Scientists have found a new species of spider in Miami that looks like a 'small shiny black tarantula' and has venom that induces painful stings just like a bee.
The Pine Rockland trapdoor spider (Ummidia richmond) was first found by a zookeeper in the grounds of Zoo Miami in Florida.
With legs extended, the male is approximately the size of a one pound coin, while the female is estimated to be two to three times larger.
Ummidia is a trapdoor spider – meaning it lives in a burrow with a hinged cover like a trapdoor to hide from predators and snatch unlucky prey.
Spiders of this type can live for decades in the same burrow for their entire life.
'To me, it appears similar to a small shiny black tarantula,' said Zoo Miami conservation chief Frank Ridgley.
'Similar species are ambush predators –they create a web burrow down into soft and sandy substrate with a hinged door at the surface.
'They spend their entire lives in that same burrow, waiting for prey to come past their trapdoor, then they lunge out from their camouflaged lair to grab their prey.'
Zoo Miami staff found the specimen back in 2012, in the pine rockland forest that surrounds the zoo, which is southwest of Miami city centre.
Staff took a photo of the specimen and shared it with the zoo's conservation and research department for identification – but it didn't match any existing records for known species in the region.
More than two years later, another spider was found and sent out to experts for an evaluation.
Eventually, it made its way to Dr Rebecca Godwin of Piedmont College in Georgia who confirmed that it was a previously undescribed species.