“Shazam for spiders”: Critterpedia is the app that helps you identify potentially deadly bugs

Spurred on by inquisitive questions from British relatives like “isn’t Australia home to the world’s deadliest creatures?”, Critterpedia’s creators Murray and Nic Scare set out to design an instant identification app for different species of snakes and spiders.

An Australian wildlife awareness and safety education hub, Critterpedia is an app that acts like Shazam. But instead of identifying tunes, it identifies creepy crawlies.


Critterpedia is an app that uses an AI algorithm to determine the species of different spiders and snakes, acting like Shazam, but for native creatures.

Critterpedia’s creators teamed up with Australia’s National Science Agency, CSIRO, and Data61 in order to develop an algorithm made up of hundreds of thousands of different images. By simply taking a photo of your wholesome daddy-long-legs, you’re able to find out its real name ~ Pholcus phalangioides ~ within a few seconds from just one picture.

The AI-powered app will determine the taxonomic rank of the species and provide information, including its threat level and which areas it can be found, utilising GPS location technology. The more images that are uploaded to the app, the further it will train the machine learning engine and the better it will be able to function. Hey, maybe it will even discover a few new species along the way, like this new group of trapdoor spiders recently discovered in eastern Australia.

“Educating people on our wildlife in a fun and interactive way, especially focussing on our venomous friends and delving into the reasons as to why people harbour so many fears, is the key to delivering a platform that can really make a difference to peoples’ lives,” Murray Scare explained.

“Critterpedia can create a world where people of all ages, backgrounds and status can appreciate and respect our environment, and where we and animals can peacefully coexist.”

Be among the first to download the preliminary version of the app here.