STAFF at a Brierley Hill supermarket had something of a shock when they discovered a tropical spider lurking amid the bananas they were unloading.

The arachnid is believed to have made a 5,200-mile journey to the Black Country all the way from Costa Rica.

Animal collection officer David Hollinshead was sent to the scene and securely contained the spider, which was at first thought to be one of the world's most deadly.

He said: “At first one specialist thought it was a Brazilian Wandering Spider - which are also known as banana spiders as that is where they tend to live.

“They are highly venomous and can be fatal to humans - however it is now thought this one is a less dangerous type although we are waiting on a specialist to identify it.”

The spider, which was about the size of a 20p, was taken to an exotics specialist centre where staff named it ‘Nana’ after the fruit it was found on.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said the supermarket where the spider was found asked not to be identified.

She said the charity receives a number of calls each year when members of the public return home from holiday or buy fruit from shops only to find a stowaway spider, lizard or scorpion.

Anyone who finds an exotic creature is urged not to handle it and to instead call the RSPCA's 24-hour hotline - 0300 1234 999 - for advice.

Holidaymakers are also advised to check their luggage for little critters which may have crawled inside before leaving international travel destinations.