Stowaway Huntsman spider found in Dumbarton shipping container

The Scottish SPCA has removed a Huntsman spider found in Dumbarton after the animal had stowed away on an overseas shipping container.

Huntsman spider

The spider was discovered by workers at a manufacturing firm on the morning of Friday 9 September.

They immediately called our animal helpline after the workers raised concerns that the unidentified spider could be extremely poisonous.

The spider was safely removed by one of our animal welfare officers and we are currently trying to find the animal a specialist home.

The species is common in most warm to tropical regions of the world, including much of Australasia, Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and the Americas.

Although the bite of a huntsman spider is of low risk to humans, a large spider can give a painful bite.

Animal Rescue Officer Emma Bonner was first to attend the scene at the manufacturing firm.

She said, “We were called to a manufacturing business on Stirling Road, Dumbarton, on Friday morning (September 9), after we received reports of a large spider.

“When I arrived one of the employees had managed to get the spider inside a clear bag within a container. We didn’t know if it was venomous.”

The spider was passed to our Chief Inspector Fiona Henderson who contacted an arachnid specialist to help identify the species of the spider.

Chief Inspector Fiona Henderson said, “An arachnid expert identified it as a Huntsman spider.

“We believe that due to a yellow stripe on its abdomen that the spider is female.

“It would be hard to say where it is from exactly due to the fact it arrived here in a shipping container.

“It must be a tough little spider as it has done well to survive living in a cold container for so long before arriving in Scotland.

“If a Huntsman spider bites you it will not kill you but it does contain venom. If you do get bitten by one it can be extremely painful.

“Because it’s a Huntsman it’s not native to this country so we can’t release the spider anywhere in Scotland.

“Collectors would also be concerned due to the fact that it’s a wild species. If there are any bacteria or bugs that the spider is carrying that we are not aware of then it could introduce those to other species.

“The spider appears in good condition and is already an adult so we are going to try to find a specialist home for it.”

Anyone who discovers an exotic creature should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

Scottish SPCA Wildlife Assistant with deer fawns

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