Spiders, Scorpions and Allies

(Class: Arachnida)

Australia has a reputation for having more than its fair share of dangerous spiders, with the funnel-webs and redback spiders topping the list. Spiders tend to instill more fear in humans than many other groups of animals, but deaths from their bites are very rare, with most bites resulting in localised pain and swelling. In 2016 there were two deaths attributed to spiders, a 22 yr old man from complications following a redback spider bite, and a 2 month old baby from a suspected spider bite, these were the first recorded deaths from spider bites since 1979.

Scorpions are also venomous, however, none of the species in Australia are generally considered lethal. 

Other members include ticks and mites. These small arachnids have a typically broad oval body and small cephalothorax. Species in this group may be terrestrial or aquatic, and feed on either plants or animals. Most of the over 30,000 species are free-living, but some are parasitic, and capable of spreading disease organisms, including spirochete bacteria, which causes Lyme disease and relapsing fever. 

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