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Enormous stowaway spider hitches ride to UK from Australia

"He was about the size of my two hands put together."
Credit: RSPCA

An enormous stowaway spider has survived a 10,000 mile journey from Australia to the UK in a removal container.

The 18 cm huntsman spider was found in a shipping container full of family belongings at a removals company base in Merstham, Redhill yesterday. It had travelled for more than three months from Brisbane to the UK.

It is now being cared for by the RSPCA.

Credit: RSPCA

From the empty locust shells found in the container it seems he has thankfully been able to find food during that length of time, but it’s a long time to go without water, and he’s lucky he didn’t get squished by any boxes or furniture.

Finding an exotic spider or insect in a shipping or removal container is not as rare as you may think - because the containers can include outdoor belongings like children’s play equipment and garden furniture, spiders can get picked up by mistake.

He was about the size of my two hands put together, roughly 18cm, so quite something to look at! Huntsman spiders are not venomous but they can give a nasty bite."

– Annie Janes, RSPCA animal collection officer

Venomous eight-eyed wolf spider spotted in Sussex

The rare spider carrying her egg sac Credit: Peter Lovett

A rare, venomous wolf spider has been spotted and handled by Peter Lovett, a natural history expert in Sussex.

Mr Lovett, from Cuckfield, took pictures with the spider on his hand!

The spider has eight eyes in three rows. Wolf spiders can be up to two inches long. This one was carrying her egg sac.

Peter said: "She was lovely - clearly a very devoted mother. They run very fast so it's really unusual to have got such a good photo. She ran off again afterwards."


RSPCA called after workers find Black Widow spider

The Black Widow spider survived in the box for several months Credit: RSPCA

Workers at Aerfin in Gatwick had a shock when they found the 4cm north American black widow spider in a box of aeroplane parts.

Staff member Rob Green carefully coaxed the spider - now nicknamed Nadia - into a plastic tub and called the RSPCA for help.

He said: “It was a bit of a shock finding her in the box. She must’ve been in there for quite a while as the box was packaged up in Arizona back in December and arrived over here in July. She has done very well to survive that long in there.

“I saw her and realised she wasn’t a normal spider from the UK - but it wasn’t until I saw the red spot on her abdomen that alarm bells rang and we looked up what she was.

“We weren’t frightened as I think there have been hardly any deaths from these spider bites - and Nadia was fine. We popped her in the box and called the RSPCA for help.”

Inspector Tony Woodley was called to the depot on Friday and moved the spider to Drusillas Park, in East Sussex for specialist care.

Britain's biggest spider patrols Kent garden

The beast is stalking a garden at Whitstable in Kent Credit: Matthew Field/Kent Online

An eight-legged beast - reported to be Britain's biggest spider - has been found in a back garden in Kent

Whitstable DJ Matthew Field was astonished to see the spider.

Wildlife experts have identified it as a Segestria Florentina - also known as the tube web spider. It preys on the feared False Widow and is the largest species found in the UK - up to five inches in diameter.

"It startled me," Mr Field said. "It definitely wasn't happy to be disturbed."

The spiders are not considered dangerous - although they can bite.

Spiders are sneaking into your house to mate...

You may have enjoyed the summer - the weather on the whole, was great - but, like many good things, there's a trade-off. Spiders! Yes, it means our eight-legged friends have had plenty of insects to eat - and now, they're heading indoors to mate. Experts say we should prepare for a spider invasion. Sally Simmonds reports.