The spider that bit Ms Allen on a finger on her left hand was thought to be a funnel web.
The spider that bit Ms Allen on a finger on her left hand was thought to be a funnel web. Jessica Mckenzie

Suspected funnel web spider sends woman to hospital

MALENY author and permaculture educator Jenny Allen has been taken by ambulance to Nambour Hospital for treatment of a spider bite which could be from a venomous funnel-web.

Ms Allen was bitten at her Balmoral Ridge home this morning as she helped her children get ready for school.

The small, black spider bit Ms Allen on her finger as she reached into her son's sock. 

Once the spider had been caught, Ms Allen's children jumped on the internet and found it bore a frightening resemblance to Australia's most notorious spider.

Paramedics transported Ms Allen from her Balmoral Ridge home to Nambour General Hospital.
Paramedics transported Ms Allen from her Balmoral Ridge home to Nambour General Hospital. Jessica Mckenzie

Ms Allen proceeded to drive her 13-year-old son to the bus-stop before throbbing pain around the bite site forced her to take action.

She returned home and awaited an ambulance while her 11-year-old daughter Jasmine applied a compression bandage to her arm.

Paramedics commented that the bandage was expertly applied and little remained to be done.

Ms Allen was in good spirits as she climbed aboard the ambulance without assistance.

 

RELATED: The five deadliest spiders in Australia


DID YOU KNOW?

THERE are about 50 species of funnel-web spiders in Australia but only six are known to have caused severe reactions after a bit.

The Sydney funnel-web (Atrax robustus) is the most venomous spider in the country, but no one is reported to have died after being bitten by one since an anti-venom became available in 1981.

This spider has fangs larger than a brown snake's and they are so powerful they can pierce through toe nails.

Members of the funnel-web spider family are usually found in southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales, and are more active in the warmer months of the year, between November and March.

Other dangerous funnel-web spiders are the northern tree funnel-web spider (Hadronyche formidabilis) and the southern tree funnel-web spider (Hadronyche cerberea).


HOW TO IDENTIFY A FUNNEL-WEB

Funnel-web spiders have: 

  • Shiny carapace (the outer, shell-like covering)
  • Deeply curved groove (fovea)
  • No obvious body pattern
  • Eyes closely grouped
  • Four spinnerets, largest with last segment longer than wide
  • Lower lip (labium) studded with short, blunt spines
  • Modified male second leg (usually with a mating spur or grouped spines)

*Source: Australian Museum



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