Huge spider with very nasty bite found in bananas at grocery store

Supermarket employees in Bavaria, Germany, got a nasty surprise when they discovered a giant spider lurking in a box of organic bananas. Wetingen’s fire brigade was immediately called in to examine the specimen and remove the potentially deadly arachnid.

Spiders are often found lurking in grocery shipments and while some are completely harmless, others can be deadly.

Brazilian wandering spiders are known as one of the most venomous spiders in the world. Their venom targets the nervous system, causing symptoms such as pain, sweating, heart problems and, interestingly enough, priapism – the scientific term for a prolonged, painful erection.

These deadly spiders are an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare, growing to have a wingspan of up to three inches. They are native to South America, where they often lay their eggs on banana trees. As a result, they are sometimes packed in banana shipments and exported to North America and Europe. This has earned them the nickname “banana spider”.

Giant crab spider in box
This photo shows the spider found in Germany in a box of organic bananas after it was caught by members of the Wertingen fire brigade. Spiders are often found lurking in grocery shipments and while some are completely harmless, others can be deadly.
Freiwillige Feuerwehr Wertingen/Facebook

In 2021, a UK customer found one of these deadly arachnids in a bag of bananas from her local grocery store, and similar sightings have also been reported in US supermarkets.

The spider found in Bavaria was big enough to be a Brazilian wandering spider and the fire department took no chances. It was captured, placed in a plastic box and taken for identification.

The fire department shared the photos of the hairy hitchhiker on their Facebook page.

“Wow scary,” commented one user. “I would have escaped right away.”

After investigation, the manager of a local reptile farm, Andreas Bandorf, concluded that it was not a deadly specimen after all. Rather, it was a giant crab spider, also known as a pantropical hunter, which is relatively harmless to humans.

The University of Florida said the pantropical huntsman spider can be found in subtropical regions of Florida, Texas and California, and coastal regions of Georgia and South Carolina. While not dangerous, its bite can still be very painful.

“There was no danger to consumers,” said the Wertingen fire brigade in a Facebook message. “The spider has been brought to the reptile farm in Bobingen where it is now getting a new home.”

spider in bananas
A picture of the giant crab spider hiding in the bananas. Although not dangerous, the bite of a giant crab spider can still be very painful.
Freiwillige Feuerwehr Wertingen/Facebook

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