Science & Tech

Giant new spider that can grow to two inches wide has people terrified

Giant new spider that can grow to two inches wide has people terrified
Girl is panicking over a huge spider in her car while she's …

A new (and huge) species of trapdoor spider has been discovered in Australia - and those with arachnophobia might want to look away...

The rare eight-legged arachnid is called Euoplos dignitas, which comes from the Latin "dignitas'"meaning dignity or greatness, that pays respect to just how large and "impressive" in size the spider is.

Female spiders can grow up to five centimetres in body length (about the size of a 50-cent piece), which is often bigger than the size of the males.

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It was discovered in Brigalow Belt, Central Queensland by researchers from Queensland Museum’s Project DIG and lives in open woodland habitats where it builds its burrows in the black soils in the northeastern coast of Australia.

The arachnid can live up to 20 years in the wild but its habitat has been subject to land clearing that has resulted in this species of trapdoor spider to be a likely endangered species.

“We think they’re probably in a bit of trouble … but more work needs to be done to get a better handle of how much,’ lead researcher, Dr Michael Rix said.

New species of giant trapdoor spider | Project

Female spiders of the new species spend their lives underground, while male spiders - that are "honey-red" in colour - leave their burrows after around five to seven years to find a mate.

Night time is when the spiders are most active, as they wait at the trapdoor of their burrows to strike at insects that pass by.

Although the venom is used to subdue their prey, Dr Rix gave reassurance that they are not dangerous to humans (but can have a painful bite) and the chance of encountering one is quite low.

“The bite might be physically painful because of their size, but they’re not dangerous,” Dr Rix, who is also curator of arachnology at Queensland Museum, explained.

He also noted how experts were excited to “scientifically document this new species."

Meanwhile, many people have taken to social media to share their terrified reactions to the large new spider species.

One person wrote: "Nope nope nope nope."

"Yeah. I’m gonna go with a hard no on that one," another person said.

Someone else added: "I’d burn the whole house down if that crawled out from under my bed."

"Thanks for tonight's nightmare," a fourth person commented.

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