New tarantula honours late Harry Potter star Alan Rickman

Snape the Chilean Rose tarantula was named to honour Alan Rickman who died last week. Photo courtesy of Blue Reef
Snape the Chilean Rose tarantula was named to honour Alan Rickman who died last week. Photo courtesy of Blue Reef

A new tarantula at Hastings aquarium is to be named Snape in honour of the late Alan Rickman, who played the Harry Potter character.

The six-month-old Chilean Rose tarantula is the newest addition to Blue Reef Aquarium’s Jungle Room display which features a variety of exotic reptiles, insects and spiders from around the world.

Rickman died on Thursday last week (January 14) with tributes flooding in for the Die Hard and Love Actually actor.

“Our staff decided to name the new arrival Snape, after the character played by the late Alan Rickman in the Harry Potter films,” said Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson.

As its name suggests, the spider originates from the deserts of Chile.

It is a colourful, fairly large, spider with a leg span of around 15 centimetres.

Its colour can actually range from grey, to pink, to a reddish brown colour.

The males will live about five years however females can live to 20 years or more.

“The Chilean rose is one of the most colourful and impressive of the tarantulas and they thought it was the perfect name for such a spectacular spider,” Leanna said.

Tarantulas comprise a group of often hairy and very large spiders with approximately 900 different species identified so far.

Tarantula sizes range from as small as a fingernail to as large as a dinner plate when the legs are fully extended.

Despite their often threatening appearance and reputation, no tarantula has been known to have a bite that is deadly to humans, though some bites cause serious discomfort that might persist for several days.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at 2) Like our Facebook page at

3) Follow us on Twitter @HastingsObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Hastings Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.