Reporter finds black widow spider nestled in Christmas tree at grocery store

Man Finds Black Widow Spider in Christmas Tree

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A news reporter in San Antonio made a potentially dangerous discovery in a Christmas tree at a local grocery store: a black widow spider.

San Antonio-Express reporter Paul Stephen was shopping at an HEB grocery store Tuesday when he picked up a small Christmas tree and noticed the venomous arachnid, according to the newspaper.

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"I saw the spider, snapped the requisite Instagram pic, put it down and moved on to the next tree," Stephen told

"Black widows aren't that uncommon, so it didn't occur to me to freak out," he said.

A HEB official told the newspaper finding a black widow in store merchandise "was a first" for the grocery chain.

Black widows are considered the most venomous spiders in North America, according to National Geographic. While they rarely kill people, they can cause extreme illness, but they only bite when they're disturbed.