A woman mowing her lawn was in shock when she discovered a giant black spider lurking in the grass with hundreds of babies clinging to its back.
Jo Forbes took photos of the arachnids in the town of Cobargo, New South Wales, Australia and uploaded them to the Australian Spider Identification Page Facebook group to ask what species it was, according to News.com.au .
“I found this spider with lots of baby spiders on its back while I was mowing. I got it out of the way and when I came back to take another picture all the babies were gone, ”she wrote in her post. “Please can someone identify it for me?”
Forum users quickly identified it as a female wolf spider, one of the few species that their children wear this way for protection.
“Specifically, Tasmanicosa sp from the Lycosidae wolf spider family,” clarified one contributor.
While many of the amateur arachnologists looking at the post loved the photos, others admitted they were scared.
“Damn, that’s still scary – even without the 300 babies that could crawl over me. I just shivered and wiped my arms, ”wrote one person.
The wolf spider is considered poisonous but not fatal and is unlikely to pose a threat to humans unless provoked.
Amateur spider expert Ben Shoard published a profile of the species in the same group in January, stating, “Wolf spiders are a widespread spider with nearly 2,500 described species spanning multiple continents and nearly 200 described species in Australia.
“Many of the species are very common and feel at home in open lawns and gardens. When you use a headlamp at night, you can see the blue reflections of their eyes shining back on you. You may actually be surprised at the number of spiders there. The most reliable distinguishing feature for wolf spiders are their eyes.
“When viewed from above, the upper four eyes basically form a square, with two large eyes pointing more or less directly in front of them and two sitting behind them. In the lower layer there are four eyes, which vary somewhat between the species and sometimes form a neat row in front or are slightly split and moved to the side. “
Mr. Shoard notes that the species lives in circular burrows and is known for its parenting skills: “The female will carry the egg sac around the spinneret. Once the spiders emerge from a neat hole in the sack, they cling to their mother and ingesting discarded scraps of food as they develop into independent spiders. “