Hi. my uncle told me there was debate in the scientific community whether the redback was indeed native to australia as they were only "discovered" recently (maybe 100 years ago - what about the other 120 years of our post first-fleet history??). Also he said there was no aboriginal word nor mythology for the redback (yet there is for the funnel-web). So I went to the library got out a book on australian spiders it said the same thing. The author suspected it was really the black widow that came over and the different markings are a result of evolution (BTW I have seen black widows when i lived in california they look almost identical in size/shape/markings and their webs).
Has there been any DNA testing yet to ascertain native status? (I need to know whether to kill them as in introduced pest or to leave them be as a native species).