Written by By Staff Writer
After six days on the run and 300 moths of quail dining on them, a bated woman caught a large number of tarantulas near her home in the Colombian department of Antioquia. The spider cross-border fanatics were destined for good sale in Stuttgart, Germany.
Wildlife authorities found a truck full of live eight-legged pests stuffed with duct tape and pre-sorted for sale in the city’s tramway station.
TheColombian authorities have since sent the tarantulas to a quarantine center to determine their species.
The mother spider is no less dangerous than any other. As visitors to Guatemala discover, female tarantulas can house hundreds of eggs — not to mention the much smaller ones that may hatch later in life.
Tarantulas that die from over-population are known as “tarantula crickets” in the local language
“More than 60 people usually go blind, and 1 in 10 is blind due to their condition,” Mauricio Mendoza Choclo, an adviser to Antioquia’s Environment department, told local media.
Tarantulas that die from over-population are known as “tarantula crickets” in the local language, the Local reported.
Colombia is a world-renowned crossroads for exotic reptiles and a conduit for the flight of natural invasive species. Besides the recent capture, the National System of Wildlife Protection has discovered 4,900 exotic spiders (eight-legged or otherwise) in the past year, leading to the trade in flies, spiders, snakes and other insects for luxury pets.
Belonging to a group known as Wexler-Ritters species, male spiders can be flown abroad in the coffin of a leather jacket, while females are infrequently transported but can easily buy accommodation in their cocoons.
Colombia’s sales of such live delicacies have spurred a slight decline in the number of spiders brought in from Latin America’s Great Amazon rainforest, where they are illegally stored in wooden coops to be packaged and sold abroad.
That doesn’t mean that all spiders are killed in captivity.
This month, an enterprising teacher saved six babies on her Mponda Mountain stand from being eaten by owls.
“We’re teaching the kids that doing the right thing is good, since it gives the owl no option,” Dr. Sandrine Villemure, who works in the school’s forest exchange, told CNN.
“The baby spiders would have been eaten by the owls when they’re hungry. Usually, the vulture sees the baby spiders alive and eats them.”
Of special interest to Dr. Villemure are baby spiders with beaks and legs — such as the ones her students are learning to bite down on.
“I don’t know what to call them,” Dr. Villemure said, “but they’re beautiful.”