Currently viewing the category: "Black Widow"
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

Subject: Spider eating a cockroach in LA
Location: Los Angeles
August 19, 2013 6:57 pm
Hi,
We recently started renovations on our garage here in Los Angeles. I couldn’t help but take a picture of this spider eating a cockroach on the side of our garbage can. I can’t figure out what spider it is. Can you help? Thanks! Megan. (in Los Angeles).
Signature: Megan.

Brown Widow eats Cockroach

Brown Widow eats Cockroach

Hi Megan,
Your spider is an introduced Brown Widow,
Latrodectus geometricus.  According to BugGuide:  “World wide in the tropical zone. It was introduced in Florida and has since been observed moving north through Georgia, and into South Carolina; it has also been officially recorded in California, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas.  Habitat Found around buildings in tropical climates.(1) However, it is an introduced species and is the most human-adapted of the species occurring in the South Eastern US. Its webs may occur anywhere there is sufficient space to make one. It may be extremely abundant on houses and other man-made structures (e.g., barns, fences, guard rails, bridges). It reproduces frequently and disperses rapidly, making it nearly impossible to control.”  As with other introduced species, which we consider Invasive Exotics, the Brown Widow might be contributing to a loss of species diversity by displacing native species where it has been introduced.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black Widow
Location: Ashburn, VA
December 17, 2012 1:40 pm
We had a little visitor to our apartment just before Halloween. I meant to send you these pics then, but life got in the way. Even though I am extremely arachnophobic (sp?), I did capture and then release this miniature monster in our nearby woods. Enjoy the pictures!
Signature: Amber

Black Widow

Hi Amber,
Because of your sensitive treatment of this healthy looking, female Black Widow, we are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award, a distinction we reserve for folks who go out of their way to show respect for the lower beasts.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Daniel – Baby Orb Weavers?
Location: Hawthorne, CA
December 4, 2012 2:01 pm
Hi,
There are many, many, many of these little babies on the wheel barrow this morning. Are they orb weavers?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Brown Widow Spiderlings

Hi Anna,
The appearance of these Spiderlings and their presence on a wheelbarrow caused us to speculate that they were hatchling Brown Widows.  This image from BugGuide confirmed that speculation.  BugGuide states:  “Found around buildings in tropical climates.(1) However, it is an introduced species and is the most human-adapted of the species occurring in the South Eastern US. Its webs may occur anywhere there is sufficient space to make one. It may be extremely abundant on houses and other man-made structures (e.g., barns, fences, guard rails, bridges). It reproduces frequently and disperses rapidly, making it nearly impossible to control.”  They are not as dangerous as the Black Widow, and BugGuide notes:  ” It is recognized that this particular species of widow is most likely not medically significant (not an immediate medical concern to those who are bitten). (Net Ref (4)) The brown widow produces clinical effects similar to that of the black widow but the typical symptoms and signs being milder and tending to be restricted to the bite site and surrounding tissues.”

Oh, my.  Thanks very much.  They’ve now dispersed, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for them!
As an aside, I just counted 16 Monarch caterpillars.
Anna

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please help! Fast!
Location: Southern New Meixco
October 25, 2012 3:27 am
Hello! I am curious to know what this spider is because it is in my Jeep and it crawled on me the other day. I am hoping its not piosionous because I have two small children who ride in my vehicle as well and I. Please help me in identifying it and what I need to get rid or it
Signature: Galen G

possibly Male Black Widow

Hi Galen,
Your photo is quite blurry and lacking in detail, so a definitive identification might be impossible.  With that said, this appears to be a male Black Widow.  The good news is that while females are considered the most venomous and dangerous spiders in North America, according to BugGuide:  “Adult males are harmless. The male’s abdomen usually has red spots along the upper midline and white lines or bars radiating out to the sides. (The number of bars can indicate which species.) Males almost exclusively wander in search of females.”

Thank you. Yes I know it’s not the best picture but I snapped the picture and realized I should have just killed the darn thing cause it crawled fast away after the flash turned on. But again thank you! I will rip apart my jeep until this guy is found.
-Galen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination