New Zealand’s spiders – the creepy to the cool
Australia is so packed with extremely dangerous spiders that it’s hard to imagine that New Zealand has so few – and not one of them can do humans much harm at all.
When it comes to poisonous spiders, the most notorious is arguably the katipo, the ‘night-stinger’. The male of the species does not bite at all, and while the females do, they generally only would if you threatened it. Even then, it’s rare enough to even see a katipo and its bright red striped back, let alone be bitten by one.
The whitetail spider, on the other hand, is quite common throughout New Zealand. Noted for its long body and white ‘tail’, a bite reportedly hurts less than a bee sting and while it can result in an infected area, it is not poisonous.
New Zealand’s common orb spider can be seen throughout the country, but is not poisonous at all. You will generally only see their webs that they build during the night. In the day time, they stay hidden as insects get stuck in the web, before coming out again at night to harvest their catches and rebuild the web.
The most common spider in New Zealand is most likely the grey house spider that you can find just about everywhere and is completely harmless. Other common species include the crab and jumping spiders, as well as water spiders that are also usually nocturnal.
When you take a day tour from Auckland with Habitat Tours, it’s unlikely that you will actually see any spiders during the day. Generally, we may see the occasional spider’s web, but the creature itself will not show itself until after the sun sets, so you might be able to spot one on our Tawharanui night tours!
Tristan Cullen - Passionate Conservationist