Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Venomous banana spider in Edinburgh Asda supermarket

Wandering spider
Image caption The spider had been curled round a banana in a box

A venomous spider from Colombia has been found in a bunch of bananas by an Edinburgh shop worker.

The wandering spider, commonly known as a banana spider, was spotted crawling out of the fruit in Asda's Chesser branch on Tuesday.

A shop worker caught the female arachnid in a plastic jar before calling the Scottish SPCA.

The spider, with a 10cm leg span, was taken to the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World where it later died.

Shop worker, Petra Merriman, 45, caught the spider.

She said her male colleagues had been "in panic" after discovering the spider.

She said: "All the boys were running round like headless chickens.

"One of the chaps who was putting a box of bananas in the display took a lid off a box and saw it was curled around a banana.

"We got a phone call in the back office saying come and deal with this spider.

"The guys all said 'I'm not going.' I said I would. I'm not arachnophobic at all."

'Shutting down'

She added: "I brought a pot with a secure lid down with me, and I just popped it in.

"I didn't have to touch it, I just put the pot underneath it.

"Nothing like this has ever happened here before."

Kevin Thom, of Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World, said: "It isn't deadly but its venom contains high levels of serotonin.

"If bitten you would experience pain, swelling, muscle spasms and flu-like symptoms which could be very unpleasant, depending on the amount of venom that was injected.

"These spiders can survive transport from abroad by shutting down and becoming very cold.

"They awaken when they warm up, which is often under bright shop lights.

"This female has possibly suffered shock in transit or it may simply have been her time to die."

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