A Scottish man had a lucky escape when he discovered a deadly Black Widow spider hiding in his classic car.
John Blain was in his shed refurbishing his Ford Mustang, imported from California, when he spotted an unusual arachnid just an inch from his face.
After searching the internet for a match he realised the creepy crawly matched the description of a Black Widow the most venomous spider in North America.
When experts arrived they found two live females and a spider nest in the 1965 classic motor.
The 47-year-old from Tealing near Dundee in Angus says he believes the spiders must have arrived with the car more than nine months earlier.
Mr Blain had been making the most of the Christmas break to do some work on his prized red Mustang.
While working on the back breaks he noticed a “shiny black” spider in the wheel arc but being used to spiders in his shed he continued working on the car with the arachnid “about an-inch-and-a-half” from his face.
Two live arachnids, both later confirmed to be Black Widows, were taken away in a container along with a spider’s egg nest or ‘sac’ by the Scottish SPCA.
The Mustang was originally brought to Scotland in March from San Jose by a man in Aberdeen, who sold it to Mr Blain in the autumn.
Mr Blain said: “I am planning on doing the car up. To be honest you see spiders in the sheds anyway. I was doing the back brakes on it on Wednesday and the spider was only about an inch and a half off my face.
“It had been there for hours. It could obviously have had a wee bite I suppose.
“I had a good look at it. I don’t know why I did it but I was ordering parts on the internet and searched ‘spiders in California’. It was a female black widow.
“Obviously the spiders have been on the car since they came over from America and they have managed to live through the winter we have had.
“It was almost a shiny black. It wasn’t scary-looking to me, it wasn’t the size of a tarantula. But it is 15 times more deadly than a rattlesnake.”
He ended up trapping the two spiders himself for the Scottish SPCA to take away.
He admitted he was slightly surprised the arachnids were able to enter the UK on the vehicle.
“There aren’t that many places anything could hide in a car like that.” he said.
“To be honest it doesn’t bother me. If it was a snake, that’s different.”
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We can confirm we were alerted to two black widow spiders in Angus after they seemingly came into the country by hiding out in an imported car from America.
“Bites from the black widow are dangerous to humans and can cause severe muscle pain and muscle spasms.