Scientist Matjaz Kunter from Slovenia and his colleague Jonathan Coddington from Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC have discovered the largest web-spinning spider known to mankind.
The “Nephila Komaci” spider is found in South Africa and Madagascar and the female of the species can have a leg span of 10 to 12 centimetres. In comparison the males are much smaller. These spiders can spin webs up to a metre in diameter. Says Matjaz Kunter: “I found that on average the females of this species are the largest among all the Nephila species. The female body size is pretty gigantic. They reach leg span of 10 to 12 centimetres which is almost a human palm size. The males are tiny in comparison, they only reach about a fifth of female size and much less of her weight. We do not have images of live Nephila komaci, the new species, for the simple reason that none of us has actually seen it in the wild. They are so rare, apparently. All we do have are images made through the computer and illustrations which we published which we published in the finding and the new description of the species.” These spiders are only poisonous to large insects, but not to human beings. The spider was named after the scientist Komac, who died recently in an accident.