QUIRKY WORLD ... Family goes bananas over deadly Brazilian spider fears

UK: Spider eggs discovered in a bunch of bananas have been found to belong to a harmless species — after initial fears that a killer spider was on the loose in Britain.

QUIRKY WORLD ... Family goes bananas over deadly Brazilian spider fears

Keith Hobbs and wife Laura fled with their four children when told it was probably the Brazilian wandering spider, which can have legs up to 6in (15cm) long and kill with its venomous bite.

They found the cocoon at their home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, on Thursday.

Deputy head teacher Mr Hobbs, 32, told The Sun: “As soon as we knew what they were we just grabbed the kids, who were in their pyjamas, and ran out the house. We’ve spent the night in a hotel room. It’s terrifying — it’s like a bad dream.”

Ms Hobbs’ parents bought them the bananas from an Aldi store in Hinckley, Leicestershire. After she opened the bag and found the nest her husband called police and wildlife experts.

The Aldi shop was temporarily shut after the discovery but reopened in the afternoon after no spiders were found.

Venom from the Brazilian wandering spider can kill a human being in just two hours, with victims suffering nausea, hypothermia, and convulsions. Declared the most venomous spider in the world by the Guinness Book of Records, it is found in South and Central America and its Greek name, Phoneutria, translates as “murderess”.

Rather than building a web to catch its prey, the spider hunts insects, small mammals, and reptiles on the jungle floor.

No queen bees

US: Queen bee syndrome — displayed by leading professional women who keep other females out — is a myth, a new study claims.

Researchers at Columbia Business School in New York say that a lack of women in top roles is down to men’s determination to retain control, The Sunday Times reported.

Their findings — which will be presented at a conference of leading girls’ schools on Wednesday — contradict an influential 1973 study which suggested women in authority are more critical of female subordinates.

The new research reportedly looked at top management teams in 1,500 companies over a 20-year period and found that where women had been appointed chief executive, other women were more likely to make it into senior positions.

But when a woman had been given a senior role that was not the top position, the likelihood of other females following them to executive level fell by 50%.

Wednesday’s Girls’ Day School Trust conference will also see the launch of a scheme to channel the mentoring skills of 60,000 former pupils from the schools the organisation represents.

High-flying women such as former MI5 director-general StellaRimington, are reportedly expected to be among those who share their knowledge.

Helen Fraser, chief executive of the GDST and former managing director of Penguin Books, told The Sunday Times: “This new research indicates that the notion female senior executives are ’queen bees’ needs to be put to rest.”

Drunk .... again

US: A Pennsylvania man turned up drunk to be fingerprinted for a previous drink-driving charge — and earned himself another one.

Officers in Uniontown said Kevin Kroll arrived to be fingerprinted for a January 9 drink-driving incident. The duty officer smelled alcohol and gave the 41-year-old a breath test, and later a blood test, both of which showed he was legally intoxicated.

Lieutenant Tom Kolencik said: “To come in intoxicated is disrespectful to the judicial system and disrespectful to the police.”

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