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City invaded by 8-eyed 'tarantula' known as 'wolf spider'

By The Siberian Times reporter
10 September 2015

Excessive hot, dry weather behind spread of poisonous creature to Ulan-Ude.

It has been identified as the exotic-looking Lycosa singoriensis wolf spider - the largest Central European spider - also known as the South Russian tarantula.' Picture: Vkontakte

Residents of the drought-hit capital of Buryatia have complained of an influx of a mysterious spider seldom seen before in the city. It has been identified as the exotic-looking Lycosa singoriensis wolf spider - the largest Central European spider - also known as the South Russian tarantula.

Locals have shared pictures of the creature, the arrival of which is linked to the hot and dry conditions throughout the summer. The invading spider has a venomous bite and can pierce human skin with its claws, but it is unlikely to cause serious problems for humans. 

Among accounts of the spider in Ulan-Ude:

'Our cat caught some big spider, 6-7 centimetres in diameter. Question: how could such a spider appear in the city?'

'Two weeks ago me and my mother found a tarantula.'

'We caught a spider. He was sitting on the wall above my brother's  head in his room. The size of the spider: body - 2.5 cm, legs - 4-5cm. I would like to find out what kind of spider is this? Is it poisonous? Father wants to keep it as a pet.'

Spiders in Ulan-Ude


Spiders in Ulan-Ude

'Spiders hardly bite through human skin, the poison is not fatal, but they can cause swelling, irritation.' Pictures: Baikal-Daily, Vkontakte

Active at night, it prefers arid desert or semi-desert regions or the steppe. Nocturnal, it feasts on beetles and insects, pouncing from a distance and overpowering its prey with a venomous bite, which has been compared to a hornet's sting.

Alexander Kalashnikov, of the Buryatian branch of  the 'National Centre for Plant Quarantine', said: 'I used to see them only in the southern regions of Buryatia, in sandy soils - in Kyakhta and Mukhorshibirsky districts. We never saw them in Ulan-Ude previously. 

'Perhaps because of the dry weather, which lasted this summer in Buryatia, there was an outbreak of their number. Besides the food base of spiders -  grasshoppers, locusts - also increased in number, so the spiders had  all the conditions to multiply.'

He added: 'Spiders hardly bite through human skin, the poison is not fatal, but they can cause swelling, irritation. For children it is more dangerous because the skin is thinner and the spider can bite through it. It is not lethal, of course, but leads to swelling and pain.'

The spider has two large and six small eyes on its head. It uses the larger eyes to see while hunting and the smaller ones register light, it is believed.

Comments (1)

Love your website with interesting stories like this; it is now on my list of daily reads.
Richard Gaupsas, San Diego, USA
10/09/2015 23:23
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