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First Aid Courses – Australian Tarantulas

Australian Tarantulas

Danger Level: Medium

Non-fatal to humans. They can render painful bites because of their large fangs but severe effects such a vomiting and fever is very rare. They can however, be fatal to dogs.

Distribution: Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, some species can also be found as far down as Victoria.


6cm body and up to 16 cm leg span Large fangs (1 cm long) Hairy Dark or light brown often with a silvery sheen


Their prey usually consists of insects, lizards and frogs and occasionally preys on bird hatchlings. Australian Tarantulas are also known as whistling or barking spiders because some species are able to make sounds by rubbing their front limbs against their jaws.

First Aid

Although large, Australian tarantulas are not usually aggressive, but if provoked will 'rear up' and appear rather menacing. The bite is painful, as the fangs are large and as long as those of many snakes. Severe illness sometimes results and nausea and vomiting for six to eight hours have been reported from bites.

Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

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