Stunning ‘Xbox’ spider seen in Australia as its ‘incredibly rare’ double markings and bright green body drive experts crazy
- The strangely marked spider immediately drew comparisons in line with the logo.
- Experts said the cross on the spider’s back was incredibly rare for its species.
- Australians in flooded areas have been warned of increased spider populations
- Reports of dangerous funnel-web spider finding refuge in Australian homes
A glowing green spider with markings that eerily resemble the Xbox logo has been spotted in Victoria, with its uncanny resemblance to the game console making arachnid experts go wild.
The bright green spider, from the orb weaver family, was spotted in Geelong by Kim Proudlove, who posted a photo of the peculiar arachnid.
Garden orb weavers are a common type of spider in Australia with over 100 species already known from across the country.
However, a spider expert said the ‘Xbox’ spider anomaly, where the orb-weaver had two cross markings on its back, was extremely rare.
“It’s probably the speckled orb-weaver or the green orb-weaver, depending on who you ask,” PhD candidate Nik Willmott told Yahoo News.
“I don’t see the fainter longitudinal stripe as much, and having both stripes on the same spider is even rarer.”
The bright green arachnid with a distinctive cross on its back (left) quickly earned the name “Xbox spider” for its uncanny resemblance to the logo of the popular game console (right)
The orb-weaver spider
Orb-weavers are a type of small, mostly harmless spider, with most measuring only an inch or two in length.
Found mostly in shrubs, many species, like the garden orb weaver, build webs both in dense woodland and in our backyards.
With more than 2,800 species worldwide, orb-weaver spiders come in a wide spectrum of colors, patterns, and sizes.
Depending on the species, some orb weavers build intricate webs to catch prey; while others dangle a large sticky ball in the hope that prey will catch them.
A shy creature that rarely bites with weak venom, the orb weaver poses less of a threat to humans.
A bite from an orb weaver usually results in mild pain, numbness, and swelling; Rarely causing nausea and dizziness.
The oldest known species of orb weaver existed around 140 million years ago and possibly lived during the Jurassic period.
Ms Proudlove’s rare find comes after Australians were warned of an increase in spider populations in areas affected by flooding and heavy rain.
Torrential rains and flooding have forced many spider species away from their natural habitats and closer to urban areas.
“We’re getting more and more reports of funnel webs finding themselves in homes as they seek shelter from the water,” reptile and spider chief Jake Meney told 9News.
“An increase in funnel-web activity in homes means there is a higher risk of being bitten and needing antivenom.”
Funnel webs are territorial and aggressive, equipped with a venom containing a neurotoxin called delta-hexatoxin which, if left untreated, could kill a person.
Since the creation of an antidote in 1981, there have been no recorded deaths as a result of a funnel-web bite, although it can still cause serious health problems, such as increased heart rate and potentially fluid in the lungs.
Arachnid keepers are receiving more reports that Aussie found the potentially deadly funnel-web spider (above) in their homes with rain and flooding prompting the arachnid to find shelter.
Along with funnel-webs, hunter spider populations also explode thanks to a wet winter that creates a “prey galore” for the arachnids.
Hunters, although they carry a poison that is strong enough to kill their prey, pose minimal threat to people and would rather flee than attack.
Experts advise not to be afraid of hunters, however, they can be easily caught with a container and paper to be released outdoors.
A hot and humid season has created a “prey abundance” for the huntsman spider (above), leading to population booms in urban areas.