Spider shock in bananas

AN Illegal immigrant mum of 40 enjoyed a happy Mother s Day and has been allowed to stay in the country after stowing away aboard a banana boat. The eight -egged anachrid and her brood hail from Ecuador and were discovered in a bag of bananas bought at

AN "Illegal immigrant" mum of 40 enjoyed a happy Mother's Day and has been allowed to stay in the country after stowing away aboard a banana boat.The eight -egged anachrid and her brood hail from Ecuador and were discovered in a bag of bananas bought at the Somerfield store in Holsworthy.The unknown species of three-inch spider was found in with the fruit on Saturday by a holidaymaker who had unwittingly bought more than she bargained for and returned her "extra purchase" to the shop.Staff immediately contacted Exmoor Zoo and education officer Steve Eddy called in to collect it on Mothering Sunday.Mum and her brood are now happily scuttling around a heated tank at the zoo and becoming accustomed to their new home."As it was Mother's Day, rather than kill it the store kept hold of it and called us," Steve told the Gazette."It's orange and yellow, rather hairy and not a very pleasant spider to look at. But it's a hell of a journey from Ecuador to here in a banana box, especially when you've been sorted and washed a few times as well!"David Trott, customer services manager at Somerfield in Holsworthy, said it was the first time they'd discovered a banana stowaway."The advice from our support centre was to call the local zoo," he said."They asked us to keep it warm and in a warm place, so we put it in a container and left it at that. The customer had been holidaying in the area and was returning home on the Sunday."Staff at Exmoor Zoo are currently treating their globe-trotting guest with the greatest of respect, because they don't know how venomous she is - and she has a habit of jumping!"We don't know exactly what species this is and it's not the normal spiders you find in bananas," said owner Danny Reynolds."They are what we call heteropoda, but this isn't, it looks like one mean and nasty spider! We will be contacting various experts to see if we can get it identified."The unnamed spider's offspring are now beginning to hatch from their egg cocoon and mother is apparently being very protective as she keeps all eight wary eyes on them.


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