The redback is one of the few spiders that exhibit sexual cannibalism while mating. The sperm is then stored in the female reproductive tract, and can be used up to two years later! She’s a real charmer! Not only that, the redback is one of the few arachnids that can be harmful to humans, and its preferred habitat (in the house!) has led it to being responsible for the large majority of serious spider bites in Australia. Luckily there is an anti-venom agent and no deaths since its introduction in 1956.
It’s beautiful though … here is a totally safe redback spider puppet:
Spotted by Kim Tairi at Te Papa Museum shop – good find!