There is a range of terrifying spiders out there, but Australia seems to have a monopoly on the worst of them. Recently, a Queensland-based scientist or arachnologist named Barbara Baehr found a brand new species of ‘ant-eating’ spider.
Called Nosterella pollardi, the tiny, cinnamon coloured spider resembles something out of a nightmare. But what makes this particular arachnid special is it’s private parts.
The male spider’s area works like a lock and key, meaning the boy spider’s ‘key’ will only fit in the ‘lock’ of another female within its particular species. Procreation wouldn’t work with any other ant-eating spiders.
It primarily lives with ants which is how it derived its name, the spider hunts by mimicking the ants appearance; this method makes it difficult to spot within a colony. “They’re also unique as they often make pheromones like ants so the ants can’t detect them,” Dr Baehr said to ABC Radio Brisbane.
Dr Baehr named the new find after a friend she made on Gumtree of all places. She met microbiologist Professor Pete Pollard when he was interested in purchasing her vintage bike. She chose his name specifically due to his work with Queensland waterways, saying “I wanted to name a species after someone who had done great things for Queensland as I wanted to honour them.”
Professor Pollard’s reply? “You can only have one Australian of the Year, but to me this is the best next thing,” he said.
His spidey namesake is currently only found on Lord Howe Island off the NSW coast.
No comment from the spider.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.