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Spider Gathering in Christchurch

Posted in Pest Advice on February 15, 2019

Arachnologists Get Together 

Spider experts are gathering in Christchurch for the International Conference of Arachnology. They will be discussing many aspects of the study of spiders and other arachnids. One spider which they will be talking about, and maybe searching for, is the Avondale spider (aka Australian Huntsman). This spider is an immigrant from Australia and gets its New Zealand name from the Auckland suburb of the same name where it first became established. It has a cousin known as the Christchurch Huntsman. These spiders are large; up to 200 mm from leg tip to leg tip if stretched out, but they are not dangerous.

It is thought these spiders are becoming rarer as their habitats such as under the bark of loose-barked trees, in tree stumps, fallen logs, and hollows, reduce. Human dwellings can potentially provide them with conditions similar to those they would normally seek in the wild but they not often found.

Huntsman spiders generally show little inclination to bite people, but being a large spider, bites may prove painful. In general, huntsman spider bites are considered to be of minor inconvenience, but the spider's size can alarm people uncomfortable around spiders.

David Brittain

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