It is common for spiders to be found in fruit boxes in many supermarkets. However, one cannot expect that a spider would lead an entire supermarket to be evacuated.
In Lower Saxony Harpstedt, Germany, a highly toxic spider caused in a Friday night the signalling of the alarm for the fire department in order to take control of the animal. This exotic creature was reported to be found in a banana box and caused everyone to evacuate the entire supermarket. The fire department had managed to catch the uninvited guest. In order to do that, the police stated that they have consulted a spider expert and a vet in order to provide the best of contribution to catch the animal.
The spider was reported that it was a Brazilian Wandering Spider, or what is most commonly called the banana spider. This species is considered one the most aggressive and toxic spider in the world. They belong to a genus of very aggressive and venomous spiders, which belong to the family of Ctenidae wandering spiders. These spiders are commonly found in the tropical part of South America and some are found in Central America.
Their poison is extremely dangerous and requires immediate medical assistance for humans. The Brazilian wandering spiders had made an appearance in the Guinness World Records, as they are considered the most venomous spider in the whole world. Although it is stated that their venom is mostly toxic for humans, an effective antidote has been made available which resulted in only few reported human deaths. The adult spiders have leg length of 13 to 15 centimetres. Their body length can range between 17 to 48 millimetres. While other spiders that belong to their family have longer leg span, the largest banana spiders have been reported to have the longest body and the heaviest in this group.
These spiders are also distinguished from other related spiders within its group because they possess a dense brush of fine hair. This species is easily confused with other non-fatal spiders. Banana Spiders have other features as well. They possess strong ventral marking on their underside of their legs and have dark mid-segments and light joints. Their pattern on the underside of their abdomen have several black dots and a reddish colour. It was an indeed very unusual incident but the spider was not alive.
Brazilian Wandering Spiders cannot survive being trapped and living in the banana crates, especially when there is long transport from South America to Europe in order to arrive to supermarkets and grocery stores. For this reason, the discovery of this dangerous insect in a supermarket was not considered a threat for the customers and employees of the supermarket, as when the animal was discovered, it was reported that it was long dead.
Following a subsequent thorough inspection of the premises of the supermarket, the experts did not find any other spiders and therefore the supermarket re-opened the day after without any problems whatsoever. The banana spider was taken over by a sanctuary.