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chewing that they do.
They're like little vampires.
This trip of Atherton's to find
the spider species, where'd he go?
South America.
Venezuela, why?
Is that one of them?
I'd say it's a damn fine suspect.
Ross, you're going to have
to take a step towards it.
- Chris, I'm scared to death.
- We all are.
But our brains secrete a neurotransmitter
that enables us to deal with them.
I don't think I have
that particular neurotransmitter.
Yes, you do.
You need an asbestos glove.
Doomsday weapon in Delbert's war
on a creepy crawler.
I coat it with Demon EC,
insecticide with environmental conscience.
It's biodegradable. Organic.
You ought to see the little beasties twitch
when they get a whiff of this stuff.
Now, Delbert...
There's a rumour going around that
some kind of spider killed Sam Metcalf.
Maybe Margaret, maybe even my Bronco.
Doubtful, Henry.
In a case in Florida one of my colleagues
bumped into a nest of black widows.
Sustained over a dozen bites and lived.
Of course, he probably lost control
of all of his bodily functions.
There's no spider here.
But I will hunt down the alleged arachnid
and spritz him to kingdom come.
Yeah, that's right.
I'm bad.
Dr Atherton, Ross Jennings.
Come in.
Did you find me another specimen?
Yes, I did.
I also paid a call to the town mortician.
Several months ago, there was a corpse.
The body was desiccated,
it was totally drained of blood.
Irv agreed that
if the spider was big enough
and it spent a long enough time
working on that body...
I think I know
why you've heard of Canaima.
This was Jerry Manley's home town.
- Manley the photographer?
- Yeah.
I think one of your Venezuelan spiders
hitched a ride here in Manley's coffin.
The fangs, the injectors,
are disproportionately large.
Three poison sacs.
Now, let's test the venom.
The nature of the toxin and the amount
injected determine the effect of the bite.
And, of course, the place
where the subject is bitten.
It can lead to paralysis or death.
I'm no expert, but I'd guess this toxin
is fatal at a fraction of that dose.
I'd agree.
No sex organs.
That would make them drones.
Or soldiers.
That's typically seen in highly organised
insect societies - bees, ants -
but we've never seen it in spiders.
- I have.
- Venezuela, right?
Right. This is the descendant.
Somehow that South American male
has mated with a domestic house spider
and created a very deadly strain.
But if it has no sex organs,
it can't reproduce, right?
True, and the accelerated growth rate,
combined with the specialisation,
suggests a short life cycle.
We've already seen a dead one.
- That could be the good news.
- Now let's discuss the bad.
In their own ecosystem,
the species I discovered in South America
live at the top of the food chain.
The spread out from a central nest in a
web-like pattern and dominate the area.
But in their original habitat, geography
contains them. That isn't true here.
So the original male's
the grandaddy of them all.
And he's acting like a general
sending his troops to battle.
Excuse me.
Professor? This is our town exterminator.
McClintock, infestation management.
Always nice to meet a colleague.
He believes he came across one of the
offending spiders a couple of hours ago.
Might you have brought it with you?
Actually, he's probably still
on the bottom of my shoe.
You really can't tell what it is any more.
In this first generation,
the original male also produced a queen.
Together they will construct a primary nest,
which the queen will guard.
But eventually she will create
reproductive offspring of her own.
When that happens, this town is dead.
And the next town, and the next town.
And the next one and so on.
Irv owns the mortuary
where it must have originated.
- If we go in and destroy the original male...
- And the primary nest.
- I'll call the Department of Agriculture.
- There's phones in the office.
- I'll see you

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