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Did You Know? Incredible Katipo Spider Facts Kids Will Love

Katipo spider facts about the deadly spider species native to New Zealand.

Also known as the most poisonous spider in New Zealand, the katipō spider is one of the deadliest species of spiders often compared to the black widow and other deadly species of spiders. Katipō spiders are found in grasses, sandy beaches and sand dunes, and sedges. The etymology of the word is from a Maori name meaning a 'night stinger.' Katipō is hence considered to be a night stinger. It is a widow spider and is considered endangered. Relatives of this species include the black katipo, the Australian red-back spider, and the black widow spiders.  

The spider species is dangerous, however killing New Zealand's most venomous spider could earn culprits jail time. The katipō spider's population has declined rapidly over the years primarily due to loss of habitat and other factors. In this article, we will take a look at some fun and interesting facts about these poisonous animals. If you liked this article, check out the yellow sac spider and the Brazilian wandering spider.

Katipo Spider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Katipo Spider?

Katipo spider is a type of spider animal and is one of the most poisonous animals.

What class of animal does a Katipo Spider belong to?

These spiders are anthropods and belong to the Arachnida class of species.  

How many Katipo Spiders are there in the world?

The katipo spider population is an endangered species, almost to the level of near extinction. Estimates suggest that there are only a few thousand left on the North Island (of New Zealand) and in eight areas on the South Island.  

Where does a Katipo Spider live?

They are found under wood, near beaches, grasses, driftwood, and sedges. Given that they live in such specific places incidents of katipo bites are rare.

What is a Katipo Spider's habitat?

Katipos prefer to reside in grasses, sandy beaches, sand dunes, and sedges. They are native to New Zealand and not seen much in other parts of the world. The black katipo is found in the northern parts of the island while the true katipo spiders are seen in the southern parts.

Who do Katipo Spiders live with?

They primarily live on their own and are rarely seen in packs or groups. The katipo and the redback spider belong to the same genus. The katipo is hence the closest relative to the Australian redback spider however they don't reside together in the same space.

How long does a Katipo Spider live?

Katipo spiders live for around 25 years. They live in their own hole which they dig after leaving their mother's burrow. The oldest spider on earth lived for 43 years and was known as 'number 16', it was a female trapdoor tarantula living in western Australia.

How do they reproduce?

Males release ready-made sperms onto sperm webs and then transfer the sperm to syringe-like structures on the tips of their front appendages. Taking it to the female, if the mating is successful, the male injects his palps into the female's genital opening on the underside of her abdomen. Egg sacs are produced toward the end of the year and are guarded by the female in her lair.

What is their conservation status?

The New Zealand katipo spider is considered an Endangered Species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN).

Katipo Spider Fun Facts

What do Katipo Spiders look like?

False katipo spider created on a vector to resemble the features of the original as closely as possible.

The adult female is a relatively small spider with a pea-sized abdomen. It is black in color and may have white markings both at the front of the abdomen as well as a pronounced red stripe. The stripe runs all the way from the middle of the abdomen towards the rear end of the spider.  

How cute are they?

They are not exactly cute animals considering the fact that they are so deadly and can cause fatalities to humans, however, they don't attack unless provoked.

How do they communicate?

These spiders communicate by using different levels of vibrations. This is popularly called seismic communication. They make use of communication while warning rivals, attempting to catch prey, and while mating. Some spiders mimic the vibrations of insects caught in webs to trick their prey.

How big is a Katipo Spider?

The katipo spider is 0.31 inches (8mm) with a leg span of 1.3 inches (32mm), ten times bigger than the patu digua, the smallest species of spider.

How fast can Katipo Spiders move?

They are capable of biting extremely well, so much so that that it can be a situation of life and death, coupled with this is the fact that they are fast in movements from one place to another. Only females are capable of biting a human, the male's fangs are too small, however, they too pretend to bite and since their appearance is similar, it's difficult in the first instance to differentiate between the two.

How much does a Katipo Spider weigh?

Katipo spider weighs 0.09kg. Although they are light, one should not be misled into thinking that they cannot harm you.  

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male spiders are called pedipalps and female spiders are called epigynum. The female of the katipō species is usually bigger in size and darker in color than its male counterparts. Female katipos never leave their holes or webs, while males do in order to go hunting.

What would you call a baby Katipo Spider?

A baby katipō is referred to as a spiderling. They are barely seen in the open and are referred to as eggs initially.

What do they eat?

They primarily feed on ground-crawling insects like ants, beetles, and others. Apart from this, they are likely to live in and around regions where they may find their prey easily.

Are they harmful?

If bitten you won't immediately die but you are likely to experience severe symptoms, such as lumps, redness, blisters, pain, and itching.  There have been two recorded cases of deaths caused by these spiders both before 1840. If bitten you won't immediately die but will feel immense pain. There are certain home remedies you could make use of to avoid any further complications including applying lavender oil, rose oil, chamomile to the infected area. If the symptoms persist it's best to consult a medical professional.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they are not at all good pets. These deadly beasts cause extreme pain to the human body if they sting. If you ever encounter one of these species make sure to keep a distance from them and contact professionals for further information in case they sting you.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

The most poisonous spider in the world is the brown recluse spider, followed by Brazillian wandering spiders, yellow sac spider black, and brown widow spiders.

In some instances, after mating the females kill the male and eat them up and some spider species eat their own offspring.

How do their webs work?

Spiders have seven different glands producing silk fibers with different mechanical characteristics depending on the needs of the spider. Each gland secretes a set of proteins of specific composition.  Darwin's barks spider produces the most silk.

How to get rid of Katipo Spiders?

Prey attracts katipo spiders, hence getting treatment for ground walking insects should be done first. The best way to get rid of them if you have some in your house is to consult a professional, otherwise the spiders might attack you. They don't sting unless they are harmed and getting rid of them is essential. Professionals might also have measures in place to safely take the spider out without necessarily killing it.

Black Widow Spider vs Katipo Spider

They are native to different regions of the world.  They have various other differences in shape, size, and features as well. The black widow and katipo spiders are related to each other and are both venomous. Spider bites are extremely painful, but in most instances have been curable if treated quickly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including the six-eyed sand spider and the orb-weaver spider.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our katipo spider coloring pages.

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