Story: Spiders and other arachnids

Redback spider

Redback spider

In recent years, small numbers of Australian redback spiders (Latrodectus hasselti) have been seen in drier areas of New Zealand. It lives mainly in dry, sheltered places, often in outbuildings. The redback has a nasty bite, and a small number of deaths had been recorded in Australia before the introduction of a specific antivenom. If someone is bitten, no first aid should be used as this may increase the pain. The best action is to take the victim immediately to medical aid.

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Queensland Museum
Photograph by Robert Raven

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How to cite this page:

Simon Pollard, 'Spiders and other arachnids - Venomous spiders', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 September 2023)

Story by Simon Pollard, published 24 Sep 2007