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back to article Redback spiders provoke BAE lock-down

Shaken BAE Systems staff have recalled the "horror film" moment when they discovered a pack of deadly Oz Redback spiders in a parts crate shipped in from the Lucky Country. According to the Sun, the eight-legged invaders provoked a lock-down of the area at Warton Aerodrome, near Preston, as specialist anti-arachnid operatives …

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Black Helicopters

I for one,

Welcome our new red arachnid overlords.

Well the icon looks like a spider to me.

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Joke

Preston-

Where the women are tougher than the blokes...

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Preston -

- where men are men, and so are the women (in my experience)

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er...

and how much did you get to know her before discovering that?

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Ahem...

Where men are real men, women are real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centori are real small furry creatures from Alpha Centori.

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FAIL

Redbacks running around?

I doubt it greatly, Red Backs are web spiders if they were in a shipping crate for any length of time they wuold have created some quite nice webs but they wouldnt be running around willy nilly. Also they dont tend to move that fast even when outside of a web...

A small spider which is at most a centimetre in diameter and your fellow Brits were running around screaming? Pack of woosy pansies the lot of them... Havent they heard of a rolled up news paper?

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Ozzys

When i was in OZ they had a much cheaper way, the bootom of your shoe. It was the big buggers in Qeensland (think there huntsman or something, it was 10 years ago) that got me, as big as your hand, now thats a spider.

Nancy boys the lot of 'em.

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Anonymous Coward

With so many animals making the UK their home..

...surely it's time for a Register acronym along the lines of WSA and RoTM?

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Go

It already exists: RZSL

aka the long-forgotten "Reg Zoological Supremacy League". Been a while, but I think dolphins were one of the last entrants after trying to drown some drunkard on a Russian beach a few years back.

Maybe time to dust off the RZSL with a UK focus?

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Paris Hilton

Pain

"Redbacks are considered one of the most dangerous spiders in Australia. The Redback spider has a neurotoxic venom which is toxic to humans with bites causing severe pain." Courtesy Wikipedia.

"Little bastards". Courtesy my Australian wife.

Paris, because I bet she's made big tough men tremble with fear ;)

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Dead Vulture

Oops

"the Redback will have to battle black widows,"

Will I be the first one to point out that the Australian Red Back and Black Widow Spider are both common names for the same arachnid, I wonder?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_widow_spider_%28disambiguation%29

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FAIL

Wrong...

Obviously you didnt read the page you linked to as you will see they have different species names. Australian Redback is Latrodectus Hasselti, US Black Widows are one of 4 species Latrodectus hesperus, Latrodectus mactans, Latrodectus variolus and Latrodectus tredecimguttatus

It is true they are closely related (from the same genus), but they ARE a number of different species (31 to be exact http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widow_spider)

Perhpas you think all dog species are the same too?

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I wonder.....

If you could cross breed them?

Australian Redback is Latrodectus Hasselti, US Black Widows are one of 4 species Latrodectus hesperus, Latrodectus mactans, Latrodectus variolus and Latrodectus tredecimguttatus

It is true they are closely related (from the same genus), but they ARE a number of different species (31 to be exact http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widow_spider)

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Joke

Kids today....

1 can of areosol (deoderants are good) +1 fag lighter = 1 flamethrower

Just can't get the staff these days....

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Grenade

Careful...

That depends on what was in the crate (apart from the redbacks, that is)

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Hairspray

Hairspray + lighter make a lovely flamethrower. I was once nearly thrown out of a niteclub (SIC) for demonstrating this.

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anti-arachnid operatives

"..as specialist anti-arachnid operatives moved in to suppress the threat to the Eurofighter plant."

aka - armed with either a jam jar or a rolled up newspaper, depending on whether lethal or non-lethal force was authorised.

Just think, maybe the Sun can declare itself as the weapon of choice as we rally to defend ourselves!

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Stop

The horror, the horror!

"Big, tough men were yelling with fear [...] there are still fears some may have fled to nearby fields and could start breeding"

I really must stop skimming and read more thoroughly! Now I'll need the rest of the day (at least) to get rid of mental images of aerospace engineers mating in the fields of Preston...

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Coffee/keyboard

OK I didn't see that

At least not until you pointed it out. You owe me a keyboard Thorsten!

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@Thorsen

Can't stop laughing - you owe me a keyboard (with Greek keys).

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Anonymous Coward

A warning

In Australia, if it's name begins with s it will kill you - snakes, spiders, sharks, sheilas...

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Happy

Sharks?

Crocodiles ate all the sharks!

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Salties and stingrays

fit the S rule

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Troll

Begins with s...

... sheep...?

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Alien

It's just weird

I liked the sheilas, I didn't like the cassowarys. A bird that barks and kicks better than the England football team. Bit harder to accidently fit into a packing case, unless it's for someone you really don't like.

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Alien

I think I once saved New Zealand from infestation...

I worked in a student job about 20 years ago in a warehouse in New Zealand, and part of that was unpacking containers of freight from Australia. One day my workmate pointed out a very large, black, and distinctly alien looking spider making a run for the door of the container we had just opened.

It had to die. Two went into that container. Only one came out.

I have often wondered since then if I saved New Zealand from infestation of... something.

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.... and relax ....

The total number of deaths caused in Australia by spider bites since 1979 is a staggering ZERO. Nil. Nada. Bugger all.

The biggest cause of death from spiders is, apparently, crashing the car you're driving when you see one dangling from the sun visor.

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Antidote

I'm guessing that's because they have antidote. I doubt Preston's hospitals are as well stocked as those in Oz.

PS I like spiders - they eat flies. My enemy's enemy and all that.

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Hmm...

I can't help wondering what the total amount of people 'really fucked up by spiders(TM)' is though?

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BAe

You do realise these spiders are the only deadly thing to come out of a BAe factory in the last decade.

Perhaps we should replace Eurofighters with spiders (each with their own cute little parachute) nd drop those on the Taliban?

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Happy

Parachutes ...

Parachutes made from spider silk, of course ...

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Dead Vulture

Deadly?

I lived in Oz for a few years and was always told the Redback could give you a really nasty bite, but it was the Funnel Web Spider that was REALLY deadly. In fact, there used to be a bounty on them, catch them alive and you got $50 (I think) from the Guvmint who were (at that time) trying to develop an anti-venom.

Imagine trying to milk a spider of it's venom..., on second thoughts...

Tombstone - obviously.

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As a wee lad in Sydney...

...I used to spend all day Saturday catching red-backs and funnel-webs.

I'd put them all together in a big empty pickle jar, cap it, and watch "spider wars"

Things were pretty basic back then.

TV was B&W and not on all day....

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Flame

<title>

Hmmmm, there was a spider web on the desk when I came in this morning, but no sign of the little blighter.

Flame icon, coz that might be the only way to deal with them...

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Recent fish in the sun was not a Pirania..

It was a Pacu (mostly herbivorous, lacks 'killer teeth'), and very unlikely to be successful away from it's tropical habitat.

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=2930

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They do have nasty teeth

They can crack nuts with them. But, ye, about as much a Pirania as a Neon tetra.

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Anonymous Coward

Nothing to see here

We have the perfect counter to them, it's called January.

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C'est ci n'est pas un titre

... February, most of March and then basically everything from October onwards ;)

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Anonymous Coward

An Oldlassic

THE REDBACK ON THE TOILET SEAT

by Slim Newton

There was a redback on the toilet seat

When I was there last night.

I didn't see him in the dark,

But boy I felt his bite.

I jumped high up into the air

And when I hit the ground,

That crafty redback spider

Wasn't nowhere to be found.

I rushed into the missus,

Told her just where I'd been bit.

She grabbed a cut-throat razor-blade

And I nearly took a fit.

I said, "Just forget what's on your mind

And call a doctor please,

'Cause I got a feeling that your cure

Is worse than the disease."

There was a redback on the toilet seat

When I was there last night.

I didn't see him in the dark,

But boy I felt his bite.

And now I'm here in hospital

A sad and sorry sight,

And I curse the redback spider

On the toilet seat last night.

I can't lie down, I can't sit up

And I don't know what to do,

And all the nurses think it's funny

But that's not my point of view.

I tell you its embarassing,

And that's to say the least,

That I'm too sick to eat a bit

While that spider had a feast.

And when I get back home again

I tell you what I'll do,

I'll make that redback suffer

For the pain I'm going through.

I've had so many needles

That I'm looking like a sieve,

And I promise you that spider

Hasn't very long to live.

There was a redback on the toilet seat

When I was there last night.

I didn't see him in the dark,

But boy I felt his bite.

But now I'm here in hospital

A sad and sorry sight,

And I curse the redback spider

On the toilet seat last night.

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Wow...

My hat is off to you: We did this poem in my 4th year at middle school some 23 years ago, I was trying to remember what it was. Thankyou, sir.

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GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

I'm so sick of spiders!

Here in the states on the east coast we have these spiders that change their colors to depending what color the carpet is. They can be from 1 inch to 3 inches in size and I think they may be related to jumping spiders and or parachute spiders and they are hard as hell to find and capture.

I'm so paranoid I am tempted to buy some 50 square feet of sticky pad to lay on the floor to catch them. They mostly like to try and live on peoples heads.

Grrrr!!!

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Megaphone

True Story

I was bitten by a redback a couple of months ago by putting my bare foot in a boot without cleaning it out properly.

Cue 3 days/nights without sleep, pain like I've never felt before starting from the feet and working its way up the limbs until my face & scalp started tingling, sweating buckets resulting in losing about 10% of body weight, and continuously whimpering like a baby.

I wouldn't wish it on anyone...

Was eventually given the anti-venom after 3rd return visit to Casualty ward and convincing them I was about to shuffle off this mortal coil. They wait until you're really, properly sick before giving the anti-venom because it can be as bad as the bite. They have a whacking great big needle of adrenalin ready to go when they give it to you in case you turn your toes up instantly.

Back to my best within 30 minutes of the anti-venom. Remarkable stuff!

"Big, tough men were yelling with fear" - its not like they fly across the room and launch themselves at you! Pffft!

'Big, tough men were yelling with fear'

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Anonymous Coward

jumping redback? Pshaw. Jumping funnel webs - that's different.

yeah - it's only the funnel webs during mating season that do that. Those buggers can jump a couple of metres from a standing start.

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@Iglethal

I see no reason whatsoever why redbacks and black widows could not take hold in this country. How do you think they spread around in their indigenous countries? False widows are also web spiders, but my back garden and garage and where I work (Sussex Uni) are crawling with them (I live in Brighton), some of the big ladies get huge. Luckily I have not been bitten, yet.

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Joke

Max, max, max...

I wasnt saying they couldnt take hold in the UK, but seriously they are not olympic sprinters. If you open a box and sees a lot of spider, feel free to swear, jumps back and then go and grab the nearest newspaper, spare shoe, hammer (if your desperate) or something and just start killing the little bastards. Red Backs dont jump, they dont run fast, and theyre not facehuggers like in Alien.

Lock the place down if need be to ensure you get all of them, but dont go all to town and start evacuating half the county! There is zero need for screaming and running around like a pansy. Unless of course, as evidenced in this case, your British!

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Grenade

They should be lucky ....

... at least the container wasn't full of East Europeans !

(That Biggoted woman Gordon Brown knows from Burnley told me to say that !)

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Pint

OK So this means

BAE systems have abandoned their "really big slipper" project ?

How many million did that cost teh government?

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Mehhh ! redbacks?

They are fucking everywhere - where I live.

They are actually quite nice spiders. Don't even bother to spray them - even if they are indoors.

Got bitten by one once, on the arm, in bed.....

An interesting bite....

Glad it was only a small one, and it wasn't on the end of my cock - mostly from the days when the old toilets were not plastic flip flip lids and porcelain.

Twas a fairly common injury in those days too.

The BAE wankers? Dump a can of flyspray into the crate. Idiots.

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Grenade

BAe Warton?

Take off and nuke the site from orbit - it's the only way to be sure.

Spent 3 days there setting up their HellDesk before the Cowboys Screw-up Computers mob came along and completely fracked it up. Nuking's probably too good for it.

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