The funnel web spiders (Atrax Robustus) are one of the most dangerous spiders in the world and cause severe envenoming in eastern and southern
Australia. The venom from a funnel web spider can kill a human within 15 minutes. Unfortunately, Atrax robustus is a very aggressive spider.
The funnel web spiders comprise about 40 species in two genera (Atrax and Hadronyche). The most famous species is Atrax robustus. The length of
an average A. robustus is 2-4 cm. The carapace covering the front part of the body is almost airless and appears smooth and glossy. Its body is
dark brown and black. The abdomen features some enlarged spinnerets, making it easy to distinguish from others. It prefers dry plains or forests.
The venom from an Atrax robustus contains a chemical called atratoxin. Atratoxin attacks nerves and causes tremendous sensations of pain. An
antitoxin against its poison was developed in 1981.
The carapace of an Atrax is raised and longer than it is wide. They build typical tubular burrow retreats, with a collapsed tunnel or open funnel
entrance. Silk radiates from the entrance out over the ground. The spiders seize prey that walks over the entrances.