950 Tarantulas born at Shuttleworth

PUBLISHED: 11:06 15 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:40 06 May 2010

Student Leo Hawkes with a mother and baby tarantula

Student Leo Hawkes with a mother and baby tarantula

IF you go down to the wooded area in the tropical zone at Shuttleworth College farm you could be in for a surprise! For some people, though, it could be a nasty shock because in one tank 950 baby pink-toed tarantula spiders are crawling around. The two mo

One of the babies

IF you go down to the wooded area in the tropical zone at Shuttleworth College farm you could be in for a surprise!

For some people, though, it could be a nasty shock because in one tank 950 baby pink-toed tarantula spiders are crawling around.

The two mothers gave birth two weeks ago and are keeping an eye on their offspring. They are also keeping the males at a safe distance as females are aggressive and are known to kill the opposite sex if they appear to be threatening their babies.

"The spiders can grow to have a leg span as big as a normal hand. Even though this species, which is from Argentina, can bite they are not dangerous," said farm manager Carl Groombridge.

"We use the spiders to help students overcome their phobias and to learn more about the species. But we are keeping an eye on the tank to make sure none escape."

Many of the spiders will eventually be given to zoos around the country.


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