24 November 2017

Newly-discovered spider can swim

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A new species of spider, Dolomedes briangreenei, which likes to swim and catch fish, has been discovered in Queensland.

It is named after physicist and World Science Festival co-founder, Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk unveiled the spider to Green in Brisbane at the opening of the inaugural World Science Festival.

The Brisbane spider is about the size of the palm of a hand and uses vibrations on the surface of the water, or waves, to navigate and find prey.

It eats fish, frogs, and tadpoles and the introduced cane toad, making a significant contribution to the management of the pest.

The spiders are also good swimmers, usually working from the sides of pools and off rocks. They can also been seen sculling across the surface with their two middle pairs of legs.

When disturbed or hauling in captured fish, they will plunge through the surface of the water and swim quickly to hide on the bottom.

2016.03.11 / 19:02
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