Suspected funnel-web spider seen at Sharon

suspected funnel-web spider
A suspected funnel-web spider photographed at Sharon by Grant Puckering.

A photo of a suspected funnel-web spider taken at Sharon on Thursday is turning heads.

Grant Puckering was working at a new housing estate when he stumbled across the large black spider.

The sub-contractor and his mate were taking a look at the Burnett River just a short walk away from the building site when Grant saw the spider and they stopped to check it out.

Grant said the area backed onto the Burnett River and had about a 30-metre drop down to the water, but it was the sight of the suspected funnel-web spider that had them intrigued.

“I wasn’t afraid of it, it was fascinating to see,” Grant said.

“We took a few pics and let it be.”

Not knowing what sort of spider it was Grant took to social media with photos to help with identification.

With almost 100 comments about the photos, Bundaberg Region community members said it could be a funnel-web spider, while others said it looked more like a trapdoor species.

According to the Australian Museum, funnel-web spiders are found in eastern Australia.

There are at least 40 species and they are medium to large spiders, varying from 1-5cm in body length. Males are more lightly built than females.

Body colour can vary from black to brown but the hard carapace covering the front part of the body is always sparsely haired and glossy.  

There are also a few spiders sometimes mistaken for funnel-webs. These include the Sydney brown trapdoor spider, the female mouse spider and the black house spider.

The funnel-web spider is also a different species to the Sydney funnel-web, which is the most notorious of all spiders, and has a fearsome reputation.

Grant said he couldn’t be definite about what type of spider it was, but he was grateful for the community’s input.