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Definition Return to top
This article describes the effects of a bite from the funnel-web spider. Male funnel-web spiders are more poisonous than females.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Poisonous Ingredient Return to top
Where Found Return to top
Funnel-web spiders are found in southeast Australia, around Sydney. They are not native to the United States, although some people may keep them as exotic pets.
Symptoms Return to top
Funnel-web spider bites are extremely painful. They usually cause tingling or numbness in the mouth or lips within 10-15 minutes. These bites can be very dangerous and have been known to cause all of the following symptoms:
Home Care Return to top
Funnel-web spider bites are extremely poisonous. Seek immediate medical attention. Call the Poison Control Center for guidance. Apply a bandage and firm pressure over the bite, and keep the affected area still, if possible, to prevent the venom from spreading.
Before Calling Emergency Return to top
Determine the following information:
Poison Control Return to top
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
See: Poison control center - emergency number
What to Expect at the Emergency Room Return to top
The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate.
The patient may receive antivenom, if available.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Funnel-web spider bites can be life threatening, especially in children, and must be treated quickly with antivenom by an experienced doctor.
References Return to top
Auerbach PS. Wilderness Medicine. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2001.Update Date: 2/17/2009 Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Stephen C. Acosta, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (10/24/2007).