Funnel-Web Spider Donated To Australian Reptile Park Breaks Size Record & Time To Move To Fiji

The largest ever funnel-web spider male specimen to be donated to the Australian Reptile Park has just been found, in a timely reminder that every critter on this country is the stuff of nightmares. Arachnophobes click away from this one now — you’ve been warned.

The Australian Reptile Park located on the Central Coast of New South Wales, just an hour north of Sydney, has long been home to the largest funnel-web spider, as anyone who has been in it’s cursed ‘Spider-World’ exhibit would be aware.

I’m talking of course about the horrifying gigantic scale model of a funnel-web that takes the centre stage of the room.

As a child this model made me pee my pants… and it still does. (Source: Central Coast Australia)

Truly the stuff of Lovecraftian horror fiction, even if it’s not a living spider.

Except now, in spooky news for people who don’t like large creatures with more than four legs that could kill you in one bite, the Australian Reptile Park is also home to the largest ever male living funnel-web specimen. Excuse me while I change my pants.

The beast in question has been named “Hercules” in honour of it’s huge size for the typically small species, and measures in with a leg-span of 7.9cm.

Hercules next to what I hope is a really small 50c coin. Source: Caitlin Vine/AP

In great news for blokes everywhere, three inches is massive for a male.

Most funnel-web spiders are between 1-5cm in length, with the female specimens being larger, but having less deadly venom. The biggest female specimen ever donated came in at 8cm.

Hercules was donated to the Australian Reptile Park after he was dropped off at a local hospital, and will be utilised in Australia’s only funnel-web spider venom milking facility.

“With having a male funnel-web this size in our collection, his venom output could be enormous, proving incredibly valuable for the park’s venom program,” said the park’s resident spider keeper Emma Teni.

“We’re used to having pretty big funnel-web spiders donated to the park, however receiving a male funnel-web this big is like hitting the jackpot.”

I’m not one to yuck anyone’s yum. Emma if you love spiders that is absolutely wonderful. Not for me though.

In the meantime I will happily visit Taronga Zoo to see the new baby penguins that are named after Australia’s beloved Matildas.

Name a spider after Sam Kerr, then we’ll talk.

[Image Credit: Caitlin Vine/AP]