Cruise Ship Horrors – Literally ………..


travelA cruise ship passenger, Colin Blake, experienced a horrifying incident during his 35th wedding anniversary trip to Marseille, France.

His toe swelled up and turned purple, prompting a visit to the on-board doctor. The doctor revealed that a Peruvian wolf spider had bitten him, laying eggs inside his toe.

Although wolf spiders are not venomous, they are commonly found in Marseille after arriving on cargo ships. The doctor cut open Mr. Blake’s toe, releasing the spider’s eggs.

Upon returning to the UK, doctors prescribed antibiotics, but a few weeks later, Mr. Blake discovered that one of the eggs had hatched into a small spider beneath his skin.

Medical professionals believe the spider was trying to make its way out, prompting them to intervene. Mr. Blake chose not to keep the dead spider when offered by the doctors.

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What is a Wolf Spider?

Wolf spiders are a diverse family of spiders known for their robust build, keen eyesight, and hunting behavior. They belong to the family Lycosidae and are found worldwide. Here are some key characteristics of wolf spiders:

  1. Appearance: Wolf spiders are typically medium to large-sized spiders with stout bodies. They are named for their habit of actively hunting rather than using webs to catch prey. Their coloration varies but often includes shades of brown, gray, or black, helping them blend into their surroundings.
  2. Eyesight: One of the distinguishing features of wolf spiders is their excellent eyesight. They have eight eyes arranged in three rows, with two large forward-facing eyes in the middle row, giving them good depth perception.
  3. Hunting Behavior: Unlike some other spiders that passively wait for prey to become ensnared in webs, wolf spiders actively hunt. They use their silk to create retreats or nurseries but do not construct intricate webs to catch prey. Instead, they chase and pounce on their prey.
  4. Life Cycle: Female wolf spiders carry their eggs in silk sacs attached to their spinnerets. They may carry these egg sacs with them, and after the spiderlings hatch, they often ride on the mother’s abdomen until they are mature enough to fend for themselves.
  5. Venom: Wolf spiders are venomous, but their venom is not considered dangerous to humans. They use venom to immobilize their prey. Bites may cause local pain, redness, and swelling, but severe reactions are rare.
  6. Habitats: Wolf spiders are adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, forests, deserts, and even urban areas. They are ground-dwelling spiders and are commonly encountered in gardens and outdoor spaces.

It’s worth noting that while wolf spiders may look intimidating, they are generally not harmful to humans unless a person is allergic or has a particularly strong reaction to their venom. As with any wildlife encounter, it’s best to observe from a safe distance and avoid unnecessary contact.