Redback in Louisiana
April 19, 2012 12:02 am
I found this spider on my sister’s door (in the door jam)of her apartment. I got it in a cup, took a picture, and let it go outside.
The Redback Spider, Latrodectus hasselti, is an Australian species that is related to the Black Widow and its bite is considered dangerous. To the best of our knowledge, there have never been any reports of Redback Spiders in North America, but plenty of Australian species have become established here and elsewhere, so anything is possible with global travel being so commonplace these days. You can read about the Redback Spider on the Australian Museum website. Our web search led us to the Spiderzrule website where we identified this Antmimic Spider, most likely the Red Spotted Antmimic Spider, Castianeira descripta. We verified that identification on BugGuide though we would not rule out the possibility that your spider is a relative, Castianeira crocata, also represented on BugGuide. It is not considered to be a harmful species. We are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award for your catch and release of this interesting Antmimic Spider.
Thank you for responding. It is nice to know that it wasn’t poisonous! I prefer to let them go so they can eat our mosquitos! 😉