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Spiders and other arachnids

Spiders are ancient animals with a history going back many millions of years. They have always been with us, an ancient source of fear and fascination. They are abundant and widespread and are natural controllers of insect populations.

Spiders are arachnids not insects, but both spiders and insects belong to the largest group of animals on Earth, the arthropods (Ancient Greek: arthro = joint, podos = footed) - animals with hard external skeletons and jointed limbs.

Come face to face with the funnel-web spider, an icon of fear and fascination for many Australians due to their highly toxic and fast acting venom. Learn how spiders produce silk and find out why spiders don't stick to their own web.

Discover the sticky world of spiders and learn more about some of the most venomous spiders in the world.


Spiders in our collection

Spider diversity

A spider's life

Find out how spiders feed, reproduce, develop and protect themselves.


Dangerous spiders

Find out about dangerous spider species, the effects of their venom and how bites are treated.


A Spider toolkit

Discover the highly developed range of tools spiders use for sensing the world.



Spider Factsheets

49 Fact Sheets in this section

Australian spiders

Australia's spiders come in a startling variety of colours, shapes and sizes. Some species make distinctive webs and many make silken retreats for protection or for their egg sacs and some even dig holes with elaborate silken triplines around the entrance.