Mystery creature captured in incredible photos – can you spot it?

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

A rarely-seen spider in northern NSW has even dazzled experts after walkers managed to capture photos of the “remarkable” arachnid.

Tricia Stack was out in deep bushland at Torrington close to the Queensland border when a friend stumbled across the “amazing” spider.

“She said ‘come over quickly, look at this spider’” Ms Stack recalled to Yahoo News Australia.

Yet on closer inspection, she said she was rather sceptical over the claims, as it appeared to be a twig between two rocks.

“No, it’s a spider!” her friend reiterated, and when she blew on the arachnid, it revealed its legs.

The spider was difficult to spot as it posed as a broken-off twig. Source: Supplied/ Tricia Stack

“Honestly it was just beautiful.. it was just like it had a little twig on its back,” Ms Stack said.

“We were so, so lucky to see it.”

They moved the spider to a tree and according to Ms Stack, the spider’s tone shifted slightly to fit in with its new surroundings.

She managed to capture several photos and later shared them online looking for an identification.

Several amateur entomologists suggested the spider was an acroaspis and said while the spider is common in Australia, it was rarely seen due to its impressive camouflage.

“That’s extraordinary!” one person proclaimed.

“Super clever,” another said.

“I will never look at a branch wound the same way again,” another person wrote.

Spider expert Dr Lizzy Lowe from Macquarie University said the spider is an orb-weaver, and likely a acroaspis spider but she has “never seen any quite like this one”.

The spider reveals its legs. Source: Supplied/ Tricia Stack

She said the group of spiders are known to mimic twigs in order to avoid predation.

“They’re very good at it, I find them almost impossible to see unless they move.

“I’ve never seen one with a top like a broken-off twig before.”

Caitlin Henderson, co-founder of spider identifying app Spidentify, told Yahoo News Australia such spiders “spend the day in a cryptic pose pretending to be a cut-off twig, and at night would build a small orb web.”

She said the spider is likely either an acroaspis or carepalxis.

In October, people were amazed by a caterpillar that looked identical to a fern leaf after a NSW woman filmed it in her backyard.

And last year, a spider found in Sydney was quickly dubbed the “sushi spider” across the globe after Yahoo News Australia shared an image of its peculiar appearance.

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