Okay Australia, we need to talk. It’s time you started sharing some of your wonderfully bizarre species with the rest of the world. You already have giant jumping rats with baby pouches and eucalyptus-munching floof-monkeys. Not to mention all the slithery, creepy-crawly venomous things. And now you have a spider named Brian that can surf, swim and catch fish.

Image: Queensland Museum

Brian, or Dolomedes briangreenei for the taxonomically inclined, made his global debut at the World Science Festival in Brisbane this week, where he took centre stage. Named in honour of renowned string theorist and cofounder of the festival, Professor Brian Greene, the newly discovered arachnid boasts a pretty impressive skill set.

Endemic to the freshwater streams near Brisbane, the palm-sized spider uses vibrations, or small waves, on the surface of the water to hunt. And it's pretty darn good at it. Dolomedes briangreenei can haul in insects, fish and even cane toads three times its own size! In fact, researchers suspect the species could be making a useful contribution to the management of the pests. Good job, Brian.

So, how do these pest-destroying spider surfers actually catch their food? Dolomedes briangreenei is a master of detection. If any potential prey hits the water’s surface while Brian is manning the stream, the resulting wave will be picked up in a flash. “[A]ll of a sudden an insect will hit the water and the spider races out to get it, grabs it, dives under the water and then swims back to the shore and starts eating it," Robert Raven, Principal Scientist of Arachnology at the Queensland Museum, tells Mashable Australia.

Image: Queensland Museum
Image: Queenland Museum

But you can relax, arachnophobes. It’s unlikely the species is dangerous to humans. "I've been bitten by this spider … it just stung for a little while,” Raven claims.

As for Professor Brian Greene, he is most pleased with his namesake. And who wouldn’t be? It’s a fish-eating spider of awesome. However, Greene's reasons are also a little more profound. "Physics is all about waves; understanding the universe is all about waves," Greene tells Mashable. “With the announcement last month of humankind’s first detection of gravitational waves — ripples on the surface of space and time — I am particularly honoured to be so closely associated with a spider that has its own deep affinity for waves."

As for Brian, the arachnid will soon have a home at the Queensland Museum, where he’ll remain on permanent display. And we hope that's it with the crazy new species, Australia (just kidding ... keep 'em coming).