AN EMAIL warning about a new, "dangerous" breed of spider that is "breeding at a rate of knots" is just a hoax, authorities have warned.
The email states: "Watch out for this spider - looks like a daddy long legs only much larger - this one is dangerous.
"This is a new spider, so please take note ... has been found all over Eastern Australia ... looks similar to a huntsman. Much bigger than a white-tail.
"Please take note of this spider - it is very dangerous.
"This spider is breeding at a rate of knots and is found in more and more houses and gardens.
"If it looks like a huntsman and you are not sure ... unfortunately, but for your safety's sake ... KILL IT!!!!"
The email shows a picture of a spider and then a series of pictures of a man's hand, which develops a flesh-eating condition after supposedly being bitten by the spider.
At the end of the email, the reader is urged to "forward this email to anyone here in Australia that you know".
The Red Cross logo is included.
But the Australian Red Cross explains on its website: "An email warning purporting to come from Australian Red Cross about an Australian spider bite is not an official communication.
"We do not send unsolicited emails with health warnings, and therefore cannot verify any of the information contained in this email, so please do not forward it on."