Aussies 'astonished' by creature hiding inside hole

The spider was large and brightly coloured compared to its hiding spot.

It's no secret Australia is home to many deadly creatures so poking around in suspicious-looking crevices maybe isn't the best idea. Thankfully for one Aussie, their curiosity was rewarded without threat — just a bit of a fright.

After prodding at a hole with a stick in Mount Wedge, a rural area in the Northern Territory, the ecologist working for the Australian Wildlife Conservancy was greeted by a brightly coloured wolf spider.

"The spider has astonishing colour!" the ecologist wrote, sharing the footage online. The arachnid caught the attention of many in a spider identification page who gushed over its "pretty" colouring.

Left, the concrete hole can be seen empty. Right, the black and yellow wolf spider pokes out from the hole.
The wolf spider stunned the passerby after she prodded a suspicious-looking hole. Source: Eridani Mulder / Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Wolf spider not usually so 'conspicuous'

Despite this particular spider catching the eye of many due to its striking colours, a spider expert has confirmed this species are not usually so "conspicuous" when they're in their natural environment, though spiders often use any crevice they find to nest.

"The capacity of animals to utilise any kind of structure that they haven't constructed themselves as a potential nesting site is quite common," University of Melbourne Professor Mark Elgar told Yahoo News Australia.

Wolf spiders are found throughout inland Australia and use borrows to ambush prey while also protecting themselves from predators unable to reach them.

"The spider [in the video] was reacting to what it might have perceived to be an unusual prey item, because the movement of the stick wouldn't really have resembled a prey, that's why it came at the sick ... it's actually vibrating a lining of silk we can't see," Professor Elgar said.

"Living in a burrow like this greatly reduces the chances of predation."

Unlike the well-known funnel web species, wolf spiders are only mildly venomous and not deadly for humans.

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