How Bad Are the Spiders in New Zealand?
The first question that comes to mind when a visitor to New Zealand asks “how bad are the spiders?” is, of course, “How dangerous are the spiders?” The answer is, “not that bad!” However, many people may have an allergic reaction. If you are bitten by a larger spider, you should seek medical advice.
There are several species of spiders in New Zealand. Most are harmless to humans, but there are two species that are considered venomous. These are the White Tail and Redback Spiders.
The White Tail Spider is nocturnal and is often associated with dwellings and human activity. The bite is usually painful, and it can cause swelling. The venom is not toxic, but it can make you feel sore and itch.
The Redback Spider is native to Australia, but is also found in New Zealand. Its venom isn’t deadly, but it can be itchy and cause a pin prick effect. It is similar to the Black Widow spider in appearance.
The Hexathelids are New Zealand’s largest mygalomorphs. They are found in the coastal areas of both the North and South islands. These spiders build long tunnel webs under stones and logs. Their bodies are heaviest of any spider in New Zealand. They eat arthropods and snatch prey items from the ground.
Another venomous spider that is found in New Zealand is the Katipo Spider. These are also called the “night stinger”. It is a venomous spider that has been classified as a threatened species. The habitat of the Katipo has been altered by recreational horse-riding, urban development, and invasive grasses.