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. The primitive spiders are typically ground-dwelling, although some live in trees, and do not spin a web to capture prey. ??? spiders build webs, some of which are elaborate, and wait for prey to become trapped on the sticky threads.
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.
Follow the order links below to the individual species fact sheets: