Our first recorded interception of the Red Back Spider. The Red Back Spider is an Australian spider and is rated as the 3rd most poisonous spider in the world. The female spider can fertiliser her eggs for 2 to 3 years after mating which contributes to the resilient nature of this species and has led to its establishment in several countries. There is great concern that there may be possible establishment in Tonga given the long standing close ties with Australia. Tonga imports a lot of used machinery etc from Australia. This live red back spider was found on a used truck imported from Australia.
The ministry of health have been contacted and urged to seek anti venom from Australia as part of emergency response just in case there are spiders already actively present in our kingdom. A red back spider bite can lead to loss of life if there is no anti venom.