Spider lays eggs in man's toe during cruise holiday

A cruise ship passenger has told of his horror after discovering a spider had laid eggs inside his toe - including one that hatched.

Colin Blake and his wife were spending the evening in Marseille, in the south of France, after the ship had docked on their 35th wedding anniversary trip - when his toe swelled up and turned purple.

The following day, he visited the on-board doctor who told him a Peruvian wolf spider had bitten him and laid eggs inside his toe.

Wolf spiders, which are not poisonous, are often found in the French port city after arriving on cargo ships.

Mr Blake, who lives in Cramlington, Northumberland, told BBC Radio Scotland: "My wife thought it may be because I had new sandals and they were rubbing on my big toe and that was causing it to be red."

The doctor cut his toe open, causing the spider's eggs to pour out.

After the holiday, Mr Blake went to hospital in the UK where doctors prescribed antibiotics - but four weeks later, he noticed something else unusual in his toe.

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On another visit to the doctors, they discovered one of the eggs had hatched into a small spider, which was stuck underneath his skin.

He said: "They believe the spider was making its way out - eating its way out of my toe."

Mr Blake chose not to keep the dead spider when asked by medics.