The White-Tailed Spider, (common species are Lampona cylindrata, Lampona murina) are a medium-sized spider from southern and eastern Australia, so named because of the whitish tips at the end of their abdomens. The eastern and southern species are the most common species, both are similar in shape and colour. This has lead people to think there is only a single White Tail Spider. In truth it is highly probably that not all white tail species have been identified.
White-Tailed Spider females are up to 18mm long, males up to 12mm. They live in gardens and houses, beneath bark and rocks, in leaf litter and so on. They are able to walk on glass, due to specialised hairs on the end of their legs. Most active at night, they hunt for other spiders. Their favoured prey is the Black House Spider.
By comparison with other well-known Australian spiders, White-Tailed spiders do not appear to be particularly numerous, but may be responsible for a disproportionately high number of spider-bites because of their habits. Unlike the Black House spider and the Red Back which are often seen in or around dwellings in a web, the White-tailed spider wanders around and may been encountered unexpectedly.
More than 60% of the victims had been bitten by spiders that had got into clothing, into folded towels and into beds. In several more cases they were in shoes.
White-Tailed Spider bites can cause initial burning pain followed by swelling and itchiness at the bitten area. Weal’s, blistering or local ulceration have been reported – conditions known medically as necrotising arachnidism.
Bites by this spider are relatively frequent due to its wandering habit.