The Country Diary of a GenX Woman

Redback Spider

20130816 020We have had a big redback spider living in the house compost bin for the last year.  I am surprised it survives in there as it would be pitch dark when the lid is closed, which is most of the time.  I don’t think it can get out and it is safer to leave it be. Redbacks stay hidden when they can and are not aggressive like the wolf spiders.  They usually scuttle away if you disturb them.  It probably keeps the numbers of flies down in the bin. This one is an immature female and still has the white marks of a juvenile on its abdomen.  The redback spider is one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia with a powerful neurotoxic venom.   Apparently the bites can cause severe pain for at least 24 hours, but I am not going to test the theory.  (Since the anti-venom was developed in 1956, there have been no recorded deaths.)    They are related to the black widow spider.  According to Wikipedia: The redback is one of the few arachnids which display sexual cannibalism after mating.

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Inspired by The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady