Black house spider

Black house spider

Black house spider classification
The Black house spider belongs to genus Badumna in the family Desidae. Its scientific name is Badumna insignis. The genus Badumna contains 18 known spider species.

Black house spider range and habitat
The Black house spider is native to Australia where it can be found most parts of the southern and eastern regions. It is especially fond of urban habitats and human dwellings, hence the name house spider. You can often spot their nets in corners of a room, in windows etcetera. In the wild, the usually create their webs on among logs, on tree trunks and along rock walls.

Black house spider description
The female Black house spider can grow up to 18 millimetres in size, while the male typically stay around 9 millimetres. The Black house spider has a robust body shape. The coloration of the carapace and legs vary from black to dark brown, while the abdomen is of a charcoal grey shade. The Black house spider is decorated with a dorsal pattern of white markings. In some specimens, this pattern can be hard to notice.

Black house spider web
The Black house spider web consists of triangular sail-shaped parts. It tends to look quite haphazard and untidy. Black house spiders constantly add more silk to their webs and repair damaged parts, so an old Black house spider web will look more disorganised than a new one. The Black house spider is also capable of producing different types of spider silk and this blend of different materials can add to the makeshift look of the net. 

Somewhere in its web the Black house spider will create a funnel-shaped entrance that leads to a hiding spot where the spider can wait for prey to become entangled. This funnel building habit has caused the Black house spiders to be frequently confused with Australasian funnel-web spiders of the family Hexathelidae, including the feared and venomous Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus).

It is however easy to distinguish these two different types of spiders, since the funnel-web spiders live on the ground while the Black house spider and its relatives create their webs in trees, windows, corners and other places off the ground. They are also dissimilar when it comes to size and appearance. There are a few true funnel-web spiders that create their funnels in tree-trunk crevices instead of living on the ground, but they will always hide their entrances behind a piece of silk embedded pieces of bark or similar, and this type of web is therefore easily distinguished from the web of a Black house spider.

Black house spider bite
The Black house spider produces venom, but it is not considered dangerous for humans. The bite can cause local swelling as well as strong pain, but will usually require no medical attention. A cold pack placed over the bitten area will often decrease these symptoms. There are a few instances where the bitten person have experienced sweating, dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting. If you receive several bites, skin lesions can form. If an infection develops where a Black house spider have punctured your skin, you should seek medical attention since you might need antibiotics. You should also seek medical attention of the spider bite symptoms persist.


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