Currently viewing the category: "Black Widow"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: good or bad spider?
Location: southern indiana
November 15, 2015 12:42 pm
Southern Indiana. November 15. In the house.
Signature: Niki

Immature Northern Black Widow

Immature Northern Black Widow

Dear Niki,
We don’t really like to think of spiders as good or bad, but without waxing philosophically on the matter, we can tell you that this is an immature Northern Black Widow, and that the bite of a Black Widow Spider is considered to be potentially dangerous, especially to young children and the elderly.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution: This spider is venomous and can harm people. However, the female injects such a small dose of venom that it rarely causes death. Reports indicate human mortality at well less than 1% from black widow spider bites. While Latrodectus variolus is not aggressive and does not have the instinct to bite, her venom is neurotoxic, which means that it blocks the transmission of nervous impulses. If the spider bites, most likely it has been pressed against human bare skin, and this causes a natural reaction, a bite in self-defense. For the most part, the black widow’s bite may be felt only as a pin prick, during which the spider’s fangs inject a minute amount of highly toxic venom under the skin. The severity of the victim’s reaction depends on his or her age and health, and on the area of the body that is bitten. Local swelling and redness at the site may be followed in one to three hours by intense spasmodic pain, which can travel throughout the affected limbs and body, settling in the abdomen and back (intense abdominal cramping, described as similar to appendicitis), and can last 48 hours or longer. Elderly patients or young children run a higher risk of severe reactions, but it is rare for bites to result in death; only sixty-three having been reported in the United States between 1950 and 1959 (Miller, 1992). Other symptoms can include nausea and profuse perspiration. If left untreated, tremors, convulsions and unconsciousness may result. When death does occur, it is due to suffocation.”  There should be a telltale red hourglass mark on the ventral surface.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What Spider Is This
Location: South Africa
February 5, 2015 2:05 am
Hi There,
Hoping you are able to identify this spider? – Wanted to know it it is poisonous to humans as some one at work got bitten by it?
Signature: Spider

Possibly Immature Widow Spider

Possibly Immature Widow Spider

Dear Spider,
This looks to us like an immature Widow Spider in the genus
Latrodectus.  You can compare your individual to this image posted to iSpot.  Some species of Widow Spiders are considered venomous and potentially dangerous to humans who are bitten.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Whats that bug! Spider!
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
September 13, 2014 6:22 pm
I found the super cool spider that I have never seen before in Southern Nevada! Could you help me identify it?
Signature: Thanks bunches! Victoria Rebholz

Immature Western Black Widow

Immature Western Black Widow

Hi Victoria,
This is an immature Western Black Widow,
Latrodectus hesperus, and you can compare your image to this image posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution: Anyone bitten by a western black widow spider should receive prompt and proper medical treatment. While the black widow is considered the most venomous spider in North America, death from a black widow spider bite is highly unlikely.  For the most part, the black widow’s bite may be felt only as a pin prick, during which the spider’s fangs inject a minute amount of highly toxic venom under the skin. The severity of the victim’s reaction depends on his or her age and health, and on the area of the body that is bitten. Local swelling and redness at the site may be followed in one to three hours by intense spasmodic pain, which can travel throughout the affected limbs and body, settling in the abdomen and back (intense abdominal cramping, described as similar to appendicitis), and can last 48 hours or longer. Elderly patients or young children run a higher risk of severe reactions, but it is rare for bites to result in death; only sixty-three having been reported in the United States between 1950 and 1959 (Miller, 1992). Other symptoms can include nausea and profuse perspiration. If left untreated, tremors, convulsions and unconsciousness may result. When death does occur, it is due to suffocation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spider (Identification)
Location: Montenegro
July 4, 2014 4:21 am
Found this guy on a pile of big stone tiles in the sun, The picture isn’t perfect but I think it had 6 of those orange/red spots on his back. Small in size few mm in size (3-7mm maybe?).
Signature: eatyourdog

Immature female Widow Spider

Immature female Widow Spider

Dear eatyourdog,
This is an immature female Widow Spider in the genus
Latrodectus.  According to this araneae website, the species Latrodectus tredecimguttatus is found in Montenegro and the site states it is found:  “In dry habitats, dunes, sandy beaches, shingle beaches and on low vegetation.  This species can bite humans, as also all other Latrodectus species in the world. Often, a bite causes significant effects, with severe and long-lasting pain in two-thirds of cases, preventing patients from sleeping in one-third of cases. Pain increases in more than half of the cases within the first hour and mostly radiates into the limbs or abdominal pain develops. Typical symptoms include sweating in about 70% of cases and further systemic effects in 20–30% of cases (nausea and vomiting in less than 20%, raised temperature and neuromuscular effects in about 10%, hypertension in less than 10% of cases). Pain usually lasts 1–2 days and the other symptoms 1–4 days. In Europe, bites have become very rare in the last decades. If needed, a symptomatic medical treatment is recommended.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: False Widow?
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, U.S.
February 22, 2014 10:23 pm
Hello there-
I found this lovely lady (?) up in a corner near the ceiling of our San Francisco garage/basement (we live on a hill, so that wall is actually subterranean). There’s a similar but smaller spider nearby that I can’t get a good picture of because it’s tucked to far into a corner. I can’t guarantee how true the color are as the pic was taken with a flash. I was initially intrigued by the spider because it looked quite black in the dark and we do get the occasional widow in this region, but now that I’ve seen it up close, I’m wondering if it might be a Steatoda grossa?
Signature: SnorkMaiden

False Widow

False Widow

Dear Snorkmaiden,
We agree that your spider looks like the False Widow pictured on BugGuide
Your individual appears to be an immature female, and when she matures, she will lose the markings on the abdomen and BugGuide has nice images of the female life cycle.

Good to know. Many thanks for the response!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Spider
Location: Torrance, California
January 28, 2014 4:39 pm
Hello Bugman,
I need some help identifying this recently deceased spider. My 6-year-old son found it in a corner of my house after we came back from a long vacation. It was shiny brown, with white stripes on its back, and about a penny size. It had made a small, irregular web, and was living just a few feet away from a Brown Widow (also deceased, sorry). I have never seen this kind of spider before, and have not been able to find a match on the Internet.
Thanks.
Signature: Daniel

Immature Brown Widow

Immature Brown Widow

Hi Daniel,
This looks to us like an immature Brown Widow.  See BugGuide for a comparison image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination