer season, meaning “people will be seeing funnel webs more and more”, according to Rumsey.

For those brave enough to catch funnel-web spiders, he said: “If you are an adult and feel safe to do so, please catch the funnel webs using a big glass jar and, keeping your hands away from the spider, coax the spider into the jar and bring it to us or one of our drop-off points – you will literally be helping us save lives.”

And if anyone happens to be bitten by a funnel web spider, Rumsey advises staying “as calm as possible”.

He said: “Apply the correct first aid, which is a pressure immobilisation bandage, and get to hospital as fast as you possibly can.”

Press Association

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