Year 5's Red-back 2001

PLEASE NOTE THAT AT NO TIME ARE CHILDREN ALLOWED TO HANDLE LIVE SPIDERS AND ARE TAUGHT NOT TO TOUCH ANY SPIDERS, AS ALL CAN BITE. ALL LIVE SPIDERS KEPT IN THE ROOM ARE IN SEALED CONTAINERS AND ARE ONLY FED BY THE TEACHER.
 

Once again, this year's class of children have gotten into collecting spiders in an enthusiastic manner, despite being told NOT to collect any!! I managed to bring a Redback from home and one of the children also donated one. Once again we have a brown house spider and another one that likes to live under bark. One of the kids found what we think is a male Redback, it is very small and hard to photograph. The local pet shop kindly lent us their Bird Eating spider specimen, (dead) and a set of huge fangs for the children to study for their spider tasks. We have stressed that certain types of spider don't mind living in a small area, like the Redback, but the other Orb weaving spiders that we have found must be let go once we have studied them as they will die in a small area. Here's some photos of our spiders having a feed of ants. They have plenty to eat at present as I have discovered that a half empty Coke can makes an excellent cockroach trap!!

This is the Brown house spider. It is so clever, it has taken 3 or 4 large pieces of bark from the ground of its tanks and uses them to cover herself up so no-one can see her!! Isn't that amazing!!
 

When we gave her some ants, she immediately wrapped them up with silk to either avoid being bitten (as they were green ants) or save them for later.
 

The male Redback did the same thing, with his little back legs working furiously knitting a covering of silk around his ant to avoid being bitten!! You can see the ants in the picture.

This is the Redback I brought from home. She is getting ready to lay another egg sac as you can see by the size of her abdomen. She has a nice home in a clump of Mondo grass in her tank which is quite large, but she also goes out into a web in the open to wait for food. (Unfortunately none flies by in her fish tank!

This is the other Redback brought in by one of the children. She is also just about ready to lay an egg sac as you can see by her extremely distended abdomen. 

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She has also had a good feed on cockroaches so that has fattened her up too. Her abdomen is more brownish than the other but her red stripe is very bright. She has made the typically messy web that Redbacks make.

This spider doesn't use a web, it likes to live under the bark  It looks a bit like a wolf spider, but we're not real sure.