Date: 21 Apr 2015


A spider exhibition is returning to the Ricoh Arena – and organisers are confident it is going to be bigger and better than last year.

The British Tarantula Society (BTS) is staging its 30th annual exhibition when over 50,000 spiders, scorpions and insects will be on display in a show referred to as ‘The Crufts of The Spider World'.

The exhibition is moving into the larger Jaguar Exhibition Hall from 11am-4pm on Sunday, May 17 with around 2,000 visitors expected to attend with some travelling from as far as America and Europe.

Ray Hale, vice-chairman of the British Tarantula Society, said it was impossible to count how many spiders will be on display but 50,000 is a conservative estimate.

He said: “We are expecting around 60 exhibitors selling spider-related items ranging from tarantulas and equipment to books, jewellery and t-shirts. There will also be all sorts of bugs and creepy crawlies for visitors to see. These guys travel from all over the world for this one exhibition.

“Visitors will be able to see and 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.

“There is something for everybody. If you are an enthusiast or just curious then this is the place for you. Society members will be able to submit their prized spiders for a series of awards including 'Best Brachypelma Species', 'Best New World Terrestrial' and 'Best Scorpion'.

"The competition is always excellent and while intended as a bit of fun some people take it very seriously indeed.”

Ray, who is originally from Birmingham and is married to fellow arachnid expert Angela, has about 200 tarantulas at his home in Sussex, added: “This is an opportunity for like-minded spider keepers or people, who are simply interested, to find out more.

“Everyone is welcome to come along as the exhibition is open to members and non-members.

Academics will be on hand to answer questions; there will be competitions and a chance to meet some of the leading experts in the field.

“If anyone is interested in keeping tarantulas or simply want to see some of the largest spiders on the planet this is the place to come along to because we can provide expert advice and information to give a happy and healthy environment for their spiders.”

Chris Owen, senior events manager at the Ricoh Arena, said last year’s exhibition by the British Tarantula Society created a great deal of interest.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to once again find out more a wide range of spiders and to realise there is nothing to be scared of!” he said.

“The show has moved into the bigger Jaguar Exhibition Hall and we hope that as the organisers celebrate their 30th year that this proves to be their best exhibition yet.”

Tickets, costing £5 for adults and £4 for children are available on the day. Under-fives are free and concessions are available for BTS members (children must be accompanied by an adult).

For more information visit: www.exhibition.thebts.co.uk or e-mail rayhale@thebts.co.uk