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Tiny Terrors at Aquarium

November 13, 2014

A quartet of tiny terrors is set to go on display in Hastings’ Blue Reef Aquarium’s Jungle Room.

The Rock-a-Nore Road attraction is looking after a pair of juvenile imperial scorpions along with two baby Chilean rose tarantulas.

The new arrivals are part of their newly-expanded Jungle Room feature which is home to a variety of exotic reptiles, amphibians and insects.

Despite currently measuring only around four centimetres, the imperial scorpion is actually the world’s largest scorpion species and the duo could eventually reach 20 cms in length and weigh 30 grammes.

The imperial scorpion comes from the tropical rainforests and grasslands of West Africa. Like all scorpions, they like to burrow underground often in termite mounds and can also be found beneath rocks and other debris.

In spite of their infamous reputation scorpions are actually noted for their strong maternal instincts – the mother carries her babies on her back for the first few weeks until they’re strong enough to fend for themselves.

Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium’s Robert Gasson said: “Scorpions and other arachnids are rarely portrayed as caring creatures but actually they have complex social structures and often display sophisticated behaviours.

“These new arrivals will provide us with an opportunity to showcase the gentler side of these often feared and misunderstood arachnids,” he added.

The Chilean rose tarantula originates in the deserts of Chile. It is a colourful, fairly large, spider. Despite its common name its colour can range from grey, to pink, to a reddish brown colour. The spider will grow to about a 15cm leg span.

The males will live about five years however females can live to 20 years or more.

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.