All spiders are weird. That’s a fact, right? But every now and again you find out about one that’s particularly disturbing, whether that’s a gigantic huntsman spider or one that chooses to spin its web INSIDE your ear.
Or, stranger still, there’s this guy: the so-called ‘Magnificent Spider’… which looks far from magnificent to me.
A man called William Williamsburg in Sydney, Australia, stumbled upon the pretty freaky-looking spider, which social media users have said looks like a piece of sushi.
He then posted a photo of the unusual creature in a Facebook group, hoping to get it identified by the power of social media.
But fellow Facebookers were fairly alarmed, with one saying: “Time to burn the house down.”
Another added: “At first glance I thought this was a piece of sushi.”
The Daily Mail reports the spider has now been identified as a Magnificent Spider, which is one of the Bolas spider group.
According to the Australian Museum, despite its fairly unnerving appearance, the spider is thankfully not dangerous to humans.
“There are three species of Bolas spider found in eastern Australia: The Magnificent Spider, Ordgarius magnificus, O. furcatus, and O. Monstrosus,” the Austalian Museum website explains.
“The female Magnificent Spider is very distinctive in its markings. It is white with two bright yellow knobs on its abdomen, and a number of salmon-coloured spots and blotches as well.
“The body and limbs are covered with long fine hairs, especially the forelegs.”
The spider is found in Queensland and New South Wales, and while it prefers trees like eucalypts in dry or wet sclerophyll forests, it can also be found in suburban gardens.
The beast captures their prey by deception – no, not with the false promise of a delicious piece of sushi, but by spinning a short line of silk with a sticky globule of silk at the free end (also known as the ‘bolas’, which is a South American throwing weapon made of rope and weights).
“This sticky silk globule may contain pheromones that mimic the scent of a certain female noctuid moth species, attracting unwary male moths within range (known as ‘aggressive mimicry’),” the Australian Museum says.
The Magnificent spider is extremely sensitive to vibrations, and twirls its thread when it senses a moth’s beating wings coming its way.
As the moth flutters close enough to get hit by the globule and become stuck to it, the spider pulls up the strand before biting the moth, immobilising it.
It then either eats it there and then, or stores it for later.
I know, I’m certainly never eating sushi again.