Redback Spider

The Redback Spider is instantly recognisable from the vivid red marking found on the back of the female of the species. This highly venomous spider usually makes its home in sheltered, out-of-the-way areas, and is only dangerous if provoked. Only the female Redback bites. A bite from a Redback can potentially be fatal, particularly for the very young or for the elderly. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, pain and muscle spasms, fever and sweating, and restlessness. Seek medical attention promptly as there is an effective anti-venom. There have been no deaths in Australia from a confirmed spider bite since 1979, and none from a Redback Spider since the anti-venom was introduced in 1956.

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Funnel Web Spider

The Funnel Web lives in open coastal forest, tall open forest and upland forest. They build retreats on the ground under rocks and fallen branches. Funnel web bites are highly toxic and can potentially result in death. If you’re bitten, call an ambulance immediately.

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Sharks

There are about 170 species of sharks living in Australian seas. The chance of encountering a shark in the water are still quite rare but it pays to be vigilant when swimming or surfing, even on the Northern Beaches.

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Red-bellied Black Snakes

Snakes are prevalent on the Northern Beaches. They eat rats, mice, frogs, lizards and birds as well as fish and eels. They shelter in thick grass clumps, logs, burrows and under large rocks. While they are dangerously venomous, their venom is not deadly to humans. If you get bitten, call an ambulance.

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Blue-ringed Octopus

The Blue-ringed Octopus can be found on the Northern Beaches in shallow rock pools, hiding in crevices or empty shells of other marine animals. Their venom can be deadly and there is no anti-venom available. If you get bitten, call an ambulance immediately.

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Bluebottles

Bluebottles are a common and unwelcome visitor to the Northern Beaches. They are floaters and are blown into our favourite swimming spots and often wash up on the shore. While not deadly to humans, Bluebottles can deliver a very painful sting. Apply warm water if available, if not use an icepack.

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