UK
08/11/2013 10:09 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

48 'Black Widow' Spiders Found In UK In Shipment From USA

A potentially deadly cargo of 48 suspected black widow spiders has been discovered in a shipment of aircraft parts from the USA.

The spiders were revealed as workers unloaded goods in an Airbus factory in Broughton, Flintshire.

The black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) is highly venomous, with a bite reportedly 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake's.

black widow

The black widow spider has a bite reportedly 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake's

Boasting what the Natural History Museums describes as an "unmistakable appearance", the spiders are the size of a fingernail with the female of the species featuring a bright red "hour-glass" marking on her underside.

An Airbus spokesman told The Daily Post: "We cannot be certain they were definitely black widow spiders but we believe they were and we treat every situation like this with utmost care because we wouldn't want to take any chances."

A member of staff at the factory confirmed to HuffPost UK a host of spiders believed to be black widows had been found in a shipment but gave no further details.

huntsman

RSPCA Inspector Tony Woodley holds a seven-inch-long huntsman spider

Bites from the female black widow spider can be fatal - thought mostly to small children, the elderly and infirm.

The male of the species is pale, much smaller and does not bite. The insect is so-named because of its macabre mating behaviour - females often kill the males after congress.

However the spiders, native to the southern USA and Mexico, are non-aggressive and only bite in instances of self defence, according to the National Geographic.

The discovery comes hot on the heels of a whole host of "exotic" spider sightings on our fair isle.

Earlier this week a seven-inch long huntsman spider was discovered in a factory in East Sussex, after stowing away in a shipping container of BMX parts from Taiwan.

brazilian wandering spider

The Brazilian wandering spider known to have a leg span of up to 17cm

Days earlier a family of four were forced to flee their home after a nest of Brazilian wandering spiders hatched in their south London home.

And lets not forget the now resident false widow spider, which is happily wrecking occasional havoc across the country.

Take heed, our spider overlords have been angered...