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Spider named after Potter star

January 21, 2016

A spectacular Chilean rose tarantula is to be named Snape, in honour of the Harry Potter star, by staff at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium.

The six-month-old spider is the newest addition to the Rock-a-Nore Road attraction’s Jungle Room display which features a variety of exotic reptiles, insects and spiders from around the world.

As its name suggests, the Chilean rose tarantula originates in the deserts of Chile. It is a colourful, fairly large, spider with a leg span of around 15 centimetres.

Its colour can actually range from grey, to pink, to a reddish brown colour. The males will live about five years however females can live to 20 years or more.

“Our staff decided to name the new arrival Snape, after the character played by the late Alan Rickman in the Harry Potter films,” said Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson.

“The Chilean rose is one of the most colourful and impressive of the tarantulas and they thought it was the perfect name for such a spectacular spider,” she added.

Tarantulas comprise a group of often hairy and very large spiders with approximately 900 different species identified so far.

Tarantula sizes range from as small as a fingernail to as large as a dinner plate when the legs are fully extended.

Despite their often threatening appearance and reputation, no tarantula has been known to have a bite that is deadly to humans, though some bites cause serious discomfort that might persist for several days.