Biggest funnel web spider ever handed into reptile park

The Australian Reptile Park has received its biggest male funnel web spider to date, measuring 7.8 centimetres from one foot to another foot.

Named Colossus, the spider has venom dripping constantly from his fangs when rearing up at staff.

The spider was named Colossus because of its massive size. He was found on the Central Coast and dropped into The Australian Reptile Park to participate in their venom program.

He is the largest funnel web spider handed into the park. Source: The Australian Reptile Park
He is the largest funnel web spider handed into the park. Source: The Australian Reptile Park

A photo released by the wildlife sanctuary shows how Colossus measures up against a human's hand.

The venom program at the wildlife sanctuary is run for the sole purpose of protecting humans from funnel web bites. No one has died from a bite by a funnel web since1981 when the anti-venom was introduced.

Head Curator at the Australian Reptile Park, Liz Gabriel, said the start of the year is peak time for funnel webs to be out and about.

鈥淓specially with weather we鈥檝e seen over the last week is particularly attractive to funnel webs," she said.

"They love damp environments so the rain will make them wander about more."

The park's venom milking team completed 3,500 milkings in the last year but the aim is to complete 5,000 milkings to build up venom supplies.

Male funnel webs are often found in sheltered, shady spots, which are always cool, humid and often damp. Places like the laundry are a hot spot for funnel webs this time of year

Colossus is part of the wildlife park's venom program. Source: The Australian Reptile Park
Colossus is part of the wildlife park's venom program. Source: The Australian Reptile Park

If a member of the public was to be bitten by a funnel web spider, Ms Gabriel says 鈥渟tay as calm as possible and apply the correct first aid, which is a pressure immobilisation bandage and get to hospital as fast as you possibly can".

Males like Colossus are milked weekly for their raw venom that is sent off to Seqirus in Melbourne to be made into life-saving anti-venom.