Arachnophobes beware! Aussie scientist discovers three new spider species

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An Australian scientist has discovered three new spider species in the country. Source: Getty (stock image used)

An Australian scientist has given arachnophobes another thing to fear after announcing the discovery of three new spider species.

Taking to social media earlier this week, taxonomist Joseph Schubert updated Aussies on the creepy crawlies that were found by Project Maratus – a not-for-profit initiative created to learn about certain species of spider.

Sharing detailed photos of the three new critters, Schubert explained the spiders had been given their official names following the discovery.

“Meet Australia’s three newest species!” he said in a Twitter post. “Here are three brand new peacock spiders that I described from Southwestern Australia, discovered by Project Maratus.”

He added: “As of today they are officially named: Maratus aquilus, Maratus felinus and Maratus combustus.”

While some may squirm in fear just looking at the images of the spiders with their striped legs and colourful faces, Schubert confirmed to the delight of many that they will not cause any harm.

“These little guys are completely harmless,” he added on the post. “They’re roughly the length of a grain of rice.”

Given Australia is home to some of the most poisonous spiders in the world, it’s certainly a relief.

Schubert also explained why he chose the name for one of the creatures adding: “The marking on the abdomen reminded me of a fiery explosion so I thought the name combustus would be appropriate!”

Despite Scubert’s explanation that the creatures were nothing to fear, some still seemed concerned about the tiny spiders.

“Wow… Gorgeous! But please keep them over there… no matter how pretty, I’m still afraid of spiders,” one person commented.

“And they can stay there,” another wrote.

A third saw the beauty in the creatures adding: “Look at them, they’re amazing. Their tails look like tribal masks. Glad they’re tiny”.

It follows a discovery last year by a group of citizen scientists who found 37 new species of spiders in the country.

Similar to the most recent discovery, these creepy crawlies weren’t considered scary, but rather likened to tiny little jewels.

Speaking to Australia’s national broadcaster, spider expert Robert Whyte confirmed that while some of the spiders have frightening names such as the Baalzebub after the god of darkness, they are not deadly.

“None of them are even remotely dangerous,” he told the ABC. They’re tiny little gorgeous things that jump around on the foliage.”

Do you have a fear of snakes or spiders? Have you seen many around lately?

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