New breed of spider can swim & catch fish

9th Mar 2016
Written by: Dave Owen

Arachnophobes look away now

Are you afraid of spiders? That’s understandable. They spin webs at exactly head height in narrow passages, run across our bedroom ceilings at night, and lay succulent eggs of terror in our nightmares. But at least you can always escape from spiders by diving into deep water, right?

Wrong.

Australian scientists have discovered a new spider that can swim and catch fish for its supper. It’s called Dolomedes briangreenei, and it’s absolutely terrifying.

Dolomedes braingreenei spider

The new species of spider is approximately the size of the palm of a hand (i.e. big), and it uses vibrations on the surface of water to find and grab prey beneath it. It dines on fish, frogs, tadpoles, and cane toads, and can swim across water using its middle legs as oars.

The spider was revealed at Brisbane’s inaugural World Science Festival, in front of the festival’s founder, Professor Brian Greene, after whom the spider is named.

There is some good news: the spider is Australian, where it’ll fit right in with the various horrific creatures that call the country home. Secondly, and most importantly, it’s not a threat to humans.

Just keep your mouth closed when you go swimming.

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