A UK citizen’s wedding anniversary took an unexpected turn when he was bitten by a Peruvian wolf spider, which laid eggs in his toe, leading to a baby spider hatching and burrowing its way out. Colin Blake and his spouse were marking their 35th wedding anniversary with a cruise to France when he discovered his big toe had turned a worrying shade of purple, according to a report by the BBC on Monday.
Blake sought medical attention on the cruise ship, where he learned that he had been bitten by the venomous arachnid during an alfresco meal in Marseille. The spider’s bite had gone unnoticed as the creature is known to numb its prey before laying eggs. “My wife speculated that my new sandals might have been rubbing against my big toe, causing the redness,” Blake shared with the media.
Medical professionals on the ship performed a minor surgery on his toe, releasing a milky substance that contained the spider eggs. However, four weeks later, Blake found that he still had a foreign object in his foot, according to the report.
“One of the spider eggs hadn’t been removed and must have hatched,” Blake explained. “It seems the spider was trying to escape — gnawing its way out of my toe.” Antibiotics were successful in killing the young spider, but a second surgery was required to remove its remains. “I did inquire if I could keep it, but they declined,” Blake humorously added.
Peruvian wolf spiders are believed to have traveled to France from South America by stowing away on cargo ships. According to Orkin, a pest control company, their venom is not deadly to humans.