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New deadly 'giant funnel-web' spider discovered in NSW

Scientists have discovered a new species of funnel-web spider. Photo / Australian National University
Scientists have discovered a new species of funnel-web spider. Photo / Australian National University

SCIENTISTS in Australia have discovered a new species of the deadly funnel-web spider at Booderee National Park in New South Wales.

The 50-milimetre spider is a tree-dwelling genus Hadronyche, not the ground-dwelling genus Atrax, which includes the Sydney funnel-web, the only species on the Park's records.

Dr Thomas Wallenius, from the Australian National University, said it's "remarkable" they've found another species there.

"It shows we still have a lot to learn about what's out there in the bush," he said.

Dr Wallenius was searching for funnel-webs when he found the female funnel-web in her lair, burrowed into a rotting log.

"They build a silk-lined burrow inside the hollow log which can be up to two metres long. She had probably been living in there for 25 to 30 years," he said.

There have been 13 recorded deaths from funnel-web bites, and none since an antivenom was developed in 1981.

- nzherald.co.nz

Topics:  editors picks funnel web new south wales spider


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