Dutch Navy finds dozens of poisonous spiders in Australia torpedo shipment
Dozens of venomous redback spiders were recently found at the naval barracks Willemsoord in Den Helder. The spiders were in a container of torpedo parts that was imported from Australia, the native country for redback spiders.
The torpedo parts spent four years stored in Australia. During that time it seems that some spiders crawled into the container and made themselves at home, insect knowledge center EIS said on Monday on the site Nature Today. "One of the females made an egg sac in the web. In and near the cocoon dozens of newly hatched young spiders ran the first case of hatched eggs of this kind in our country.
The redback spider is the black widow of Australia, according to EIS. "They will never bite people by themselves, you really have to have them in your hand."
The spiders were killed. They will form part of the collection of the Naturalis museum in Leiden.
The bite of a redback spider can make people seriously ill. Though in healthy persons it rarely results in death. Most commonly the symptoms disappear within a few days.