NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Arachnophobes in New York can rest a little bit easier today. Signs posted to utility poles in Brooklyn that purported to be looking for a missing tarantula were a joke.

The fliers indicated that ‘Penelope’ a pregnant, red rumped tarantula, had gone missing in Brooklyn.

The faux-missing posters claimed that the arachnid normally doesn’t bite, but may jump when scared. They went on to ask New Yorkers to catch the spider in a Tupperware container with holes poked in the top for air.

While the ruse worked on some, others were quick to question the fliers’ claims.

“Who would put up a poster of a missing tarantula?” Jackie told 1010 WINS reporter Roger Stern.

The anonymous prankster behind the ad told the New York Times that he didn’t expect the fliers to blow up the way that they did.

The man told the Times that a poster for a missing tarantula was the most ridiculous thing that he could come up with.

“I thought it was so beyond ridiculous that no one would take it seriously. I was wrong,” he said.

The man added that he has never owned a tarantula and had to conduct a Google search to find the correct spelling of the word.

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