A NEW species of spider that can surf, swim and eats marine life has been identified in Australia.
Unveiled at the World Science Festival 2016 in Brisbane, the newly-discovered ‘Brian’ spider has been named in honour of the festival’s co-founder, physicist Professor Brian Greene.
It was first discovered in the country’s north east region of Queensland.
Using vibrations on the surface of water, the spider can detect how far away its prey is, how big it is and the direction in which it is travelling.
It then runs along the surface of the water, paralyses its victim with venom and drags it under water. It finally swims back to land to eat.
It is thought the velvety hairs on its body form an air pocket which it is uses to breathe underwater.
Known to feed on prey up to three times its size, the ‘Brian’ hunts fish, tadpoles, frogs and even larger amphibians such as cane toads.
Unlike many of Australasia’s arachnids, it is not harmful to humans.