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Aust Fam Physician. 2004 Apr;33(4):244-51.

The funnel web and common spider bites.

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Epworth Hospital.



The funnel web spiders, encompassed within the genera Atrax and Hadronyche, are the most dangerous spiders in the world. Although the incidence of envenomation is low, funnel web spiders remain a cause of considerable public concern. However, most common spider bites produce only minor effects-requiring only symptomatic treatment.


This article describes the clinical features and treatment of the funnel web spider and that of its close relative, the mouse spiders. It also covers the question of necrotising arachnidism as well as bites from other common species of spiders.


Appropriate first aid combined with the administration of specific antivenom can be life saving for funnel web spider bites. True necrotising arachnidism appears to be rare. If suspected, clinicians must first consider the very wide differential diagnoses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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