Smile for the camera!
30,000 spiders arrive in Coseley
Spiders, scorpions and other insects were on display at Coseley School on Sunday 17th May 2009 for 'The Crufts Of The Spider World'. See our photos and listen to BBC WM's report. Arachnophobes beware!
Spider fans and exhibitors from around the world came together for The British Tarantula Society's 24th annual exhibition.
Visitors could buy a variety of arachnids, scorpions, stick insects, beetles and other insects throughout the day, meet other enthusiasts and seek advice from experts on the best way to look after their new pets.
Ray Hale from the BTA said: "It's been absolutely fantastic. We've had about 900 though the door, from all over Europe. We even had a guy come all the way from Hong Kong!
"To be honest, it would be impossible to count how many spiders are here but I think 30,000 is a conservative estimate. If you're an arachnophobe it's probably not the best place to come or if you're a fly or an insect!"
Ray Hale, BTS
Regarded as 'The Crufts Of The Spider World', society members could submit their prized spiders for a series of awards, including 'Best Brachypelma Species', 'Best New World Terrestrial' and 'Best Scorpion'.
"The competition was excellent," said Ray. "We had some great spiders put forward. 'Best In Show' went to a Frenchman named Jean Michel Verdez. Jean has been a big supporter of the BTS for 25 years. He put forward a spider from the Borneo Black species - it was a beautiful spider."
Dozens of BTS members spent months planning the event and gave their free time on the day to make sure everything ran smoothly. All help was voluntary.
"We picked up a lot of new members at the event," Ray adds. "It was great to see so many people buying. In times of recession, people revert back to their hobbies. Our main aim is to educate people about these wonderful and misunderstood creatures."
The British Tarantula Society's Annual Exhibition returns to Coseley in 2010 for it's 25th anniversary. See the BTS website for more information (link top right).
Have a browse through our photos of some of the spiders and insects on display by clicking the links at the top and bottom of this page.
Be warned: if you're an arachnophobe our photos may make you shiver!
last updated: 18/05/2009 at 14:04