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Essay On Red Back Spiders

275 words - 2 pages

Once the female has mated, she can store sperm and use it over a period of up to two years to lay several batches of eggs. She spends much time producing up to ten round egg sacs (1cm diameter), which are white, weathering to brown over time. Each egg sac contains approximately 250 eggs and only one to three weeks need to pass before more ...view middle of the document...

When the tiny pale-green spiderlings hatch, they disperse by ballooning to another suitable nest site. Females mature on average in about four months. The smaller male matures on average in about 90 days. Females may live for two to three years, whereas males only live for about six or seven months.Redback bites occur frequently, particularly over the summer months. More than 250 cases receive antivenom each year, with several milder envenomations probably going unreported. Only the female bite is dangerous. They can cause serious illness and have caused deaths. However, since Redback Spiders rarely leave their webs, humans are not likely to be bitten unless a body part such as a hand is put directly into the web, and because of their small jaws many bites are ineffective. The venom acts directly on the nerves, resulting in release and subsequent depletion of neurotransmitters.

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