A SUFFOLK mother was astonished to discover an exotic and potentially venomous stowaway in a bunch of grapes.

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Haleana Knights, who bought the fruit for her two-year-old son Henry, spotted the dead spider before opening the packaging.

She suspects the arachnid travelled from South Africa, where the grapes originated, and believes it could be a poisonous brown widow, judging by its tan colour and orange hourglass marking.

Mrs Knights, 29, of Reydon, near Southwold, bought the grapes from the Rainbow Express Store in Halesworth, operated by the Anglia Co-operative Society.

Mrs Knights assumed the dead creepy-crawly was just a common house spider until she studied the underside of its abdomen and noticed the distinctive marking.

Some online research by her husband Kurt and a phone call to a South African friend soon provoked suspicion that the spider was a possibly harmful relation of the infamous black widow.

Mrs Knights said: “I’d seen stories in the past of spiders being brought over in crates of bananas.

“Thankfully, I saw it in time but had I opened the grapes, I may have fed it to my son.”

The precise identity of the species is yet to be determined but Mrs Knights is convinced of its genus because of its hourglass pattern.

The Anglia Co-operative Society has collected the grapes to examine the spider.

A spokeswoman said: “The grapes are being collected for return to our food-buying operation in Manchester for urgent examination.

“The Co-operative takes great care to ensure the consistent high quality of its products.”

5 comments

  • Squashed toads, hedgehogs and rabbits on every approach road into Norwich, daily. Cyclist have been seen falling off their bikes, due to tears....

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

  • Massive news story,compo claim in the offing?.

    Report this comment

    Kev Bacon

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  • well me and my partner were horrified in the bottom of our rice crispy was a dead manky moth - we had eaten the stuff above it - put us off the cereal for life!

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    billy

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

  • "I may have fed it to my son". Here you are, son. Try this spider-shaped grape. And potentially venomous? It was dead!

    Report this comment

    Chris Booty

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

  • Why is she so suprised. I find it amazing how little people understand about life. She wants to try opening boxes of bananas. These things have always picked up insects and always will. just be on the look out for them.Comming from hot countries may be a clue

    Report this comment

    Johnny Norfolk

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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