Hundreds of rare baby spiders have hatched at Chester Zoo.

The zoo has become the first in the world to successfully breed Montserrat tarantulas.

The hatching of 200 of the rare spiders was hailed as a "momentous event" by invertebrate keepers who are hoping to discover more about the mysterious species.

A baby spiderling Credit: Chester Zoo

The adult tarantulas arrived at the zoo three years ago.

The threatened Montserrat tarantula is native to the Caribbean island, but very little is known about how the spiders live.

Dr Gerardo Garcia, curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates, said: "Breeding these tarantulas is a huge achievement for the team as very little is known about them. It’s taken a lot of patience and care to reach this point."

We know that males have a very short life span when compared with females and gauging their sexual maturity to select the best possible time to put them together for mating, is vital to the breeding process.

Dr Gerardo Garcia