Experts are warning a bug-crushing Australian spider species may be spreading through southern Christchurch backyards.
The spider, Philoponella congregabilis, sometimes referred to as the little humped spider does not use venom - instead, it wraps its prey in its spider web before crushing it to death.
The spider then regurgitates its vomit over its prey and consumes the liquefied soft parts of its body.
Philoponella congregabilis was first found in Christchurch in October 2014 but has recently become widespread in the city's southern suburbs, according to the Canterbury museum's website.
The museum says it's likely to spread to other parts of New Zealand because, especially to warmer areas north of Christchurch.
"It is unlikely to compete with New Zealand's single endemic species Waitkera waitakerensis, as that species is only found in forests in the North Island."
So how can you spot it in your backyard?
Look for their distinctive web. The spiders build untidy-looking horizontal or sloping orb webs.
Debris on the web can also help camouflage the spiders and their egg sacs.
Philoponella congregabilis are 3.5mm to 6mm long, and are commonly found in and around buildings, fences and gardens.