Black body, dark red legs, as long as a roll-on deodorant

A large spider living in the dunes near New Brighton, Christchurch.
ANARU MIKAERE

A large spider living in the dunes near New Brighton, Christchurch.

Walking through dunes near her home in the Christchurch seaside suburb of New Brighton, Baylee Bensley-Howell was surprised to come across a large spider with an air of menace about it.

The arachnid had a black body with white stripes on its back, dark red legs, and was about the size of a roll-on deodorant.

"It's the biggest spider I've ever seen," Bensley-Howell said. "It was really cool looking."

As she kept a safe distance, boyfriend Anaru Mikaere - who saw the spider first - moved closer to film the critter.

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"He was having a real close look," Bensley-Howell said.

For her part, she was keeping a comfortable distance away. "I was staying away from it. My boyfriend was quite nervous that it was suddenly going to jump up at him," she said.

"We pretty much walk down there every day for my dog. That's the first time I've seen a spider in that area that hasn't been tiny."

Mikaere had a look around the same spot a day later and found a few more similar, though slightly smaller, spiders.

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The imposing arachnid was a native nursery-web spider, Canterbury University adjunct professor of science communication Dr Simon Pollard said.

It was sitting on top of a nursery which should be full of babies. "Big NZ spider, but harmless."

 

 - Stuff

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