Sunday, 6 September 2015

An Arachnid Dracula? Rare, Red-Fanged Spider Is Uncovered

y Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | September 04, 2015 05:02pm ET

A one-of-a-kind spider from Down Under looks more like a Transylvania transplant than an Aussie, thanks to its red fangs.

The funnel-web spider (Atrax sutherlandi) does not actually vant to suck your blood, however. These shy spiders build their webs at the top of subterranean burrows and mostly eat insects. (Some species, though, do have venom dangerous to humans, and will defend themselves if they feel threatened. A. sutherlandi is venomous, but isn't known to have caused any fatalities in humans, according to theAustralian Environmental Pest Management Association.)

As a species, A. sutherlandi has been known for a long time. But when Mark Wong, an ecologist at Australian National University and the winner of a National Geographic Young Explorer grant, uncovered this one under a piece of fallen wood, he met with a surprise. [See Photos of the Blood Red-Fanged Spider]

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