Be Afraid! New Species Of Spider, Named Brian, Can Ride Waves To Hunt Prey & Breathe Underwater

Only in Australia. Forget Jaws, it seems like there is now another new kind of 'nope' with eight legs that exists in the land down-under intent on making any kind of human relaxation near water pretty much impossible.

Arachnophobes might want to stop reading any more now.

As if Australia needed more types of spider for you to fear, a newly discovered water-spider was disclosed at the World Science Festival in Brisbane. The species has been named Brian, or Dolomedes briangreenei, after the festival's co-founder and famed theoretical physicist Brian Greene.

Dolomedes briangreenei is found in the fresh water streams around Brisbane and hunts its prey by riding the tiny vibrations, or waves, on the surface of the water. It also locates its prey by sensing these tiny vibrations and navigating its way to a meal much like a spider does in its web.

The species are covered in fine, velvety hairs which are hydrophobic and mean the spiders can skate across the water surface. The hair also traps air forming a kind of air bubble which means when the spider dives to hunt it can breathe underwater.

Once there it can stay underwater for around an hour and their diet consists of insects, fish, tadpoles and cane toads, which are a pest in Australia. Plus of course the odd passing surfer. Just kidding. Maybe?

"These spiders sit there on the water and then all of a sudden an insect will hit the water and the spider races out to get it, grabs it, dives under the water and then swims back to the shore and starts eating it," Robert Raven, Principal Scientist of Arachnology at the Queensland Museum, told Mashable Australia.

And just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.


It all sounds very impressive and rather horrifying if you're the spider's prey, but fortunately they aren't harmful to humans, unlike a lot of species found in Australia.

They do though sound like they would make the perfect creature for the SyFy channel to turn into oversized monsters and feature in an overblown cheesy b-movie about them attacking some surfing teens.


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