This is one spider you don’t want to mess with because it is one of the largest tarantulas in Australia and a reputation to match, a strong powerful Tarantula with long fangs. It is mentioned on the spider site I brought my sling from that it is capable of killing and dragging a full-grown rat into its burrow and able to kill a cane toad, which has few predators. Other reports on the web from Elanor Mahon of Melbourne, Australia of a Whistling spider killing and dragging a 2.5 pound dead fish from a riverbank and across a forest floor into its burrow. even chickens. Whatever you believe this is an impressive spider. Like other bird-eating spiders, it would mostly feed on insects, lizards, frogs and toads, in the wild.
One story I found very interesting was from another collector in Australia who had to sign a indemnity form to save the pet store being sued if bitten by this poisonous spider. He went on to say one day the hungry spider attacked his hand, he could feel the spider pumping venom into his hand he said the tear from the fang caused a gash requiring 6 stitches. He was very ill for a day, and a week for all the symptoms to disappear. Other reports on spider bites from this spider all tell a similar story, the symptoms are similar to a snakebite I received when I was filming many years ago which also made me very ill.
There are also many warnings and substantiated reports how dangerous these spiders are to farm dogs and cats in Australia, as a bite can kill a large dog in about thirty minutes. Known as the Whistling or barking spider because of the rasping sound made by the females, which can be heard from a meter away. My Spider is growing very fast and my second filming outside was a bit scary, I let it walk onto my hand to place it on a piece of slate to photograph. With camera in one hand it ran up my other arm so fast and disappeared on my back, so I had to quickly take my jacket of to find it which is the reason I usually film in my garden. This type of spider is only for experience keepers only. 28/08/11 A. Newman