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Honolulu cargo ship delivers unwanted visitors to Guam: poisonous spiders

HAGATNA, Guam >> A cargo ship from Honolulu has arrived in Guam with hitchhikers — at least one large adult black widow spider and numerous baby kin.

Stevedores found the spiders Tuesday after opening a hatch on the Matson MV Manukai. A University of Guam entomologist identified them as black widows, which are poisonous.

Officials say once all but the affected cargo is off-loaded, the vessel will be fumigated.

In July, authorities in the U.S. territory turned away a South Korean ship after thousands of spiders overflowed from its cargo.

Guam officials are especially sensitive to invasive species. A lone brown tree snake hitched a ride in cargo decades ago, and since then, hundreds of thousands of them have populated the island.

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