Any spider experts around?

In Australia, we don’t have much in the way of large animals that will eat you. What we do have a lot of are smaller venomous creatures :).

I wouldn’t consider myself a true spider lover, but I do appreciate the role they play in the ecosystem and find them quite fascinating. I’m fine with spiders as long as I can see them, but the thought of one our larger types such as the huntsman spider crawling over me does send shivers up my spine.

I spotted Niki the Wonderdog sniffing around something earlier today and then noticed the object of her curiosity was moving. I’m glad she didn’t try to get any friendlier with this critter – check out the fangs and (what I think are) the venom glands!

Are there any spider experts out there who could enlighten me as to what kind of spider this is and whether it just looks to be particularly venomous or actually is potentially dangerous?

I’ve never seen it in suburbia or in other states other than South Australia. The only other one I’ve seen was in similar territory a hundred or so kilometers away – also in Mallee country. The colors are quite amazing.

While part of me wanted to stomp on it, I picked up the spider on a stick to put it a little further away from camp as part of my “be kind to spiders” commitment.

There must be some power in those fangs as it was understandably irritated and I could hear it crunching on the stick. Better that than my finger I guess! Anyhow, as much as I was intrigued to make its acquaintance, I hope it got the hint our meeting was a once only affair. I wouldn’t like to wake up tonight to find this in my sleeping bag.

There seems to be an abundance of spiders out here – the other night I shone the torch outside and was greeted by dozens of reflections; like the light was bouncing off broken glass.. all wolf spiders. It was quite an amazing sight given the spiders were quite small and a fair distance away. I never would have spotted them in the daylight.