Dangerous Spiders


The Katipo or Red Katipo (Latrodectus katipo) is an endangered, venomous spider native to New Zealand. It is a Widow Spider like its relatives, the Black katipo, the Australian Red-Back Spider, and the USA’s Black Widow Spiders. The Katipo has also been sighted in parts of California. Katipo is a Maori name and means “night-stinger”.

The Katipo’s natural habitat is typically under logs or other wood, especially near beaches. This narrow habitat along with their rareness, general non-aggressiveness (they bite as a last resort) and human awareness of where they live, means the incidence of Katipo bites is very low. If bitten, Red Back Antivenin is an effective treatment and is available from major New Zealand hospitals.

Only two fatalities from a Katipo bite have been recorded in modern times.