Some of the spiders in Australia are venomous and thus dangerous.
Here is a list of some of the common spiders you will find in Victoria and
Black to brown in colour. Female has a red stripe on torso with the male having more of a brown to white markings on the torso & body is 5-10 mm long. This spider is commonly found outdoors around human habitation, in such places as rubbish, litter, old tins, containers, under and on steps of the veranda, storage areas and disused furniture. In nature, it occurs under logs, bark, sides of rocks, etc.
As the spider rarely leaves its web, humans are not likely to be bitten unless some part of the body (eg. the hand) is put into the web. Always check before moving items that have been stored outdoors for some time. The bite is highly poisonous and immediate medical attention is required.
White Tailed Spider
Dark brown with reddish tinge and a white patch at the tip of the abdomen & body is 12-20 mm long. The white tailed spider is a hunter which feeds mainly on other spiders. It is nocturnal and often enters buildings where it can be seen walking across floors and up walls. It is commonly found in bedrooms. During the day the spider seeks a dark place to hide. Indoors, this may be in clothing that has been left lying about and bites may occur when this clothing is subsequently used. In nature, the spider can be found under the bark of trees and under rocks.
Bite is mildly poisonous but the white tailed spider has been suggested as a culprit in rare cases of large scale necrotic lesions but there is little supporting evidence, due to this possibility it is essential to seek medical attention immediately.
Brown House Spider
Brown to blackish in colour & body is 5-10 mm in length. This spider is often confused with the red-back spider, which has a similar body shape and web structure. Unlike the red-back spider, the brown house spider never has a red marking on the abdomen.
The Brown House spider (sometimes known as the Cupboard spider) is often found indoors in dark places, inside or under furniture. Mildly poisonous bite.
Black House Spider
Black to grey-black in colour & body is 10-20 mm in length. Commonly found around buildings in the corners of window frames and doors, in crevices of brickwork, under eaves, etc. In nature, they are found in holes in tree trunks, crevices in rocks, etc. The distinctive lacy web with funnels is sometimes confused with that of a funnel-web spider.
The black house spider is a timid spider and will normally only venture from its retreat when prey is entangled in the web. Mildly poisonous bite.
Brown to greyish in colour with a pale ribbed pattern & body is up to 25 mm long. Wolf spiders are ground-dwelling hunters. Some species shelter in permanent burrows while others are vagrants. In the garden they are often encountered by humans whilst digging or weeding.
When disturbed they rapidly run across the ground. When they stop suddenly their colour patterns can make them difficult to see. Mildly poisonous and no records of serious symptoms.
Dark grey to brown in colour & a body is 10-12 mm in length. Most species are relatively small and are often found under bark or rocks, in vegetation, and on walls of houses and fences.
The common name comes from the habit of these spiders of jumping on their prey, which they locate with the large pair of eyes. They can jump up to a distance of several centimetres. Timid with a low poisonous bite.
Daddy Long-Leg Spider
Normally brown in cream in colour & body is 16-20 mm long. This spider is commonly found indoors in dark areas, such as behind doors or furniture, disused rooms, etc. Old webs are often seen in the corners of ceilings. Outside it occurs in garages and sheds, under verandas, etc.
Relatively harmless, old wife’s tales will have you believe that these spiders are extremely venomous which is actually untrue.
Garden Orb-Weaving Spider
Brown to Reddish-brown in colours & body is 18-22 mm long. This is a large robust spider which builds a large, strongly constructed web to catch its prey of mostly flying insects. The web is usually constructed at night and is sometimes unexpectedly encountered by humans.
The spider rests upside down in the centre of the web. At dawn the web is often taken down and the spider then rests on nearby foliage. Mildly poisonous bite.
Brown to grey in colour with dark spots & body is 25-40 mm long. This huntsman is the one most commonly found in houses, where it hunts at night on walls and ceilings. It also occasionally enters the interior of vehicles, causing much alarm.
In the bush they can be found sheltering during the day beneath the loose bark of eucalyptus. Timid spider with a low poisonous bite.
St. Andrews Cross Spider
Male is brown with a cream abdomen and female is brown with horizontal yellow and brown stripes & body is 5-20 mm long. The St Andrew’s Cross spider commonly builds its web amongst shrubs and other vegetation or against walls of buildings. It normally hangs upside down in the web with two paired legs placed along each arm of the cross.
The silken cross may be used for strengthening the web, for camouflage or for enhancing prey catches. Bite is considered harmless.
Badge (Huntsman) Spider
Fawn to orange in colour & body is 15-20 mm long. Nocturnal and occasional enters into houses, but less frequently than other Huntsman spiders.
Outside it can be found hunting for prey on tree trunks or foliage, during the day they will retreat beneath the bark of a tree for safety.