Monday, 25 January 2016

Massive funnel-web's spider venom to be milked in Australia

A deadly funnel-web spider with a leg span of 10cm (4in) is the largest specimen ever handed in to Australia's only venom-milking programme.

The spider, which has been named Big Boy, was caught in bushland in Newcastle, NSW, last week and handed over to the Australia Reptile Park.

The park encourages the public to catch and send in spiders so it can use them to produce anti-venom.

Programme supervisor Billy Collett said he had not heard of a bigger specimen.

"There might be one at a museum, but this is the biggest one we've had in our venom programme," Mr Collett said.

A "good Samaritan" had handed the spider in at a local hospital, which acts as a collection point for the Australian Reptile Park's venom milking programme, he added.

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